First, I again want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs, Officers, Administrators, and fellow Chaplains who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.
I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. For those of you in stations or cars working during the holidays, we appreciate the sacrifices you and your family are making while ensuring our safety and security. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.
As we finish 2012 and prepare for 2013, there are numerous things we are having to do. For those of us in the cold weather climates, you may be checking, repairing, or purchasing cold weather gear. Then there is the Christmas shopping for family and friends. Then there is the arranging to cover the shifts at work. Who is working Christmas Morning? You may be cramming those visits to doctors or dentists since you have already met your deductibles for the year. You might be pulling in all the overtime you can. You may also be making plans with multiple families scheduled around your shift and rotations. It can be the most hectic time of the year. Add our potential job stress on top of that. Increases in domestic violence, fires, homicides, accidents, and suicides. So how can we enjoy “The Holidays” with all that stress? Here are a few ideas I have come up with.
– I’m a big stickler for finding time for yourself, so more than ever, make time for you. Big or small. For example, I go to the same place to eat every Thursday for lunch and get the same thing. It allows me to decompress and just relax.
– Have a child read you a story. Find one with words outside of their age range. Sometimes helping a child through words like “Caesar Augustus” or what a “clatter” is and why it would arise on the lawn can bring a smile to your heart.
– Attend a play put on by children.
– Give a stranger a gift.
– Give someone a random compliment.
– Work out. Raising your heartbeat and taking time to zone out with exercise helps relieve stress, anxiety, and tension that can be so prevalent around the holidays.
– Have some Dark Chocolate. Aside from its fat-burning properties and antioxidants, savoring a piece of dark chocolate can help release soothing serotonin hormones in your brain to help better your mood.
– Make a list of things you can be thankful for.
These things may not change the world, but it could improve yours, and that’s what’s really important.
During the holidays, I always put in this information. That the holidays “can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well.” True as it may be, it’s hard for us to reach out sometimes. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, any other Supervisor, Clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. My phone is always on and I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for 2013. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.