We get it, Soldiers. If you already have a million things going on, or if funds are tight, the thought of adding holiday activities to your already busy schedule may be overwhelming.
Even if the holidays are your favorite time of year, try to be mindful that it may be stressful for others, and lend a helping hand where you can.
If you are feeling stressed and want to reduce holiday burdens, try these four tips from Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization that provides free behavioral health services to members of the military and their families. And if you find yourself needing some support during the holiday season, Give an Hour is here to help you at no cost.
1. Ask for help. You don’t have to be a superhero this holiday season. Reach out for help from family and friends, and be specific about your needs. Ask a family member to watch the kids while you get some holiday shopping done or attend a holiday event. See if a neighbor or friend can help you wrap presents. It’s ok to depend on your close family, friends, and other loved ones to help you. We all need help sometimes.
2. Don’t try to do everything. Be firm with your limits. If you can’t find the time, energy, or money to travel to visit relatives, say so. If the thought of cooking a holiday meal is completely overwhelming, have relatives bring food too.
3. Give back. Look for opportunities to help others in need. The act of giving improves our mood and can lift our spirits. Check out these easy acts of kindness that will quickly put you in a better mood.
4. Don’t spend a ton of money. Reduce financial stress by avoiding the temptation to spend beyond your means, and instead focus on “gifts from the heart” (think photo albums, written messages, and homemade items). Your friends or family member (and your wallet) will thank you!
- Learn about the power of meditation to help you reduce stress in five minutes.
- Contact Give an Hour to connect with a free behavioral health provider at any time of year.
- If you are experiencing a crisis or know someone who is, call 911 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1 to talk to someone immediately).