Considering the size of the military, chances are you have a friend, family member or significant other serving. With Thanksgiving just passing and Christmas and the New Year coming up, it might be saddening if you are unable to see a loved one in the military during the holidays.
However, experts have some coping tips that can get you through the holidays even if your loved one isn’t present and could be in danger while serving in the military. Jill Kristal, a clinical psychologist, said in an email that she specializes in helping families who have to deal with separation because of loved one relocating.
“There's no way to totally avoid the painful feelings caused by physical separations but today's technology provides numerous creative ways to be together,” Kristal said.
Kristal has four coping tips for women with loved ones in the military during the holidays:
1. “Use Skype video and invite the absent family member to be present for Christmas dinner, open gifts, join in a sing along or even kiss under the [mistletoe].”
2. “Keep others informed about holiday happenings with free text messages and phone calls worldwide by downloading What'sApp or Viber on your cell phones.”
3. “Make care packages with items that will show love and bring laughter.”
4. “Acknowledge the sadness and talk about it but be present and involved where you are.”
Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of “The Commuter Marriage; Keep Your Relationship Close While You're Far Apart,” agrees that technology is helpful for people with loved ones in the military.
“Being separated for the holidays sucks,” Tessina said. “But, you can make it better if you keep in touch and share the festivities as much as possible. Family can share videos, post them on YouTube or Facebook, so you don't miss out on the school or religious holiday events.”
Also, people in the military can still be involved in holiday event planning, especially if they think they’ll be home sometime around the holidays.