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Ways to Combat Holiday Separation

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This post was originally published in the USAA Member Community – Ways to Combat Holiday Separation

Ways to Combat Holiday Separation

By: Angela Caban

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The holidays are a wonderful time of the year in which we are surrounded by family, friends and joyous cheer. But, for a military family going through a deployment, the holidays are just another reminder of how that deployed member won’t be home.

I have spent quite a few holiday seasons without my husband, and my children without their father. While I was going through my own range of emotions, I knew that keeping the spirit of the holiday alive meant helping my children cope through their own sadness of missing daddy.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind this holiday season while combating a holiday separation:

  1. Communicate: I have always found that asking my children questions and being able to answer them, really puts them at ease. We may not always have the answer they want to hear, but letting them know that you are always there to talk really does help. I also encourage your spouse to do the same. Even if communication is hard, an email or phone call helps tremendously.
  2. Make Time: I consider the holiday season like a coin. There are happy times on one side and stressful times on the other. It really is a toss-up and you never know which side it will land on. I encourage everyone to make time for themselves. Engage in activities that help you recharge and reduce stress like exercising, going for a walk, going to the movies or inviting a friend over. Sometimes all we need is a good talk.
  3. Avoid Overspending: Spending money this time of year is hard to avoid. But don’t fall into the trap over overspending to help you feel better. What this can lead to is a depression once the bills come in. Involve the children in making homemade gifts and spend the same way you would if your spouse were home.
  4. Take One Day at a Time: You should remember that you aren’t a superhero. No one said this time of year would be easy, but you need to continue moving forward as if your spouse were home. This should not be the season of making changes. Stay focused on what’s important and meaningful to you. And don’t beat yourself up if you feel upset, recognize it as normal feelings.

Overall, remember to have realistic expectations and understand that the holidays are not supposed to be perfect. Make the best out of this time and enjoy the time to you have.
Happy Holidays!

 

Sponsored post by USAA

This post was originally published in the USAA Member Community – Ways to Combat Holiday Separation

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