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.

Be Courteous to First Responders this Holiday Season

San Antonio police officers standing by her car

Imagine working on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve, and your job duties include protecting the citizens of your community and reducing crime, all at the risk of your own life. Those are the duties of first responders, including police officers who, during the holidays, must respond to an increase of calls concerning domestic disputes, burglaries, suicide attempts, and more. So, as the holidays fast approach, we hope that all citizens appreciate the challenging job all first responders face, and show your support for San Antonio Police Officers.

Throughout their career, the majority of an officer’s time on duty is spent dealing with society’s bad side, and this only increases during the holidays. Holidays heighten anxieties in households, which then ignite family battles. Add alcohol to the mix and police officers have their work intensified. The increase in crime and other incidents, including those related to drinking and drug abuse, adds to the difficulty of the job, which can lead to stress and depression for all first responders. The holidays should be a happy time for everyone, including police officers who, like you, want to spend quality time and make memories with friends and family. Nonetheless, police officers know that they have dedicated their lives to preventing crime and protecting the community and that the holidays are no exception.

For some officers, getting through the season means putting on some defensive emotional armor. Luckily, the San Antonio Police Department offers counseling programs and psychiatry services to officers who feel the stress of the season. However, the true stress reliever for an officer would be making it throughout the work day unharmed and return to their families.

Remember, first responders have the duty to protect you and your family, especially during the holiday season when crime is increased, so as they do their job, we hope that everyone in our community can show support for police officers and other first responders. Have a great holiday season!