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Survive and Thrive during the Holidays

Sometimes, we cant help but feel a tinge of trepidation whenever the holidays are near. Sure, its the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes, but it can also trigger stress and, in some, the blues.

Cant be home for Holidays
Quite a number of people are even inclined to think that there is a big increase in severe depression during the Christmas season; although there are not facts and figures to support this generalization. It is true, however, that some people tend to feel sad or stressed whenever the deadly combination of anxiety and nostalgia sets in.

For those in the call center industry, the usual hassles of the holidays – early shopping, last-minute shopping and more shopping, budgeting, long queues, throngs of people everywhere – are just for starters. Add nostalgia and homesickness.

“Were like OFWs,” says Geraldine, a call center agent for two years. “We can’t be home for Christmas because we have to work even during the holidays.” A call center job is all about 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week service. Last year, I explained it that way, to my two-year-old kid, – why mommy cant be with her on Christmas eve.

Adds James, and agent for 4 years, “My first Christmas on the job was a bummer. I missed my family terribly. Christmas is the only time wed all be together; I can be with my brothers, nephews and nieces, and my parents under one roof. Although most of the callers I got were nicer, more even-tempered than usual – I guess the season really brings out the best in people – I still felt a bit down.”

Stress busters
Don’t whig out when the advertisements for all things Christmas start popping up everywhere and you still don’t have a clue how to fit everything into your regular schedule. You can take control and avoid holiday stress. Here’s how:

  1. Devise a sensible, reasonable plan. This means that you will only do things that are humanly possible. Don’t stuff your schedule with too many activities.
  2. Don’t overeat. All that sinfully delicious food that you feasted on during the holidays will not magically disappear by the start of the New Year.
  3. Be a smart shopper. Ideally, we should have done our holiday shopping at least, a month ago, but being humans, we are naturally drawn to last-minute shopping, trips to the store or the mall cant be helped. But dont visit the mall too often. And whatever you do, don’t buy anything on a whim. Also, buy your goodies from reliable shops or stores.
  4. Stop trying to find or create the “perfect” holiday. That doesn’t exist.
  5. Don’t give in to materialism. Sure, you may have some money to spend but try to keep things in perspective. To make sure you recall all of these reminders, just keep in mind: “Practice Moderation.”

The Reason for the Season

  1. Accept how things are and make the most of it. You cant change your work schedule, that’s part of your job, but you sure can change your attitude about it. No good can come out of longing for what you once had. But a lot of good things, not to mention joy, may come if you start exploring what you have in here and now. Think positive and you will start enjoying all the good things that you have.
  2. Plan an alternative schedule. If its not possible for everyone in the family to be home on Christmas Eve, find another day that you can all gather around the dinner table.
  3. Whatever you do, don’t drown your sorrow in alcohol or pig out. On all the Christmas goodies or turn to any other negative outburst.
  4. See things in perspective. You are not the only one stressed out by the holiday shopping. At least, you can afford to stress out on holiday shopping. Some dont even have that luxury. Maybe if we focus less on ourselves, less on materialism and more on love and sharing – the messages of the season – the holidays may feel considerably lighter. You can choose to join activities that can help the less fortunate – toy distribution, nursing homes, and the like. Or you can choose to celebrate love and thankfulness in your family. You have the power to create a meaningful holiday for you and your family.

by: Eden c. Carlos

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