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Be on the lookout for holiday "blues"

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The holiday season can bring many wonderful things: crisp air, white snow, holiday lights, nights by the fire, ornaments and mistletoe. But for many people the season is a challenge and leads to increased stress or "the blues."

Whether someone is a season's greeter or not, the holidays can take a toll. Here are a few recommendations to help through the new year:

-- Take some time to reaffirm the reasons for the hectic pace. Identifying the personal significance, whether it's about family, religion or new beginnings, can help remind anyone of why they get so busy.

-- Prioritize time. It's not possible to do everything, and don't forget to take a break every once in a while.

-- The expense of the season often causes stress and/or anxiety for those unable to afford costly gifts. Consider natural talents and use creativity. Gifts made by hand are a great way to show that one cares.

-- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and could intensify any feelings of sadness.

-- Get moving. Physical activity can help bolster mood and mitigate stress while also working off extra calories from holiday parties.

-- For those separated from family or unable to return home, take the opportunity to create new traditions with friends.

-- Feelings of sadness are normal. Concerns arise when these feelings are prolonged or start to adversely impact one's life.

-- Know personal limits and pay attention to the body's stress signals. Taking care of one's self today will lead to a better tomorrow.

Base agencies are always there for all members of Team Buckley if concerns arise. The Mental Health Clinic, Chaplain Services, and the Airman and Family Readiness Center are just a few services here to help. All Buckley members can practice being good wingmen by watching out for those around them.
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