Students can find ways to manage their holiday stress during an upcoming webinar hosted by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education along with the DMC Counseling Center.
The webinar, Managing Stress for the Holidays and Beyond, will be streamed on Microsoft Teams from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 8.
DMC Counselor Heather Garcia, the presenter for the event, said the COVID-19 pandemic still continues to add stress to everyone’s lives ahead of the holidays and with the new Omicron variant, even more concerns arise.
“There are so many things that we are going to have to deal with in terms of mental health issues,” Garcia said. “This is going to be the second biggest holiday, Thanksgiving being the first, that people are going to have to navigate without matriarchs, patriarchs, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, etc., because so many people did lose their lives … because of the pandemic.”
Many students, already concerned about the financial burden that often accompanies the holidays, may see those fears multiply because of the pandemic economy.
“Let’s take into account the financial impact the pandemic has already had on a lot of people,” Garcia said. “If we know that people already go into dept pre- COVID, you know there are individuals that are barely recovering financially from being without a job or having been laid off because of the pandemic.
“The expectation to basically provide gifts is always there for people and families should have some sort of normalcy,” Garcia said. “People need to really make sure that they’re navigating their need to not go overboard, which is likely to put them back into stressful financial situations.”
Another factor people face is dealing with crowds while shopping as more stores are opening at full capacity. Being able to navigate safely while shopping and being able to keep stress levels lower during those times can be a challenge.
During the presentation, Garcia will introduce mindfulness exercises to help individuals to decompress and engage in self-care activities. Spending quality time with family and friends is also important, according to Garcia, and helps raise endorphin levels to ensure happiness and healthiness.
Garcia graduated from DMC in 2010 with a degree in human services with an emphasis in addiction studies. She received her bachelor’s in community and mental health from Texas A&M University and her master’s in counseling from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She has been working as a mental health and couple’s therapist at the DMC Counseling Center.
For more information on the presentation, contact TACHE@delmar.edu or 361- 698-2250.