WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holidays are not always an easy time. Even the happiest of get-togethers may bring feelings of stress. For service members returning home, the added stress of reintegration can be hard to balance with the events of the holiday season.
The Real Warriors Campaign (www.realwarriors.net) offers tools, tips and resources to strengthen service members, veterans and military families coping with invisible wounds. To best manage stress and enjoy the happiness of the holiday season, check out our four tips for staying connected with family, friends and yourself over the holidays.
Stay Connected with Family
- Prepare Mentally – decide what you feel comfortable talking about at family gatherings or holiday parties. It is okay if you need to remove yourself from a conversation if you start to feel uncomfortable.
- Continue Holiday Traditions – engage in your favorite holiday traditions with your loved ones (music, dancing, decorating, holiday lights).
Stay Connected with Military Friends
- Keep in Touch – contact your military family by attending community events, making a phone call to a friend you served with or sending a letter to a deployed service member. Your fellow warriors can understand your experiences. This will help ease the stress of returning home.
Stay Connected with Yourself
- Keep a Balanced Lifestyle – stay healthy by taking care of your body and mind. Make sure to eat the right foods, fuel your body, and watch your alcohol consumption (http://www.realwarriors.net/active/treatment/nutrition.php).
- Practice Mindfulness Meditation – Learn mindfulness techniques to help think about the present to decrease tension to improve coping with psychological health concerns (http://www.realwarriors.net/active/treatment/mindfulness-meditation.php).
- Seek Help – If you are experiencing holiday stress, or coping with psychological health concerns, visit the campaign's Seek Help 24/7 page (http://www.realwarriors.net/seek-help.php) to find resources for psychological health care, including crisis support.
- Get Professional Support – contact a trained health resource consultant at the DCoE Outreach Center for support 24/7. You can call 866-966-1020 or go to the Real Warriors Live Chat (www.realwarriors.net/livechat).
Spend this holiday season with loved ones and know there is a support system behind you every step of the way. Remember, with invisible wounds – you don't have to go it alone.
SOURCE The Real Warriors Campaign