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Navigating a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Man sitting in forest with earbuds.

As we approach the holiday season, we understand this time of year can bring a unique set of challenges, especially for Veterans.

Managing stress during this time of year is crucial for overall well-being, and we want to ensure that Veterans and their families experience a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate and mitigate stress:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations:

   Set achievable goals and priorities for the holidays. Understand that perfection is not the goal, and it's okay to ask for help or delegate tasks.


2. Create a Support System:

   Reach out to friends, family, or fellow Veterans. Sharing experiences and feelings can provide a sense of camaraderie and support during this time.


3. Self-Care Matters:

   Take time for self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it's enjoying a quiet moment, reading a book, or engaging in a favorite hobby, prioritize activities that recharge your mind and body.


4. Plan Ahead:

   Reduce last-minute stress by planning ahead. This includes organizing travel arrangements, shopping, and any other holiday-related tasks. A well-thought-out plan can alleviate the pressure associated with the season.


5. Connect with Resources:

   If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, remember that resources and support are available. Reach out to Veteran support organizations, counseling services, or local community groups that can provide assistance.


Remember, your well-being is important, and we encourage you to take the time you need to relax and enjoy the holidays. Thank you for your dedication and service to our nation.

The following resources are available to help you manage holiday, or every day, stress:

Healthy Living Message webpage: Manage Stress
Information on ways to process stress and maintain your best health.

Manage Stress Workbook
The Stress Management Workbook can be used to help Veterans track stress and develop useful coping skills. 

Veterans Health Library - Manage Stress Content
Explore how stress impacts your health and identify more productive ways to cope.

PTSD Resources
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that people may develop after experience or witnessing a traumatic event. Treatment and support are available. PTSD: National Center for PTSD Home.

Manage Stress Apps
Check out some of our free apps to add to your stress management plan! Mobile Apps - National Center for PTSD.

Whole Health Mindfulness Resources
Mindfulness means purposefully paying attention to the present moment. It can help Veterans and their loved ones see things as they really are by observing—but not judging—their experiences.

If you or someone you know is in emotional crisis, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line. Dial 988 then Press 1. You can also text 838255 or chat online at 

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