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Managing stress during the holiday season

Tips to enjoy Christmas this year

Written by Hallie Burt, counselor for Life Design and Maternity Services for Buckner Children and Family Services.

The stress of parenting and family dynamics can be overwhelming, especially around the holidays. During this time of year, many families and friends often come together to celebrate. For others, the holidays might be a time of loneliness or filled with memories of people we wish were still with us. While the holidays are filled with joy and hope, they can also be filled with a variety of emotions. Below are some ways to help you and your family cope with holiday stressors. 

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. For most, unpleasant feelings can be easier to suppress rather than deal with head-on. However, “stuffing down” your negative emotions can lead to an increase in stress, anxiety and depression, among other mental health issues. Some approaches to acknowledging your feelings can include journaling your thoughts, talking to a trusted friend or family member, or allowing yourself to step away and cry if needed. 
  2. Take time for yourself. Self-care might seem like an over-used word in our society, but new research backs the many benefits it offers. In a national survey, 75% of Americans believe self-care provides stress relief. Respondents reported the benefits of self-care include a boost of confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%) and happiness (71%). If you don’t know where to begin when creating a self-care routine, some of the most common forms of self-care include moving your body, eating a healthy diet, spending time with loved ones, getting quality sleep and setting boundaries for yourself.
  3. Find joy. Even though the holidays may bring difficult emotions, joy can be found throughout the holiday season. If there are days where you are struggling to manage your feelings and emotions, try to seek small joyful moments. Whether that includes going on a walk and enjoying the cool air against your face, sharing a meal with a friend, or volunteering your time to help others, there is joy all around us if we look for it. 

If you or your family are in need of support this holiday season, Buckner has many resources available for you.

Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid

Located in Dallas, the Center for Humanitarian Aid provides resources to families in need. This includes, but is not limited to, clothing, baby supplies, household items, food pantry items, as well as situational financial assistance. Please call 214-939-7177 for more information or questions about the Center for Humanitarian Aid. 

Buckner Family Hope Center™ programs

Our Family Hope Centers can be found in the following Texas cities: Dallas, Houston, Longview, Lubbock, Midland and Peñitas. Family Hope Centers provide learning opportunities for financial empowerment, adult and parent education, child and youth development and spiritual development. Additionally, counseling, family assistance, community events, and family coaching are available. Find a Family Hope Center near you.

Buckner Counseling Services 

Counseling services can be accessed throughout the state of Texas for individuals struggling with a variety of needs. Some of these needs include navigating adoption and foster care placements, understanding your own journey as an adopted person, working to nurture relationships between family members, making an adoption plan, dealing with maternal mental health issues, and coping with an unplanned pregnancy, to name a few. If you are interested in receiving counseling services, please contact Jennifer McCallum at jmccallum@buckner.org

Buckner Family Pathways™

Family Pathways is a program for single parents in crisis that equips individuals to overcome barriers that prevent self-sufficiency. Participants of the program benefit from affordable housing, financial assistance, counseling, spiritual growth, and case management services. While participating in the program, individuals complete their educational or vocational goals. Learn more about Family Pathways.  

Buckner NextStep 

The NextStep program provides support for young women between ages 18 and 24 who have aged out of foster care. While participating in the program, individuals can form positive interpersonal relationships, pursue educational and vocational goals, manage finances, secure housing, learn about health management and explore their identity and culture. Learn more about NextStep.

Buckner Foster Care and Adoption

Buckner offers many avenues for families or individuals to begin their foster care or adoption journey. Whether you are interested in caring for children in foster care or adoption, or you are a mother seeking guidance about your child’s future, Buckner can guide you through the decision-making process. If you are an adoptee and would like to seek more information about your birth family or medical history, Buckner is able to assist you. Find out more about foster care and adoption services. If you are interested in making an adoption plan for your child, please contact Emma Porter at espann@buckner.org. If you would like to learn more about post-adoption services, contact Jennifer McCallum at jmccallum@buckner.org

Buckner Life Design and Maternity Services

The Life Design program provides comprehensive, compassionate services to women at risk for unintended pregnancies, experiencing unintended pregnancies, experiencing high-risk pregnancies, or experiencing post-partum concerns. The Life Design program provides education for prenatal and post-pregnancy care as well as resources on health and/or adoption services. This is a community-based program that works alongside other community agencies, individuals and/or hospitals. The Life Design program does not facilitate plans of adoption. Reach out to Hallie Burt at hburt@buckner.org to learn more. 

Are you interested in serving vulnerable families this season? Find volunteer opportunities in your community.

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