Have a Holly Jolly Christmas?
By: Breanna Mathes
Now that December has come upon us, stress and anxiety has creeped into the lives of citizens of Farmington and high school students alike, despite the cheerful tunes of Christmas songs, snow, and jolly decorations. When it comes to vital shopping, family matters, finals, and other tests, worry seems nearly unavoidable. Furthermore, the bitter winter wind almost feels as if it’s urging everyone on to feel frustrated and grumpy. Therefore, the question remains: What should people do to deal with this difficult, worrisome time so that they can enjoy the holidays?
As known by all high schoolers, finals are, to some extent, almost like the “grand finale” before breaks. They are a test of the things previously learned. Despite the truth that finals are only ten percent worth of a student’s grade, worry and jitters undoubtedly still ensue.
While some stress is okay, a lot is not good. According to the website, WebMD, symptoms of stress that can be watched out for are: agitation, feeling overwhelmed, avoiding others, having a hard time relaxing, headaches, low energy, nervousness, inability to focus, not being able to sleep, negativity, procrastination, and changes in appetite, just to name a few. Long-term consequences include: mental health problems, skin and hair issues, and eating disorders, for example. Many of these instances sound a lot like modern high schoolers!
When inquired about her background in mental healthcare, Mrs. Angela Hahn responded with the fact that she possesses a MSW and LCSW. This enables her to do therapy and clinical diagnosis. She works at BJC Behavioral Health.
When asked why the holidays are stressful in general to people, according to her observations, she answered with the facts that there are lots of family dynamics. She said that people have expectations about the holidays being special. There is more activity, lots of good stuff!
She was then questioned: “What do you recommend high school students do to cope with stress effectively?” Mrs. Hahn then said something truly interesting. She said that “you can’t wait to work on stress when you are already overly stressed. Don’t wait.” She added that a person can work on stress by: staying healthy, meditating, seeking calm, and doing things they enjoy, to name a few. “If you go into the holidays with a plan, it’s so much easier,” said Mrs. Hahn. “It’s common since.”
Next, this stress-expert was inquired: “How greatly do you think stress would be reduced and lives would be changed if holiday shoppers and high schoolers took part in your methods of reducing stress?” Mrs. Hahn answered, “You’d be present.” She talked about how a person would be being “here now.” She continued, “You’re not enjoying the things of the holidays. It will rob you of your enjoyment. Stress is a thief.”
“What should someone do if they feel their stress/anxiety is uncontrollable or altogether unavoidable?” Mrs. Hahn was then questioned. In response she said: “People need to be realistic about what their expectations are. Ask: ‘What’s really stressing you out?’ You need to sit down and inspect what is behind your feelings.”
Finally, to wrap it all up, Mrs. Hahn was interviewed: “Are there any other tips or issues you want to address that you think are important to someone who is stressed?” She answered with great information: “This is a season of giving. Don’t think so much about yourself. That’s the spirit of the season. Simplify your schedule. If there is something you don’t have to do, don’t add it to your list. Learn to say no, so you don’t load up your schedule with things you don’t want to do anyway. Avoid family drama at all costs. Do the basics: exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep! Last but not least, just breathe. All you need is five good deep breaths to calm yourself down.”
In conclusion, even though December can cause anxiety and fretting, there are many ways to fix that problem! Thanks to Mrs. Angela Hahn, it can now be known that stress can be mended, can be worked on. Now someone could honestly say: “Have a holly, jolly Christmas!”