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Monday, December 18, 2000

Christmas for Kids

The Reeves County Sheriff's Department is scheduled to deliver jackets, clothes and some toys to needy families on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for "Christmas for Kids."

The Sheriff's Department has been raising money for this project from community member donations for several weeks.

Holiday stress can be lessened

Social obligations, activities and daily chores can sap the strength many people need to make the marathon stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The compulsion to fill those four-plus weeks with events that we believe will recreate a Christmas of our past creates unnecessary stress. Stress steals necessary resources we need to replenish our soul during this month-long journey and can trigger depression _ a more serious illness.

But following a few guidelines, according to Gail Zilai, a licensed therapist and Big Spring State Hospital Director of the Activities Therapy Department can alleviate the deafening emotions, which accompany the holidays.

"Busy schedules don't allow for adequate downtime. Remember to get the rest necessary to maintain the energy needed for shopping, cooking, traveling, decorating and entertaining in addition to your daily schedule."

"Don't sabotage your diet of healthy and nutritious foods. Rich, sugary foods add pounds and play havoc with your digestive system. In addition, the guilt of overeating fuels depression. If you plan on attending a party, think ahead of time how you will handle the buffet line."

"Be aware that holidays trigger memories of enjoyable or traumatic times in your life. These memories may make you feel lonely. If you have no way of counteracting these memories, be aware that they are natural feelings, so if, and when, they occur you won't be caught off guard."

Don't overextend finances to fulfill everyone's Christmas wish list. Set a budget, and stick to it. Involve your family in making homemade gifts and decorations this year."

"Avoid hosting a large get-together. The party can be a heavy burden in addition to an already loaded schedule. If a celebration can't be avoided, enlist help or plan a potluck supper. Don't be a martyr and carry the burden yourself."

"If you regularly exercise, don't postpone your workouts until after the holiday," said Renae Porch, Big Spring State Hospital Patient Educator. "You'll feel guilty for letting go of something you do for yourself. If time becomes an issue, decrease the number of workouts, but increase the intensity of each one to get the most bang for the buck."

"I know time is in short supply, but 30 minutes every other day will make you feel fit and better about yourself," Porch said. "When your have a positive self-image, the everyday stresses won't bother you as much."

"Accommodating visiting relatives or friends can be a real back-breaker when you're already stressed. Be up-front with houseguests about what you need to help your household run efficiently."

"Planning long-distance trips to visit friends or relatives may be difficult, especially for parents of young children. Take along books, puzzles and games to keep them entertained. Try to be organized, and remember that it is better to get somewhere late than not to get there at all."

"When times become tense, play a CD or tape to lighten the mood," suggests Dana Boes, Director of Music Therapy at Big Spring State Hospital. "Sing out loud, sway to the music, and release some of that pent-up tension. Music can be used to create memories with your own children."

The holidays will arrive and depart; how you handle this special time will make a difference in whether you enjoy yourself or make you and your loved ones miserable.

Big Spring State Hospital is a psychiatric hospital, which serves people with mental illness in a 78-county area in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle, including populated areas, such as Midland, Odessa, El Paso, San Angelo, Abilene, Lubbock and Amarillo.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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