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Eight tips for surviving the “Holi-daze” as a unique learner
Katie Stalter

It’s easy for anyone to feel kind of off during the busy days of the holiday season. You know as a unique learner that some things during the holidays may feel even more difficult for you.

Whether it’s sensory overload, a change in routine, foods you don’t like or family members who may not understand your challenges, navigating this season may feel overwhelming. Khloe Getman, counselor/school psychologist at Miriam High School, is here to help.

Here are Mrs. Getman's eight tips to survive the “Holi-daze”

  1. Be present in the moment: Whether you are at home or visiting friends/relatives, do your best to take in what is happening in that moment in time. Try not to spend too much time on your phone, playing video games or on other devices.

  2. Eat well: During the holidays, it is easy to eat too many unhealthy foods. It is ok to eat some of these things, but remember to eat foods that are healthy for you, as well.

  3. Accept change: As families grow and change, traditions and what you would “normally” do during the holidays may change. Try to be patient and OK with new situations.

  4. Stay active: Exercise, even a 10-minute walk, can improve your mental and physical health. Taking time to get moving can boost your mood.

  5. Be considerate of others: Remember that your family and friends look forward to spending time with you during the holidays. Try keeping a positive attitude and stepping out of your comfort zone to create meaningful moments with them.

  6. Accept your feelings: When you have difficult feelings, allow yourself to notice them without being hard on yourself. Try using calming strategies or talking with someone to help you work through them.

  7. Rest: Relaxation and sleep are important for your health. Make sure you are getting some down time and getting plenty of sleep each night.

  8. Set boundaries: It’s important for you to have boundaries when it comes to how much you participate in during the holidays. If you are feeling overwhelmed and/or exhausted, let someone know so you can take a break.

Give yourself – and others around you – some grace! This can be challenging and exhausting. But it is also a time of joy, family and fun. Enjoy it! Happy Holidays to you and your families!


A photo of Meg Bamford

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Read about the Head of Miriam’s personal experience with sensory overload during the holidays.

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Tips to help navigate the holidays with children who have sensory needs

Winter break is a time for celebration, but for children with sensory processing disorder, the disruptions to routines and increased stimuli can pose unique challenges.

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Wishing you a very happy holiday season! The holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa this month offer a sense of seasonal joy, hope, community, tradition and affirmation of what is truly important. We long for family and friends to create sweet moments together and reminisce on times gone by.

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