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Coping this Holiday Season

Coping this Holiday Season


As we enter the holiday season, we want you to know we are thinking of you. For some, the holidays can be a time of joy and celebration; for others, it can be a time of sadness and isolation. We recognize that it can be difficult for some veterans to reach out for help, and others prefer to give support. A helpful way to cope with the holidays is to set simple expectations for the holiday season, begin to identify any triggers that may occur during this time of year and increase healthy responses to the feelings that arise.

Below are some tips for coping this holiday season:

  • Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
  • Getting out and around people helps to curb the Holiday blues. Consider volunteering for non-profit organizations or visiting a nursing home to remember the spirit of giving for the holidays.
  • Get involved with community service.
  • Find opportunities to increase your natural support during the holidays; for example, spend time with people who support you, such as friends.
  • Connect with someone you have lost touch with.
  • If you are feeling grief or loss, acknowledge them.
  • Recognize and accept that both positive and negative feelings may be experienced during the holidays and that this is NORMAL.
  • Recognize and reframe unrealistic expectations.
  • Remember, it’s okay to say “no” and not attend every function.
  • Maintain a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Eat and drink in moderation.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Go outdoors and be active.
  • Pace yourself with commitments and activities so you remain regulated.
  • Plan ahead. Set priorities and budgets before the holidays. Plan a calendar for shopping, baking, visiting and other events. Create a “To-do list” if things get overwhelming.
  • Give priority to gifts that can’t be bought–such as time, support and sharing of memories.


If you or someone you love is having a hard time, experiencing a crisis, or need someone to talk to immediately, the Montgomery County Mobile Crisis Team is available 24/7 at 1-855-634-4673. There is no wrong reason to call. If you identify yourself or your loved one as a Veteran, they can assist with connections to a Veteran crisis worker and the Montgomery County Veterans Response Team.

Montgomery County’s Peer Support Talk Line is also available 1:00p-9:00p daily at 855-715-8255 (call) or 267-225-7785 (text). Connect with someone who has lived experience with mental health and crisis.
Anyone can dial 9-8-8 at any time from anywhere in the United States to be connected to a crisis hotline. Veterans Press 1 or text 8388255.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 for immediate emergency response.


Sponsored by and in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Program at the Veteran Coatesville VAHMC VISN 4