Holiday seasons are usually a time when students get to spend extended quality family time with their loved ones. Whereas these periods are expected to be joyous occasions, they come with many demands such as shopping, gifting and entertaining guests for many Australian households.
The combined efforts of making the holidays perfect can be too much to handle. Many students may return to school after the holidays having experienced some level of stress. This may also affect them academically.
Parents play an essential role in helping the stressed student cope through the holiday by using the following stress management techniques.
Acknowledge student’s feelings
Everyone experiences stress at some point or the other. Some amount of stress may be beneficial, but too much stress can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. Let them know that it is normal to feel sadness and anxiety during the holiday season. Let them take the time to express their feelings.
Students and parents may have different ideas about how they want to spend the holiday. While parents look forward to spending quality time with their children, the students may want to take up holiday jobs or visit with old friends.
To avoid disappointment, parents need to discuss with the students beforehand about the holiday and how their plans look like.
Avoid discussing academics during holidays
While some parents check on their children’s performance throughout the semester, some bring up these discussions during holiday seasons. This may be a cause for stress in college students. Parents are encouraged to give them a little space before such discussions.
Ensure smooth transitions during the holiday season
Most college students are used to living by themselves while on campus. Transitioning back to their parent’s house means following their rules, which may be difficult and may cause a bit of friction. Parents are encouraged to renegotiate some rules to ensure a smooth transition and a happy holiday season.
Open and honest communication
Students are encouraged to communicate with their parents openly about their grades or any other matters that may be stress triggers during the holiday season. Early resolution of such issues will be stress relievers for both the parent and the student.
Support one another
In situations where the family dynamics in the home have shifted while the student was away in college, parents are encouraged to support their children as they cope with these changes.
Help in environmental adjustments
Some students may feel anxiety and depression because of being away from their college environment. The same may also happen when they return to college after the holiday season.
Parents are encouraged to keep in contact with the student and encourage them to use the counseling facilities available on campus to manage their anxiety. The use of online services where students can request to make my essay, should be encouraged. The services provide quality writing work and that helps students have free time for themselves.
Students are also encouraged to use online resources to find tips to cope with stress and anxiety while in school.
Just before schools and colleges break for holidays in Australia, it may be beneficial if they can host annual fundraisers to allow people to donate food, clothes, gifts, or blankets that can be provided to students and families with low income. This can relieve a lot of financial stress for both the students and their families.
Identify community resources: It may help when the school makes efforts to identify community resources such as shelters, food depositories, safe havens, affordable childcare, and counseling for some of their students that come from low-income families.
Avoid giving assignments describing winter breaks: Such assignments may be a source of ridicule and embarrassment for the student who did not have a very pleasant holiday season experience.
Facilitate small group counseling: This is helpful for students that are suffering grief, loss, divorce, or other identified needs. It creates a safe environment for the student to open up and share their feelings with their peers and teachers. Sharing acts as a stress reliever.
The holiday season can be a trying time, even for a calm and collected person. Though the above techniques may work, they may not give lasting solutions for every family and student. Parents need to allow students to express their sadness, anger, and frustrations. They need to create a safe space for the students to be open at home.
Seeking social support, counseling and support groups can be of help if the symptoms are too much to bear. Doctors and mental professionals may also help improve the student’s coping skills. The holidays come once a year, have a peaceful holiday!
Joshua Robinson is a student counselor who’s on a mission to make the learning process for the college and university students a pleasant experience. He believes that the classroom ecosystem should be free of stress and provide enhanced learning. When he has free time, he likes to work on his mental health blog, watch TV and play the piano.