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Be prepared to deal with holiday stress

      As the holiday season approaches, you may be filled with excitement and enthusiasm.  Or just the opposite, you may be filled with anxiety and exhaustion. 

      If you have a holiday schedule like most people, it's filled with events you should attend and events you'd like to attend. 

Available resources include...

      For more information about coping with holiday stress, call Army Community Service (ACS) at (608) 388-3505.

      The following Web sites also have more information about stress.

      Here are some suggestions to cope with the extra holiday pressures that you and your loved ones may be feeling.


    Effective family communication is a coping resource not to be overlooked. The hectic pace of the holidays and our changing schedules can result in ineffective communication with those whom we most need to be communicating with.

      Effective communicating requires families to listen to each other.  Focus on the speaker.  Be open to hearing and respecting what the other person is saying.  Repeat what has been said to you to be sure that what you heard is what the other person said.  Finally be open to not only the spoken word but also to the underlying meaning.  

 Reduce Your Obligations

       Decide which holiday traditions have true meaning for you and your family and which ones you keep because of habit.

       Which social activities are fun?  Which ones do you attend because you feel obligated?

       Which gifts did you like shopping for and giving and which ones did you feel required giving?

       Look at your lists. Eliminate those traditions that are done out of habit rather than because they have meaning.  Eliminate social activities that you do not enjoy.  When you are faced with an activity that you would like to eliminate and cannot, adjust your thinking and find a way to make it fun.  Develop a gift-spending budget and stick to it. 


      If you feel like there's so much to do that it's hard to get to sleep . Learn to relax!  Give yourself some quiet time.  Buy some relaxation tapes or do some visualization.  Imagine yourself on a tropical beach, listen to the waves, feel the wind on your face, and the sun warming you.  Or, try taking a warm bath before bed.


      One of the best ways to deal with holiday stress is to find humor in things. Tell a funny story about yourself; learn to laugh with your family.  Laughter helps us let go of the tension from our bodies and minds.

(Submitted by Army Community Service.)


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