How to Manage Stress During the Holiday Season

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There are only seven shopping days left before Christmas! (Let that sink in for just a minute!) I know that Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but right about now, I’m feeling a little less than wonderful!  The very idea that I only have a handful of days left to select, purchase, and wrap gifts for my family stresses me out!  I’ve never been this unprepared!

People deal with stress on a daily basis, but it’s no secret that stress runs extra-high during the holidays.  With all of the Christmas programs, parties, shopping, baking, etc., most people will experience stress in some form or another during the season. 

There are four common types of stress, according to Dr. Karl Albrecht in his book entitled, “Stress and the Manager.”  In it, he states that if a person can understand the common types of stress and know how to anticipate them, stress can be managed much easier.  Albrecht’s four common types of stress include:    

A. Time Stress- when you worry about time or the lack of time

B. Anticipatory Stress-when you worry about upcoming events

C. Situational Stress-when you’re in a scary situation and you have no control over what is happening

D. Encounter Stress-when you worry about interactions with a certain person or a certain group of people

Sometimes, no matter how mindful you are about the four common types of stress, life just happens!  Instead of sticking your head in the sand, blowing up, breaking down, or whatever your style under stress happens to be, why not try some instant stress relievers!  These ideas don’t cost a thing, and they just might help no matter what type of stress you have to manage!

Instant Stress Relievers:

Take a “Breathing-Break.”  That’s right.  Set aside a few minutes to concentrate on taking some deep, relaxing breaths.  Focus on the air coming in and going out of your lungs.  Scientists say that a deep breathe sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.

Take an “Exercise-Break.” Scientists have found that exercise reduces stress, so take a brisk walk during your break, or have fun climbing some stairs!  Exercise will improve your frame of mind.

Make Yourself Laugh. Watch a comedy show on television, or go to a funny movie.  Check out babies laughing-out-loud on a YouTube video.  Read some jokes and laugh out loud yourself!  Laughter is an amazing stress reliever.   Data is mounting on the short-term and long-term benefits to laughter, and stress reduction is at the top of the list.

Give or Receive a Hug. Hugging is universally comforting, and according to scientists, hugging reduces stress.  Hug your kids.  Hug your spouse.  Hug your pet.  Hug, hug, hug!

Change Your Scene. This stress-relieving technique can be done physically or mentally.  Physically, you can walk to a window or into another area, etc., to change the scene.  Figuratively, you can conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and reduce stress. 

Appreciate the Positives. Focus your thoughts on the positive aspects of your life and the things for which you are most grateful.  Positive thoughts reduce stress and make life happier! 


“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James 

From all of us at Shurley English, Happy Holidays!

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Jamie Geneva

Jamie Geneva is the Senior National Consultant at Shurley Instructional Materials and is a seasoned subject matter expert in the realm of English Language Arts.  Her career with the company began during the days of the Shurley Method binder, which was pre-1st Edition, and has spanned across three decades.  Over the years, her various roles have included teacher, presenter, state representative, consultant, manager, and most recently, a Shurley English Digital Assistant.  You might not recognize her face, but her voice could certainly sound familar.  That’s because she’s recorded Jingles, Q&A Flow Sentences, and other Shurley English content for many, many years. 

Jamie and her husband, Garret, live in the foothills of eastern Oklahoma. She loves spending quality time with her family, traveling, reading, cooking, and staying connected on social media.

Ms. Geneva received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education and her M.Ed in Public School Administration from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK.