Four Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Four Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

Because it isn't the holiday season without at least one mental breakdown...

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With the holidays coming up, there's a shift in the atmosphere, comprised of pumpkin spice and candy canes. But, with all the wonderful soul healing foods, sometimes the holidays can add unneeded stress to your life. The stress of buying gifts, planning parties with friends and family, and exams all mixed in with it can be enough to make anyone lose their marbles. So, with all that in mind here are four ways to combat the stress you may face!

Get enough sleep

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On almost any article in regards to decreasing stress and improving wellness, you will probably see sleep appear. And it's not for nothing-sleep is so so important! So, finally take advice and get some this holiday season! Sleep can help improve your memory for all those exams you're going to ace and getting a full night's rest may even help you remember to get that particular gift for your family member. In addition to memory, sleep can improve your mood and aid in clarity of thinking so that when your aunt Karen asks you for the third year in a row why you don't have a boyfriend, maybe you won't blow up and "ruin Thanksgiving". Again.

Self care

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The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy spending time with the ones you love, but sometimes the most important person is left by the wayside-I'm talking about you! So, this Thanksgiving before you stay up all night trying to make a wonderful meal for friends and family, take a step back from carving the turkey and carve some time out for yourself. Be it a face mask, bubble bath, or calming meditation (or all three!), make sure you get some time to take care of you this holiday season. I mean it is your holiday, why not make it enjoyable for yourself as well!

Go for a walk

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When it seems like everything is going wrong and there are a bazillion and one things that need to be done in the next two minutes otherwise the world will most certainly end, most psychologists say that this is the perfect time to just walk away. Extracting yourself from a stressful situation can not only ease stress instantaneously but it may also boost your mood. By going for a walk you are taking yourself away from stressors, which allows you to decompress and give you some necessary time to think. It has also been statistically shown that those who take walks often have a lower stress level than those who don't perform some type of physical activity. The simple act of moving your body and breathing in natural air can be enough to gain some much needed clarity for the upcoming task that needs to be accomplished this holiday season.

Take a deep breath

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This last one may appear to be a little childish but hang with me on this one, because it's also backed by science. So, when the turkey becomes burned, you can't find the perfect gift, or the Christmas tree goes up in flames, before you scream or cry or simply book the next plane ticket to somewhere far away, take a deep breath. Deep breathing biologically slows you down, as your brain is sent a signal to relax, which then spreads over the rest of your body. Don't believe me? Try it right now. You can't help but feel some form of relaxation with a deep breath. Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure also decrease as you do this, which is very beneficial in times of extreme stress.

Hopefully these small tips will be easy to incorporate into your holiday season, making this one the least stressful yet!

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Oklahoma, Please Take Care Of Jalen Hurts

He's one of the good ones, we promise.

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Dear Oklahoma fans, coaches, and players, please take care of Jalen Hurts.

When Hurts graduated in December of 2018, everyone in the Alabama fanbase knew that a transfer was coming soon. After showing his distinct character and loyalty to the Alabama Crimson Tide by choosing to play the 2018 season, even though he would be second in line to Tua Tagavailoa, Hurts deserves this chance to make the best decision for himself. The selection process regarding where Hurts would end up this upcoming season was kept relatively private, which of course open the doors to countless predictions from fans and analysts.

However, I can confidently say that I was not the only one shocked at his choice, but I whole-heartedly support it.

Home to two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Oklahoma is a more than a smart choice on Hurts' behalf. Within that program, he will be given ample opportunity to improve his craft in order to put himself in the best position for a successful career post-college. The Sooners obviously have an incredible program that leads players down the best paths to be as successful as possible, and that is all Alabama fans want for our beloved quarterback.

With all this being said, I, as an Alabama fan, just ask the Oklahoma Sooners to take care of Jalen and realize how special of a player he is.

With Hurts at quarterback, you will never have to question his effort or loyalty to his teammates. He will always carry himself with grace, no matter the situation. If you give him an opportunity to succeed, he will put forth all of his effort in order to take advantage of it.

Jalen Hurts is one of the most special players, and young men, to ever wear an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform. All that we ask is that you support him as we have these past three years.

Roll Tide.

Sincerely,

Every Alabama Fan

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