Category: <span>Stress</span>

8 Ways to Enrich Your Holidays with More Comfort & Joy


By ,

This time of year, we’re used to reading about holiday blues and holiday stress. Contrary to popular belief, however, anxiety, depression, and suicide rates do not rise during the holidays. The CDC, Mayo Clinic, and other research institutions have found no link between holidays and increased depression and suicide. (Read more here.)

Nevertheless, holidays do knock some of us off balance. Between family gatherings, pressure to spend money, kids coming back from college, work disruption, and other holiday-related events, we may forget that holidays are supposed to be about comfort and joy.

Here are eight ways to embrace the true meaning of the season and focus on increasing joy, love, and peace. Read more



by Marsha Wilkinson, LCSW

Stress and anxiety cause physiological changes to occur in our bodies which affect our ability to relax, sleep well, and enjoy our lives.  One of the most powerful ways to reduce these is through sensory outlets. Do any activities together that create laughter and/or body movement. Here are a few ideas; Finger paint, with your kitchen counter as the canvas (You can use instant pudding instead of paint for an easy clean up).  Create pictures with chalk outside on your driveway or walk way. Build a snowman or snow family or fort together. Go walking, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. If a child is inside see how many jumping Jack’s they can do (this will release a lot of anxiety stuck inside a child that they don’t know how to verbalize) You can also see how far they can run up and down the block.   Make play dough or bread dough and just play with it. Make music together (create instruments out of household items).Watch funny movies that make you laugh. Go to the local animal shelter and walk the dogs or pet the cats. Do any art or creative expression (with no directions being used) this allows the body and mind to release whatever is problematic.

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Helping Veterans

David Wood
The Huffington Post
Senior Military Correspondent
11/11/2014 07:28 am 07:28:39 | Updated Feb 01, 2016

It’s been five years since Jacob Sexton, a soldier with the Indiana National Guard, came home with nightmares after two combat deployments, and on a Monday evening in a movie theater with family and friends, killed himself with a pistol shot. He was 21-years-old.

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By Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News Staff
Posted Feb. 16, 2016, at 6:57 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 16, 2016, at 5:51 p.m.

Scott Couture joined the Army Reserves in 1999 because it was the right thing to do for his country — and for his family.

With one young son and another on the way, enlisting in a military police unit seemed like both “a good deal” and a relatively safe way to get serious about supporting a growing family. At the time, the 94th Military Police Company hadn’t been deployed since the first Gulf War.

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Fear and PTSD

Fear Itself
The Economist
Oct 24th 2015 | From the print edition

ONE night in 2009 Jennifer Hopper and her fiancée, Teresa Butz, woke to find a man standing over them with a knife in his hand. He raped them both and killed Ms Butz with a stab through the heart. Ms Hopper was left with scars from slash wounds to her throat and arms. Her mental wounds healed more slowly. She became petrified of the dark and her sleep was disturbed by nightmares of intruders. A tap on the shoulder left her terrified. She could not get into her car: during the attack her worst fear had been that their assailant would drive them somewhere they would never be found.

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