HomeNewsCommentariesDisplay

Dealing with holiday stress

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- It's that time of year again. All things pumpkin spice become all things peppermint; television networks start showing nostalgic, holiday-themed movies; in northwest Florida, we complain about cold weather while the rest of the country actually deals with winter; and I write the holiday stress mental health message.

My challenge, of course, is to write something of value not already heard or read ad nauseam. This can be a real challenge, considering the main stressors this time of year remain relatively constant.

Finances

I should recommend to create and stick to a holiday budget, spend time with loved ones instead of spending money on presents, and consider thrifty options when gift shopping. If you do these things effectively, then you should be writing me advice -- not the other way around.

No matter how well I plan and budget, I find myself blindsided by unexpected expenses beyond gifts. There are holiday cards, parties, meals out, entertainment events, and postage I consistently fail to consider. Some strategies can help with damage control, though.

I maintain my year-round savings habits by setting up automatic, online funds transfers into retirement and savings accounts, and limit (or eliminate) credit cards with high interest ratings. I also create a "tighten the belt" plan for early January to help me recover from the holiday expenses. If anyone needs help managing holiday spending, make an appointment with a financial advisor or go to the nearest Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Family

I adore my family. The more I miss them, the more I adore them. Each year, I approach the holidays longing to reconnect with my siblings, parents, nieces and nephews. By Jan. 2, I cannot wait to get away from them again. Time with family can be simultaneously wonderful and fulfilling and frustratingly stressful. We can get overwhelmed if we forget to schedule in personal time or "little getaways" when visiting with family. For me, an afternoon spent in the bookstore or at a local Brazilian jiujitsu school can help me get some downtime, remember that I really do love these people, and re-engage renewed and happy.

Without scheduled breaks, I get irritable and relationships begin to rapidly deteriorate. Figure out what you need in order to manage family visits and protect it because it matters.

Coping with sadness

For many people, the winter holidays and New Year's celebration carries meaning and/or memories that can conjure feelings of sadness, anxiety or grief. I hesitate to call these negative emotions because in certain circumstances they can be not only appropriate, but helpful. However, for some, these feelings can seem overwhelming, especially when juxtaposed with the happiness and cheer they see around them.

First, know that feeling down is perfectly normal from time to time. Do not forget we are resilient, even when we do not necessarily feel that way. Also, "timeouts" are perfectly acceptable. Just like with family visits, temporarily disengaging from holiday cheer can provide a much needed break and enable you to reconnect with renewed excitement and joy.

If feeling overwhelmed with holiday stress, or notice that a wingman does not seem to be coping well, reach out for help. Talk to friends, family, chaplain or mental health providers.

Accompany the wingman to a helping professional, if she/he refuses to go alone. If confused about the difference between family advocacy and Airman and Family Readiness Center, just go to any helping agency. We will get you where you need to go. The most important thing is just get the support you or your wingman need.

Engage

Twitter
The 23rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, will be the first to receive the new system.… https://t.co/UsQNUTdoNE
Twitter
New EOD robots are coming 🤖 Over the next 16-18 months, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center will deliver 333 high… https://t.co/wCmAo5GzDm
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: (3 of 3) What commercial #deeptech project should @usairforce and @SpaceForceDoD start next? What else should we consider? 🤔…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: (2 of 3) What commercial #deeptech project should @usairforce and @SpaceForceDoD start next? What else should we consider?…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: (1 of 3) @usairforce is investing $100M with tech startups to make flying cars real. Today's AMA discussed what commercial #…
Twitter
Airmen conduct emergency landing training with a CV-22 Osprey hovering above a set of reinforced mattress pads… https://t.co/FU4ruU2l6k
Twitter
Join Dr. Will Roper for an Ask Me Anything on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. It will focus on Deep Tech & Moonshots: H… https://t.co/7b869MxbYz
Twitter
Day of the Deployed - highlighting a hero Today is National Day of the Deployed, and we're recognizing Master Sgt… https://t.co/QODfSgoVMp
Twitter
Maintaining a #ReadyAF, strengthening partnerships and securing the nation. https://t.co/ALo8RzqfBl
Twitter
Taking care of Airmen and their families. #TotalForce #Resiliency https://t.co/GYAl6bMEkQ
Twitter
What does anxiety look like? Capt. Lindsay Cordero uses art to express herself and counter anxiety during #COVID19https://t.co/Zli3P9gY4Z
Twitter
Join Dr. Will Roper for an Ask Me Anything on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. It will focus on Deep Tech & Moonshots: H… https://t.co/xw1hPTEf8q
Twitter
Keep fighting! Keep improving! Never Give Up! 💪 #Resilient #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/lyPHBhxLsL
Twitter
In trying times, #USAF readiness remains. Aviano Air Base's 606th Air Control Squadron deployed Airmen and assets… https://t.co/C1DS0qxLAl
Twitter
Keeping our technological advantage. #InnovativeAF https://t.co/10yOg5g0nX
Twitter
Night ops in support of @SecAFOfficial's Arctic Strategy. Airmen train on nighttime airborne ops at Joint Base Elm… https://t.co/2RTLbL26A6
Twitter
Join Dr. Will Roper for an Ask Me Anything on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. It will focus on Deep Tech & Moonshots: H… https://t.co/JzXk2G7gTE
Twitter
Strengthening international partnerships. #ReadyAF https://t.co/XPKWn6rx5Z
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,297,484
Follow Us