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5 Tips For Surviving the Holidays With a Dysfunctional Family

The holidays are coming up. A time for laughter, relaxing, feeling thankful and mainly, spending time with loved ones. Or so it would seem in the movies.

In reality, the Christmas blues affect many of us that go home to dysfunctional families and instead of feeling relaxed after a busy semester, you end up feeling more stressed and irritated than when you were batting out that term paper at 3AM. And so, with Christmas, often comes a myriad of mental health issues and a resurgence of old wounds that you’d rather forget.

While the love we have for our families may be very real, the stress and anxiety that comes with spending weeks in their company can sometimes be a real struggle.

So, we’ve come up with a few top tips on how to deal with those holiday blues and safeguard your mental health when spending Christmas time with a dysfunctional family.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

At this time of year, we are supposed to be having a holly jolly time, so what do you do when the atmosphere at home is anything but merry?

Don’t put pressure on yourself if you find yourself feeling down or anxious, rather, accept the way you are feeling and work from there. Don’t try to force yourself to feel emotions that just aren’t natural.

Give yourself space

A common problem for all college students during the holiday season is the sudden lack of freedom that comes with being back home. And when there is extended family around every corner, it can be even harder to find time to yourself.

However, when dealing with feelings that come with having a dysfunctional family, it’s even more important to take some time out. Offering to do small tasks that get you out the house or taking yourself on walks will help clear your head and sneak some alone time into the hectic weeks.

Don’t have expectations

Don’t use the holidays as time for healing old wounds or expecting change, but for acceptance and taking joy in the simple things.

While many of us wish for the holidays to look like a Hallmark movie, the reality is often different. You’ll find the whole season to be more enjoyable if you practise acceptance for your situation and experience pleasant surprises that you weren’t expecting throughout the holidays.

Confide in someone

Arrange to keep in contact with a friend during the holidays. Keeping in contact with a friend from college for example, can help you keep in touch of your own life and stop you getting sucked into the whirlwind of family dysfunction. Telling them about a particularly irritating family dinner can relieve pressure and may also help you laugh at the situation. You can even debrief with a member of the family who you find gets you better than others, and agree to have each others back.

Be an individual

If you feel pressure to impress your family, do your best to let it go. At the end of the day, you’ll find the holidays go a lot smoother when you are at peace with yourself and stop trying to impress the unimpress-able. Remember that you still have value if your family doesn’t appreciate you, and keep in touch with people from outside the family to help you feel more grounded.

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Does carrying your heavy skis to the slopes put a damper on your ski experience?

College News is about to introduce you to Ski-Z, a pocket-sized ski tote designed to ROLL your skis!

This amazing invention is quickly becoming the center of attention in ski industries around the world. It was recently unveiled on ABC’s famous Shark Tank and has been picking up massive speed in sales ever since.

Ski-Z is designed with a single wheel that simply attaches to the front of your skis with a handy Velcro strap. You can push it, pull it and turn it on a dime!

Ski-Z is the world’s first patented ski device designed to ROLL your skis, and it’s hitting the market NOW!

Kyle Allen is the inventor of this clever device, and we found his story intriguing.

Kyle came up with the clever idea of Ski-Z while he was on a family ski trip. His three daughters were young and not strong enough to carry their own skis, so he offered to carry them.

In the middle of his struggle to the slopes, he found himself thinking, “There must be an easier way!”

That night, he started brainstorming and found himself searching the web trying to find a solution to his problem. To his surprise, he found nothing!

Following his research, he went into his daughter’s closet, found a pair of rollerblades, and took them apart piece by piece. He took one of the wheels and looked for small gadgets around the house that would allow him to attach the wheel to his skis. Later, he took his homemade ski tote to have a molding created.

Last July, Kyle and his wife Tanya were in Denver, at a restaurant having dinner. Tanya asked her entrepreneur husband what project he wanted to focus on next. Kyle said his dream was to get his invention Ski-Z on the TV show Shark Tank.

Tanya reached for her phone and looked up Shark Tank audition dates and locations. They were shocked to find out that the last auditions for the year were one week from that day, and they were going to be held right there in Denver!

They quickly called their friend and business partner Nick Palermo. He was onboard to be on the show and “the next five months were crazy!”

From the first audition in Aspen, Colorado, to the live filming of Shark Tank in Culver City, California, Team Ski-Z were unstoppable! Their pitch was a huge success!

On December 2, they made a deal with Barbara Corcoran for $50,000 and 15 percent of their company.

Team Ski-Z and Barbara are currently on fire for Ski-Z and they are thrilled to be the first to bring Ski-Z to the students through College News!

Email info@skijunk.com. Also, please visit skijunk.com.

Volunteer For Thanksgiving

Ways to Volunteer for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is wonderful when you have a warm plate of turkey and stuffing in front of you and loved ones all around; unfortunately, not everyone gets that luxury. College is a great time for you to volunteer and experience new things—why not volunteer for Thanksgiving to make someone else’s holiday a little bit better?

Whether it’s making someone feel less lonely or giving food to the homeless, there are a great variety of schemes available for you to get involved in—it only takes a little bit of effort to make a big difference.

Feeding the homeless

The traditional way to volunteer for Thanksgiving is to help out at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. There you can help prepare or serve food as well as be there as a friend to the homeless this holiday. These kitchens are usually set up by local churches or charities, so it’s worth asking round about one in your area. These soup kitchens can be a little manic at this time of year, so expect to be shoved into an apron and thrown into the deep end! You’ll meet a wide variety of interesting people, and it might make you want to volunteer even more often.

Spend time with the elderly

There are many elderly people in America who struggle to get out of the house and may be feeling very lonely this Thanksgiving. Take the time to visit your elderly relatives over the break. Additionally, you could volunteer this Thanksgiving and visit an elderly care home and talk to the residents there—just make sure you ring up in advance to see if it will be okay for you to do so. Some places put on special events that you can help take part in, such as Thanksgiving bingo or mini-concerts where visitors sing and dance for the residents!

Spread love to our veterans

If you don’t have time to volunteer for Thanksgiving, there are alternative things you can do to help other people. A popular option is to organize care packages to send to troops overseas. Some people love to get creative with stickers and paint, making gift boxes look like a Thanksgiving explosion. If you don’t fancy that, then any soldier would at least appreciate a hand-written note. Try to focus less on edible items and forget those that won’t travel well. Instead, think about games and nick-nacks they may enjoy.

Care packages for Thanksgiving

You could also make a care package for the homeless—bulk-buy items, put them in ziplock bags and take to the streets to distribute them! You can include toothpaste, toothbrushes, snacks, menstrual products, a travel mug/plastic bottle and some cash. Don’t forget how cold it is at this time of year, especially at night on the street, so try and include some warming gloves, a scarf, a coat or some hand-warmers.

Further reading: Seven Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season