Not only is it getting darker and darker in our part of the hemisphere but we are missing family, friends and loved ones that are around the world. We are looking back at our year and have seen changes we may or may not like. We are looking ahead wondering what the year ahead will have in store for us.
According to Military OneSource there are ways to manage seasonal stresses without canceling the holiday season altogether! Here are a few suggestions:
- Be realistic. Few of us have ideal families, unlimited resources or perfect lives. Stop putting pressure on yourself to magically create a perfect scenario during the holidays.
- Communicate. Families often stick to rituals that are stress-producing or have lost their original pleasure. Talk to your loved ones about what has meaning for you at this time in your life.
- Take care of yourself. Don’t overextend yourself to the point that a pleasure turns into a burden. Set limits in terms of your commitments so that you have time for rest, exercise, good nutrition and quality time with loved ones.
- Be independent. It’s easy to get caught up with trying to compete with others because of the intense commercial hype surrounding the holidays. Think for yourself. Make plans that feel right for you. Organize a group and go caroling at a local hospital or nursing home. Give gifts, eat, drink and socialize on your terms.
- Plan ahead. Take inventory of past failures and disappointments and plan differently this year. Ask for support and assistance from family members so that no one is overtaxed.
- Be creative. Make your own traditions. Focus more on spirituality and interpersonal closeness rather than on materialism and over-consumption.
Here's another point. "Family members and loved ones are often the first to realize a Veteran may need help." What about the veteran in your life? Is he struggling? Is she more then just a little blue?
Military Crisis Line: Support Whenever You Need It
During the holiday season if you or someone you know is struggling with a relationship, anxiety or other personal issues help is available. Service members, along with their loved ones can go to the Military Crisis Line for free, confidential support 24/7. http://www.veteranscrisisline.
Did you read that? Service members and their loved ones. I don't care if you are the husband or the wife, the Blue Star Mom, the military-brat, the"tough" marine, the lonely sailor, an airman or just not feeling quite so strong-soldier: If you are feeling more then just the winter-blues give the Crisis Line a call or you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Let's make the season merry. Reach out to a friend in need with a plate of cookies, a mug of coffee, or just a smile and a listening ear. There is joy in the season and if you can't find it you can find help!
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com
Leanne is an Army Spouse, an Air Force Brat and an advocate for our military-families. She enjoys helping our military families find the resources they need to empower themselves. She is the mother of four boys, a child of God, and a very proud American.