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January 25, 2022

12/17/2021 2:29:00 PM
Be mindful of holiday stress
A couple weeks ago, I took part in a online discussion forum with the Southwest Wisconsin Behavioral Health Partnership through SWCAP. It discussed Holidays and Stress. While we know that the Holidays can be a joyful uplifting time for many, it can be a stressful and not so joyous time for others.
Why is that you ask? Things just happen. In fact, it may be around the time that someone you know has lost a loved one, or the holidays bring back traumatic memories for another person. Or it may be, it may bring a sense of loneliness.
Whatever these reasons are, just know you are not alone and it's ok to acknowledge that the holidays can be stressful. After last year's holidays tapping the breaks on having get togethers, some may be apprehensive to having get togethers again, given there is a new COVID-19 variant amongst us. I know, just what we want to hear for the holidays....not!
Here are some important things to know this holiday season
1. Acknowledge your feelings-if you are missing someone very close or you are not yet ready to partake in gatherings due to the pandemic let me say this loud and clear. That is ok. It is not only ok to acknowledge those feelings, it perhaps may be necessary. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season, nor can you force someone suffering to choose happiness. The gift of empathy for others is a wonderful non material gift.
2. Reach out. I know, rural culture has the tendency to have us "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and keep pushing on." While that may be intended to support someone, it can become harmful especially if your loved one is facing some tough circumstances. You want people to feel safe talking to you? I suggest letting them know that they can always reach out to you, the favor may be returned someday.
The Southwest Behavioral Health Partnership is offering a series of Holiday Stress and Loneliness Community virtual cthat will highlight on possible stressors of the Holidays and it will be a safe space. There is no registration required and it is facilitated by Roger Reynolds. Please contact Bridget at or 608-341-6608 or sign up at
The next dates are Tuesday, Dec 14 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec 18 at 9:30 a.m.
I would highly recommend it if you are able to.

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