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Volume 70, Issue 60, Monday, November 15, 2004

Life & Arts

Relaxation is the key to a stress-free holiday

The Remedy

Donica' Beckett

Congratulations -- give yourself a pat on the back. You have made it past mid-semester, and since you have come this far, you deserve some relaxation. Relaxation techniques are a healthy and positive solution for dealing with life's daily stressors, especially during this time of year. Remember to relax and fully enjoy the benefits of the holiday season.

"We stress over stress and sweat the small stuff," Rosalyn Jones, Cougar Peer Education Program member, said during a UH Wellness relaxation workshop. Some of the relaxation techniques mentioned during the workshop included yoga exercises, visualization or recalling pleasant images, deep breathing techniques, and muscle relaxation techniques. "Students should also note that the Wellness Center is a place where they are invited to come and relax. Plus, plans are in place to actually convert the UH Wellness University Center location into a relaxation lab," Jones said. UH Wellness also provides soothing relaxation tapes to registered students free of charge.

According to the National Mental Health Association, the holiday season may be a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future, but coping with holiday stress may also be achieved in other ways. Tap into the holiday spirit by handcrafting gifts for loved ones instead of buying. Craft making can be a meditating experience and provide an outlet for expressing your creativity. Enjoy free activities such as viewing community holiday decorations and window shopping with that special someone.

Fill up on turkey, but limit your eggnog and champagne intake. One of the easiest ways to combat holiday stress is with a sensible diet, less the fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

Giving selflessly from the heart by volunteering at a local nonprofit organization results in great satisfaction. Try to balance the hustle and bustle of the materialistic holiday rush by visiting Volunteer Houston's Web site at to find a place to spread some cheer, as the holiday season offers numerous opportunities to do so. Take a moment to think about what this season truly means to you, leave "yesteryear" behind and create new and inspiring holiday traditions geared toward capturing the spirit of the moment.

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