Beat Holiday Stress with Five Tips for Success
Whether it’s finding the perfect gift for the office Secret Santa exchange or facing a tense family gathering, the holiday season can be stressful for many. To help everyone get through the rest of the season with holiday cheer, Mason Wire turned to our own expert on happiness, 2010 Alumni Association Faculty of the Year Todd Kashdan, an associate professor in Mason’s psychology department and author of Curious?.
In his five tips for success, Kashdan notes that with the human ability to adapt quickly to life events, it can be difficult to hold on to long-lasting pleasure and meaning from positive events. “Soon after we reach a milestone, we start to crave something else,” he writes.
Yet learning to savor positive happenings and being open and receptive to what is happening in the present make a difference, Kashdan says, as does living by your values and recognizing who you are and your personality type. The last is particular important—if a person is not cheerful or outgoing by nature, forcing themselves into those moods will not improve their situation. He advises readers not to feel guilty for failing to be positive. Some of us just aren’t made that way, and a defensive pessimism is a valid coping strategy, too, according to Kashdan. Especially if you’re sitting in holiday traffic on the Beltway.
Read Kashdan’s five tips here.
True Patriots Wear Their Mason Gear
Good things often happen when alumni wear their Mason hats, sweatshirts, or t-shirts. Just ask Ted Arnn, BS`93 who wore his Mason Patriots’ hat while recently vacationing in Maine. Entering an intriguing establishment named The Man Store of Bar Harbor, Arnn surprised its owner, John Willett, BS `78, who was not accustomed to seeing fellow alumni walk into his store. The two chatted about Mason, the 2006 trip to Indianapolis for the Final Four—which both attended—and then they got out Willett’s computer, clicked into the Alumni Association website and Arnn showed Willett his current status as immediate past-president of the Alumni Association. Both men are loyal Mason basketball supporters and vowed to meet again at an upcoming game or tournament.
Speaking of basketball tournaments, the Charleston Classic (Nov. 18-21) attracted Mason alumni and fans from across the country—all of whom were also wearing Mason Green and Gold. Just ask Tom O’Connor, VP for Athletics, who encountered William Rice, BA `91, and his wife, Cheryl Rice, BA `88 and JD `91, while out walking in the city of Charleston. Noticing his Mason hat, the Rices approached O’Connor and introduced themselves. Discovering that the Rices were on vacation in Charleston from their home in Tennessee and that they were unaware of the tournament scheduled that weekend, O’Connor invited them to be his guests at the university event scheduled that evening. Excited to be included in Mason’s festivities at the Charleston Classic, the Rices soon found themselves surrounded by fellow alumni cheering for the Patriots and sporting their Mason gear. They even made a connection with another alumnus from Knoxville and plan to keep in touch with him.