Navigating the holiday season

December 18, 2017

Written by Lt. Lorrine Martinez, Coast Guard Safety Program Management Division

The timeline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be one of the most stressful times of year. All too often we overwork ourselves trying to make everyone else happy. We stress over getting the perfect gifts, not having enough money, making the perfect holiday dinner, and having the perfect holiday party. We work too many hours and don’t spend enough time with family  —  or work to avoid family drama.

We can lose the meaning of the moment and the message: being thankful; appreciative; humble; and giving. Giving is not synonymous with money or materialism. It can be altruistic or introspective in nature: volunteering to give time to a charity or cause you believe in; taking an extra moment to show love and appreciation to those around you; and reflecting on who you are as a person.

As we close out this season, take stock of who you have been this year. Are you living the way you want? Do your actions align with your words? What kind of behavior are you modeling to others? It’s never too late to realize you need to take better care of yourself, your family, your community or the environments around you by making positive changes that impact the now.

Soon people will start talking about resolutions and looking forward to what’s next. However, as we wrap up 2017, take a moment and reflect over the past year to assess your passions, purposes, goals, and needs to drive your actions for the future.

Tips to Holiday Responsibly:

Manage stress – don’t overtax yourself or your finances and take time to decompress.

Don’t drink and drive – you put yourself and others at unnecessary risk; take a cab or local driving services to get home.

Get together – many of us are unable to be with loved ones during this time for various reasons. There are other activities that one can engage in though: volunteer; go on a trip; or spend the holiday with friends.

Coast Guard members, Selected Reserve, civilian employees, and dependent family members are always encouraged to contact CG SUPRT at any time for help with a wide range of mental health and other life concerns, such as depression, relationship issues, and work stress.



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