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Feeling Fox Asks!

Two Feeling Foxes TalkingFeeling Fox has some questions from FOCUS Families for our Resilience Trainers. Crystal Vartanian from FOCUS San Diego offers her advice for families during the busy holiday season.

Due to the pandemic or a family member being deployed, families may be apart for the holidays. What are some ways we can stay connected and keep traditions alive?

It can be difficult to be apart from your loved ones during the holidays. It's important to allow space for all family members to share their feelings and concerns about not being able to celebrate together. It might also be helpful to find creative ways to feel connected. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Swap family recipes to still have that special taste of the holidays.
  • Create an email chain, where family members can add their favorite photos or memories.
  • Ask the deployed or distant family member to do a video or write a letter that the family can watch or open together.
  • Create a memory box or scrapbook of all the things the family has done over the holidays so they can share it with the deployed or distant family member upon return.

During the holiday break, it can feel more chaotic without a structure or routine. How can families create a schedule that is both engaging to children and provide a physical and social outlet?

It can be challenging to create a sense of balance during the hectic holiday season! Here are a few tips I like to give families during the holiday break:

  • Hold a family meeting to discuss expectations around how they want to manage the break. Allow time for questions from all family members.
  • Identify some goals and activities they would like to accomplish.
  • Set a structure of chores or tasks that need to get done on a daily or weekly basis.

Crystal Vartanian, M.S., LMFT is a Resilience Trainer at Naval Base San Diego.

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