Monthly Message from the Work-Life Director
December Greetings from the Director
“Holiday stress and excitement comes in a variety of forms - preparing for holiday traditions; spending extra money; finding extra time for shopping and being among crowds of people doing the same; and attending parties and receptions. However, the holiday time is also a time for us to create poignant memories.
Whether you view all of this increased level of activity as stress or excitement often depends upon your attitude. Growing up, this increased level of activity was often viewed as stress among the adults in my life. There was the stress of negotiating family visits between paternal and maternal grandparents; increased church-related activities; and increased shopping on a budget so tight that it brought my mom to tears.
Now that I'm older, I find myself swaying dramatically between stress and excitement. I prefer the excitement over the stress, so I do my best to plan out my activities, as is often suggested in advice columns for caregivers. For example, I calculate the extra time I need at home to complete the shopping, wrapping of gifts, cooking, etc. in preparation for the holidays. Then I schedule the activities out over the course of December, including breaks for myself in between chores.
This year, President Todd has granted university employees an extra paid day off. This will give us all some extra time. In my heart, I would have liked to have used that time to visit my family 2300 miles away, but my financial circumstances are not so lucrative. So instead, I will stay home and create memories of a more quiet nature - winter walks in the local parks, hot chocolate, board games with family and friends - to name a few.
Wishing you a warm and stress-free holiday,Robynn
For practical advice on how to gain control of your work-life balance during these stressful economic times, refer to the following Mayo Clinic article: Work-life balance: Ways to Restore Harmony and Reduce Stress