The holiday season can be more of a time of stress than celebration if we let it. This time of year can simply be overwhelming with demands and obligations rather than being a time of cheer or peace. When we are immersed in shopping, cooking, cleaning, traveling, house-guests, family reunions, office parties and worrying about finances, it is easy to become less than cheerful and not enjoy the holidays. It can also be a time of loneliness and depression when we remember loved ones who are no longer with us. I lost my dad to cancer in 2000 and his birthday is two days before Christmas. I spent many years trying to stay busy enough to forget how much I still miss him, especially around the holidays. That strategy only works for so long before you feel even worse. I now choose to cherish rather than ignore the memories as they come. While this week’s topic may not seem like a traditional “safety topic” to be covered by law enforcement, I decided to include it because stress, tension, loneliness and depression can and do unfortunately result in situations that require a police response. Sometimes “making safety a habit and not a headache” can mean managing your stress so you too can experience a little more comfort and joy.
Be reasonable with your schedule and do not overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion. It can make you grouchy and stressed out and where is the cheer in that?
- Plan ahead so you are not overwhelmed but relax and go with the flow when things don’t necessarily work out as planned.
- Give yourself the gift of some “me time”. It can be exercise, meditation, massage, reading or a good nap. Take time out to do what makes you feel better and reduces your stress.
- If you are feeling lonely or isolated, reach out for support and companionship. Check out community, spiritual and social events or volunteer your time. You can lift your spirits helping others while building new relationships along the way.
- If you find yourself overcome with feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression, seek professional help. Reach out to your doctor, a counselor or a crisis hotline. If you need emergency assistance, please call 911.