Managing Stress during the Holidays

Comforting citizen

For many people, working during the holidays can mean office parties, a little more relaxed atmosphere, or even taking some time off. For law enforcement, however, it’s just the opposite. Working around the holidays for police officers can bring additional stress to an already stress-filled job.

While the holiday season means plenty of homes filled with new gifts and lots of socializing, eating, and drinking at family get-togethers and parties, it also means more chances of domestic disputes, public altercations, drunk driving, and theft. As a result, many police officers take measures to effectively manage the additional stress that comes during the holidays.

This is something we can all benefit from. After all, high levels of stress can have many negative health and behavioral consequences, including contributing to cardiovascular disease, headaches and fatigue, anxiety, irritability or anger, sadness or depression, eating disorders, social withdrawal, and drug or alcohol abuse. Fortunately, you can reduce stress and minimize its consequences with simple activities like exercising and eating healthier, reducing your workload and, if possible, taking time off work, seeing your doctor regularly, and having a good social support system made up of family and friends.

The effects of increased stress or chronic, long-term stress can go unrecognized, even by the person experiencing it. People tend to avoid acknowledging that they are feeling impacted by stress, either because they do not want to admit it to themselves or because they do not want to be seen as being unable to cope with a situation. So remember, even if you’re not in a high-pressure, high-stress job like a first responder, if you are feeling the impacts of stress, especially during this time of year, reach out to someone for help. And if you know someone who may be dealing with high levels of stress, talk to them and ask how you can help.

Have a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas from the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association.

8 Ways to Prevent Home Burglary during Christmas

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Cracked windshield

According to a report created by CNN, home burglaries increase across the nation during the holiday season. They illustrated that nationally, burglaries peak in the summer but also trend high in December. They also discovered that some cities experienced their greatest number of burglaries in the two weeks following Christmas. This is a time when more people go on vacation than normal. More items come into the house and burglars target your homes for the holidays as a profitable time of the year.

Here are eight ways to keep your house secure during the holidays:

  1. Make sure gifts aren’t visible from the outside. Refrain from placing your Christmas tree by the window where your gifts are right below.
  2. Watch what you post on social media about the gifts you just purchased or when you plan to leave your home.
  3. Be careful about disposing of packaging, allowing it to pile up in your garbage can for your neighbors to see that you’ve just received something new and possibly valuable.
  4. Don’t run external lights through a window leaving a wedge that can be easily pried open.
  5. Put lights on timers so they can go on and off during the day and evening, but always be sure your home is well-lit and motion sensors trip when detecting movement.
  6. Be wary of door salesman or donation seekers. Do not give out personal information or give out money without double-checking their credentials.
  7. Secure your home by keeping your doors and windows locked and investing in a home security system.
  8. Have someone look after your home while you are out of town. This should include checking your mailbox.

Christmas time is a happy and busy time for us all. It’s also a busy time for burglars who try to spoil everyone else’s fun. Take the right steps in ensuring your home is safe. Even if your neighborhood has been safe lately, that could change this year. Be safe and have a happy holiday!