I wrote about how to handle your siblings during the holiday in my last post. I mentioned that handling your siblings when your parents are away can be so stressful, challenging and difficult.
I understand that handling your siblings, preparing for a new class, and coping with summer classes can make you depressive in the holiday rather than relieve you of school work.
You will likely not be able to determine if you are depressed because everything looks clumsy. Perhaps, you know you are depressed, or totally stress, yet you don’t know the best way out of it.
The best way to manage holiday stress will be explained in today’s post.
1. Acknowledge your feelings
What happens to you on the last day of school? You feel nostalgia mostly; you don’t usually know what the holiday holds for you, though you have a few camp meetings that you will like to attend. You have to first acknowledge your feelings.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I happy?
- Am I sad?
These questions are essential.
Are you happy because your dad said you will spend your holiday with your distant cousins? Or because you will be free from bullies at school? Are you happy because your birthday falls on the holiday, and your parents have promised to celebrate it for you?
Are you sad because your parents are not on good terms, and you can’t imagine that you will spend the next 1 month and a few days with them?
Are you sad because your foster parents are very harsh and you can’t imagine being punished unjustly for 7 weeks of the holiday?
When you find answers to these questions, you will be able to understand your feelings and you are a step away from managing holiday stress.
2. Plan ahead
When I was a teenager, I didn’t have enough say on how I spent my holidays. Then I gained admission into the University, I had 75% say on how I spent my holidays, while my school had 20% due to the 4 months of clinical rotation every holiday. My parents had the other 5%.
Every time I left the borders of my school for holidays, the first thing I would do was to plan ahead. I usually had a week or two before my clinical posting, so I spent my time making plans, before getting so occupied with the holiday.
Make your plans.
Do you intend attending an annual teens camp meeting?
Do you have free summer training on entrepreneurship that you would like to attend?
Write your plans and work towards implementation.
3. Prioritize sleeping and eating
Sleeping is essential and I have written a few posts to explain that sleeping boosts your creativity as a teenager. Sleeping is as pivotal as eating, nothing is to be left out.
During school days, you are likely to go to bed between 8:30pm – 11pm.
This sleeping range depends on your age, your school, course, class, and lifestyle.
Mary is in JSS3, and she is in a boarding school. She is likely to sleep as early as 9:30pm because light-out is usually at 11pm and boarders are expected to wake by 5:30am.
Samuel is 19years, he is in the university and has few side jobs, such as freelancing, graphics designing. He sleeps between 11pm – 1am daily, wakes up very late, mostly at 7:30am when he has lectures by 8am. He wakes by 9am on free days.
My both characters are teenagers and that is how their schedules are during school days.
If you are in Mary’s group, you tend to be very happy about the holiday. Simply because you have the whole day, week, and month to watch every blockbuster movie that has been released.
You have enough time to surf the internet, run through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You will likely meet new friends, and chat till late nights.
Do you know that the activities you engage yourself in, that seem normal, can cause stress and emotional trauma for you?
That is why you need to prioritize both sleeping and eating.
I know that you have missed homemade meals, yet you don’t have to eat too much or purge yourself. This can also be a risk factor for eating disorders.
The best way to prioritize sleeping is setting time for both activities.
Wake up – 7am
Sleep time – 11pm
You have 9 hours to sleep, which is very healthy.
4. Set aside a goal to achieve during the holiday
Like Mary, she only wants to watch movies and visit cinemas. She does not have a specific goal to achieve during the holiday.
As a student, you should set aside goals like studying a few topics before resumption. Set aside spiritual goals; which of the epistles do you intend to study?
Having goals will help you avoid holiday stress, and not just moving from one activity to another.
5. Be realistic
Make your goals SMART enough.
Blessing is a 200level Journalism student, she sets a goal of writing advertisements for notable brands in the country every day of the holiday.
Blessing has to make sure the goal to be better at the advertising is Specific.
She has to have a specific kind of brand in her mind
Does she want to write on clothing brands? We have a number of clothing brands in Nigeria.
The second is that Blessing’s goal must be Measurable.
Then it must be Achievable. Can she achieve the set goal?
It must be Realistic, it is good to have a dream that you will study both the course material on advertising, interviewing and newscasting during the holiday. You must be realistic about it.
The last is that Blessing’s goal must be Time-bound. She intends to advertise notable clothing brands in the country every day of the 6 weeks holiday.
Blessing can either cut down on the number of brands she intends to advertise or reduce the number of posts to 4 every week.
She can also give a specific number. For example, writing about 10 clothing brands in Nigeria.
That is way easy and achievable. It will help her avoid depression.
6. Stick to a budget
One of the things that can cause depression for teenagers during the holiday is finance. Samuel wants to attend the ongoing BALL camp meeting organized by Mine Teenage Ministry. Samuel gave his dad a budget for getting him a new sports wears, jeans, shirts, and sweatshirts.
Since Samuel is 19years old, his dad gave him N7,000 to get the things he needed. N7,000 is not enough to get the things listed above.
To maximize the money, Samuel has to create a budget.
Sport wears: N3,000
That is all the N7,000 can buy.
Samuel’s mum advised him to only get a jean and keep the remaining N3,500
Samuel thinks he will look odd if he does not wear new clothes at the camp meeting, so he used up the money and spent the money he was to use to get a new textbook.
To avoid the mistake Samuel made, you have to cut down your budget and stick to your budget.
7. Take the pressure off yourself
Some things are quite unnecessary and you shouldn’t let them bother you for nothing.
8. Don’t abandon healthy habits
Surfing the internet can make you forget the time to eat. Eat when due; drink water and stay hydrated, rather than constantly taking carbonated drinks that aren’t even healthy for you.
9. Learn to say NO
One of the times in which teenagers get tempted to do several ugly things is during the holiday. Both your parents are probably not around and you are to stay with your neighbour when you are back from summer classes.
Your neighbour’s son that is 15years old is asking you out and he thinks it is cool for teenagers to date. He is not only asking you to be his girlfriend, he is also asking you to engage in sexual activities with him.
My dear, learn to say NO!
Learn to say NO when your friends in your summer class want you to go out with them
Learn to say NO when you are asked to visit a guy at night.
10. Identity your specific course
This is for teenagers who are attempting to gain admission into the university. Identify what you want to do in life. Compare your passion with your desired course
Most parents make teenagers feel bad about their choice of course. Perhaps you didn’t pass the just concluded WAEC, and you have to rewrite it. You just have to calm down and set your goal.
I made a list of how I have always managed my emotions during the holiday and avoid stress. I still practice the above during my days off at work.
The best time to know who you really are is during the holiday. Make the best use of it, but not to the impairment of your mental health or physical health.
I didn’t mention that you pray or study the scriptures because I believe our devotion to God should be within and desired.
I hope this helps?
Do you need help choosing your career or course? You can meet a coach to help you.
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