by Maj. Gen. Anthony R. Hale, Fort Huachuca and U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence commanding general
The Army is a great proponent of resiliency. We believe that all individuals are valued members of the Army Team and essential to mission readiness. As the holiday season approaches, it can bring joy and excitement for many, but it can also be a sad and stressful time. Stressors can involve traveling, accommodating holiday visitors, planning large and elaborate meals, buying presents, decorating, and feelings of loss for those loved ones who are no longer with us.
During the holiday season, it’s important for us to find ways to stay resilient. Remember, resilience is a process that requires you to embrace productive behaviors, thoughts, and actions, and they can be learned. It prepares you to deal with life’s challenges by giving you the ability to cope with adversity, adapt to change, and thrive under new conditions. Here are a few tips from the Army Resilience Directorate that can help you manage and reduce stress during the holiday season:
Stay present – by staying in the present moment, we can deal with reality as it exists, which helps reduce worry and anxiety.
Control the controllables – while remaining in the present, there are things you can do something about and some that you can’t. Recognize what you can control and what you can’t so that you do not waste your time, effort, and energy.
Remember your “why” – why are you hosting family members, cooking a big meal, buying gifts for your kids? Remind yourself why you have chosen those behaviors and how they align with your values like family, kindness, and selflessness.
Communicate confidently, clearly and in a controlled manner – whatever is going on will likely involve other people, and they may not be someone that you talk to on a regular basis. Even though you may have a house filled with people you love, you may not have the same life experiences, and this may cause misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Remember to breathe – if you experience powerful emotions that are difficult to handle, or suffer from the physical symptoms of stress, stop, and take a few deliberate breaths.
Don’t allow stressors to interfere with how you create wonderful memories with family and friends this holiday season.