Hitting the Holiday Reset Button: A Season for Resilience

By: Kevin Smith

The holidays are coming, and they couldn’t arrive sooner. You’re tired. I’m tired. It feels like it’s been a long, hot burn all semester. By this time, the tank is nearing empty and we are running on fumes.

I don’t think people understand how hard it is to be in college; the pressure is intense. You can’t just get a degree anymore; you have to be involved in so many extra things.

When you’re not in class, you’re in a meeting. When you’re not in a meeting, you’re doing homework. When you’re not doing homework, you’re preparing for an exam. When you’re not doing any of these things, you’re trying to function as a normal human being- trying to pay for things, enjoy life, meet people, live up to crazy high expectations. etc. Moreover, you’re supposed to do all of this well.

The expectations can feel crushing sometimes and this can come at a cost. It can so easily lead to feeling overwhelmed, burned out, anxious, not good enough, or, especially when the days shorten and the weather gets cold, just feeling depressed.

Despite this, we can also choose to turn this burnout into opportunity.

As we get ready to break for Thanksgiving, we can use this time to become more resilient, one of the most prized qualities in any human no matter what your major is. Resilience is when a person can adapt successfully despite adversity. Better yet, it can be achieved simply by knowing the qualities and taking small steps to practice them.

Now is the perfect time to hit the reset button. Here are just a few of the key steps I talk about in my keynotes that can turn adversity into opportunity:

Go Simple:
It is difficult to relax when everything is tangled, there are too many options with too many decisions to make. Combine this with constant notifications, dings, calendar notifications and it just gets worse. This holiday season turn your FOMO into JOMO and find joy in missing out.

Be Present:
Thinking about the future is a good thing but thinking about it constantly can lead to anxiety. Use this break to think about one thing and one thing only – the present. As you surround yourself with family and friends, use your commitment to go simple to allow yourself to focus on what is in front of you.

Dump Guilt:
So many of us are unknowingly addicted to guilt and because of this, we unintentionally make so many of our decisions not by what’s best for us, but by what won’t disappoint others. This is your life full of your passions and your purpose. This holiday break identify one thing you may be doing to please someone else in your life and make the decision to let that thing go. No apologies needed. If they love you, they’ll respect you. If they don’t, it’s time to move on.