FRGN Newsletter header Dec2017

FRGN Christmas greeting2

Five Tips For Coping With Holiday Stress

     The holidays are well on their way, and we can feel the stress building. Buying and wrapping presents (heck, just affording them), time off or the lack of it, kids home for vacation, first-time college youth exerting independence to prove they are now adults, Santas on every corner, lights all over town, financial strain, families coming and going, or dealing with the loss of a loved one...
     Often we get caught up in all the hubbub of the season. Take time to slow down, focus on yourself and your needs, take a breath, spend time with the little ones and take in the magic of the season. The holidays can be a mix of many emotions - joy and happiness for some, and sadness and loneliness for others. Being with family can bring up memories or feelings or behaviors we thought we had already worked through. On the other hand, being alone can bring memories of our loved ones that we haven't had a chance to work through. Things like divorce, deployment, and distance from family can add to the complications.
     Here are a few tips to help with holiday stress:
     1. Keep it real. Face it, things won't be perfect. Plan ahead but know you can't control everything. Your life isn't a Hallmark movie (and even they have issues that arise at the most inopportune moments). Your house doesn't have to look perfect, the food may get a little burnt, siblings may still fight with each other, you may not get to spend "equal" time with both sides of the family or each person. It's okay.
     2. Routine. Keep things as regular as possible. Eat, exercise, sleep, and keep your schedule as normal as you can. Sure, there will be travel or disruptions, but you can roll with them and then get back on schedule.
     3. Think Moderation. For many of us, this time of year involves parties, food, and even alcohol. Be smart about the changes in your diet, routine, and time. Try to avoid the extremes, and the guilt that can accompany. Parents/guardians, try to help your kids understand and follow the concept of moderation.
     4. Company. Some people are alone on the holidays by choice. Others are alone by circumstance. If you are not getting together with friends or family, and you don't want to be alone, consider volunteering. Studies show that volunteering increases our "warm fuzzies" within ourselves. Plus, you'll be helping others. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, deployment, or separation, being with others can help take your mind off the absence. Then again, if you feel the need to be alone to honor their absence, you can.
     5. Take care of yourself. Sometimes taking care of yourself means saying "no" when asked to do too much. Sometimes it means giving yourself a treat. Sometimes it means reminiscing about loved ones and other times. Sometimes it means taking a step back and reminding yourself about who you are now when you feel yourself reverting to old behaviors.

FRGN Newsletter footer leftFRGN Newsletter footer inFRGN Newsletter footer fbFRGN Newsletter footer tw