UACES Facebook HOLIDAY: Serving others can help beat holiday stress
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HOLIDAY: Serving others can help beat holiday stress

By the U of A System Division of Agriculture
Nov. 27, 2019

Fast facts

  • Service to others can help beat holiday stress
  • Know when you need help yourself

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LITTLE ROCK – Buying gifts. Cooking the big family feast. Entertaining visitors. Too often, the season of joy is a season of stress. What’s a frazzled family to do?

Brittney Schrick, extension family life specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said service to others may be the cure.

“While the obvious goal is to help those around us, acts of service also help us to stay focused on the true spirit of the holiday season,” she said, adding there are numerous studies that show people who give are happier.

Examples of giving include serving in a food bank or pantry, visiting a hospital or nursing home, shopping for an elderly or disabled neighbor, providing gifts for a local angel tree or Toys for Tots.

“Engaging in random acts of kindness are just a few examples of simple ways to serve your community,” Schrick said. “Involving family members, especially children and teens, gives the opportunity for bonding over a positive, uplifting experience and modeling an attitude of service to others.”

Be sure to look for formal opportunities for service ahead of time, especially if seeking a service opportunity on a specific holiday.

“Thanksgiving is one of the biggest volunteer days of the year, so opportunities may be limited if arrangements aren’t made in advance,” she said. “Consider when, where, and how to best serve your community.”

Flip side

Schrick saidthere’s a flip side to this, too:

“Accept help if you are the one who needs it,” she said.

“This could be financial, emotional, or other help,” she said. “Sometimes we allow pride or shame to dictate our willingness to accept help from others, but everyone needs help sometimes. If this is your time, accept the offered help and look for ways to pay it forward to someone else who may need it later.”

For more information on managing stress contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.   


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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2006