The Best Tips For Veterans On Avoiding Stress During The Holidays by David Wilcox
Friday, December 9th, 2016 @ 1:20PM
Photo via Pixabay by TPSDave
For many people, the holidays are more than just a time to get together with family and friends. This time of year can bring about stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and bad memories for veterans and those who live with PTSD, and it’s important to know how to cope with those feelings and combat them.
One of the most important things to do is to take care of yourself. Depression and other mood disorders are difficult to fight when you feel bad physically and mentally, so make sure you carve out some time to do things that relax you or make you feel good. After that, it’s mostly a matter of planning well and learning how to reach out.
Here are a few of the best tips for getting through the difficult holiday hours.
Get enough rest
Sleep is enormously important for our bodies and minds, so if you’re having trouble with it, don’t hesitate to consult a counselor or therapist. If you believe it might be something you can change on your own, try cutting out television or computer time at least an hour before bed; watching a screen can have a big impact on your sleep cycle. Watch your caffeine and refined sugar intake, as well, as these can interrupt sleep too.
Many veterans feel their best when they’re helping people. Check out your local homeless shelter or children’s hospital to see what their needs are and get involved. The holidays are always a time when less fortunate individuals are in need of warm clothing, food, and toy donations.
It might be tempting to stay inside during the coldest months, but nature can be beautiful during this time of year. Bundle up and go for a daily walk, or if you prefer, head to the YMCA and go for a swim in the indoor pool. Staying active will help your body feel better and will give you a goal to achieve, as well as keeping your mood elevated and your mind focused.
Learn new skills
If you have a hard time relaxing, look for new ways to do so. Meditation and yoga are highly recommended for veterans and individuals who suffer from anxiety and PTSD, and they can be done from the comfort of your own home. You might also get into the habit of taking a long, hot shower before bed.
Getting creative is another way you can relax. Writing, cooking, and making art are just a few of the ways you might express yourself and learn to let go of some of the tension the holidays bring.
The holidays don’t have to be stressful. Learning new ways to cope with your feelings and express yourself can truly help you get through even the most difficult times.