Family Advocacy Spotlight: Four steps to turn stressful holidays into happy holidays!

Many of us have dreams of our “perfect” holiday season.  Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always add up to what our vision is. This can result in stress that hijacks joy and happiness from you. Remembering some simply tips can keep you from being the victim of a “happy holiday hijacking.” (U.S. Air Force graphic by Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

Many of us have dreams of our “perfect” holiday season. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always add up to what our vision is. This can result in stress that hijacks joy and happiness from you. Remembering some simple tips can keep you from being the victim of a “happy holiday hijacking.” (U.S. Air Force graphic by Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

Many of us have dreams of our “perfect” holiday season. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always add up to what our vision is. This can result in stress that hijacks joy and happiness from you.

To protect yourself from being the victim of a “happy holiday hijacking”, here are some actions you can take.

1. Set realistic expectations and keep things in perspective. Don’t let a lopsided tree or a burned turkey ruin your holiday season. Realize it’s not the end of the world and laugh your way through it.

Not enough time for everything? Prioritize what’s important and remember there will be time after the holidays for everything else. Find a local charity/community program and offer to help. Helping others may help put your own struggles in perspective.

2. If your holiday expense list is fatter than your monthly budget, scale back. Talk with family about realistic expectations and remember the holidays aren’t about expensive entertaining, gourmet food, elaborate decorations, and gifts. Remind yourself and everyone else that family, friends, and the relationships built are what matter most.

3. Let your family know that holidays are times to express gratitude, appreciation and give thanks for what you all have, including each other. If there is worry about negative conversations or arguments, focus on what you and your family have in common. Plan activities you can do together that foster good fun and laughter, like playing a family game or looking through old photo albums.

4. Take time for yourself! Others will benefit when you’re feeling less stressed. Remember that you’re only one person and can only accomplish so much. Take time to recharge you batteries; go for a long walk, enjoy a warm cup of tea, listen to your favorite music or read a new book. Take time to find some sense of joy and peace in each day. If needed, talk about your worries and concerns with close friends and family.”

Do you need someone to talk or get help with a personal problem? For helping resources in the Whiteman AFB community, visit the Striker Strong resources directory.