Home Discussions Students Mental, Physical and Emotional Well-being Surviving the holidays (let's start a discussion)


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    Laura Gilmour

      Hello everyone and hope you’re excited the term is almost over and are happy to have some time with less pressure and not too stressed by routine changes or the hustle-bustle and chaos of holiday events. I have always loved the holidays and sharing memories with family and friends, slowing down and taking the time to talk, watching the excitement of my toddler nephews, and the annual cookie bake with my family and close friends. However social events aren’t as natural as knowledge based activities and sometimes it is hard to have conversation focused on the moment or fun stuff and not on a academic special interests. Also, I tend to be literal and sometimes interpret exaggerations or rants (which everyone does) as real crises where my action is required and not just my listening. Also after an event like the cookie bake or exchanging gifts and having dinner with my family, I am exhausted for a few days afterwards and have very low tolerance for stimulation. Over the holidays I find I have to balance my need for alone time engaging in my non-academic hobbies such as creating things with open-ended/world building games, still making some time for my studies in the things I love but not in a high pressure/time crunch situation, and spacing out social gatherings and also when I do plan events I choose to see a few friends or family members at a time rather than all at once so I can fully enjoy them and not feel overloaded. I am fortunate in that I attend university close to home and often can work from home or online so I don’t have to travel over the holidays. My apartment I rent is in the same building as my family but is its own legal suite.

      Do you find the holiday break exciting, stressful, or both?

      Does anybody have any plans they would like to share?

      Autistic folks and family members, share some tips that make the holidays fun and low stress in your house.

      For those of you who are faculty, administrators, or otherwise support students how do you unwind during the holidays and reflect on who you’ve helped this year without having work on the brain be an intrusive thought your entire time off?

      I wish you and yours the most amazing holiday season and a productive 2019.


      Arianne Garcia

        I love the holiday break but it can get a little overwhelming…

        yesterday we went to target and I wore the wrong glasses (i have prescription tinted glasses and i wore my non tinted glasses by mistake) and after like ten minutes I was done with the place. I didn’t drive there so I had to wait for the people I was with to stop shopping before we could leave so I went to the bathroom to chill out for a second. It was gross and dirty but at least it was quiet and i could close my eyes, but i still had a headache.

        fun tip for sensory overload: ibuprofen or Tylenol. It doesn’t make everything better but it does take some of the pain away from the sensory headaches.

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