The holiday season can be associated with anxiety for a number of reasons. For college students, the holidays are crammed just before exams or between semesters. For those who have lost a loved one in the past year, this may be the first round of major holidays to cope with since the loss. Therefore, maintaining some semblance of celebration requires incredible resiliency to maintain the holiday spirit. Realize that your student may be experiencing a myriad of feelings.
- Encourage your student to share in family rituals and possibly help start a new ritual that is especially meaningful to him/her.
- Communicate with your student about how much time you would like to spend with him/her ahead of the holiday to help reduce the chances of disappointment and conflict. Hopefully, you can have some special times already earmarked for family.
- Be flexible—gathering many people for special celebrations can be difficult with busy schedules.
- Remember and cherish special memories of fun times, good friends, and wonderful things you’ve accomplished.
- Take heart—remember that the real reason for the holidays is spiritual renewal through sharing your love and faith with others.