Holiday stress busters, courtesy of AAMC’s COPE team

Holiday stress busters, courtesy of AAMC’s COPE team


Holidays not going so well for you this year? COPE can help.

It’s that time of the year again and you are struggling to get it all done. You’re working hard, shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning and wrapping and trying to make it “the most wonderful time of the year.” There you are standing in yet another long line, texting the family that you will be home soon and can someone please put toilet paper in the bathroom.

And along comes someone like me telling you to take a break, relax, deep breathe and let go of the stress.  I see you, sitting there saying, “Yeah right – I don’t even have the time to read this.” So I will keep it short.

Statistics show that the winter holidays are among the most stressful events of the year. What can you do?

At work:

  • Ask for help
  • Take your breaks
  • Move – step away from the computer and take a short walk.
  • Call COPE if you need to talk (Just dial “0” and ask the operator for the on-call COPE team member)


  • While in that long line, do a modified Mountain Pose. Stand straight and tighten all your muscles, then relax. Repeat.
  • Deep breathe. I know – I see you smirking. But three deep breaths take only a minute and the instant benefit is worth it. ( And no,  you will not sound asthmatic )
  • Instead of coffee, grab a juice.  You will be surprised how much it will help.
  • Take time for yourself – YES YOU CAN. Sit in your car for three minutes and listen to a song or sing along.
  • Laugh. Remember not to take it all too seriously and to keep your sense of humor.
  • And maybe the most important, learn to say NO.  You don’t have to do it all.

Now, go and have a great holiday! -Deb Keane, RN

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