Holiday Season for Veterans with Mental Health

holidays for veterans

Sing along with me, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the kid’s jingle belling, and everyone telling you to be of good cheer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

We all know that the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and New Years are a very stressful time for veterans dealing with mental health conditions (diagnosed and undiagnosed). While everyone else around the veteran is excited about holiday parties, family gatherings, and loads of egg-nog, veterans are dealing with survivors’ guilt, chronic pain due to weather change, and depression. This season is a long-drawn-out period of celebration, loud noises, crowded areas (parties, shopping centers, package deliveries, and a change from the norm) and every other perfect storm for anxiety and depression to flourish for veterans. 

As veterans, we see this season as a terribly difficult time. We do not want to be the Debby-downers of the party and season. However, it is difficult for us to get into the holiday festivities when we are dealing with thinking about how our friends that are no longer with us cannot celebrate this season with their families, not knowing if we will have enough money to provide the presents that our families want and the constant routine change.

That last one is something that I want to emphasize, routine change. Like you, I am a creature of habit. I do the same general things at the same general times each day. It is what the military drills into you… structure and discipline. With that said, there is NOTHING structured about our days during this time of year. Hosting holiday events, going shopping for presents, decorating the house for the holidays, and many many more constant changes have me on edge… probably like you. Now, with all this stress/change, I try to focus on my mental state. 

As a Veteran with Mental Health, How I cope with the holidays

I know how difficult it can be for many veterans during this time. To better cope with the holiday season, try to stay present in the moment, and not wander off into my own head. I try to engage with others, instead of isolating myself. I try to meditate (and pray) for patience and understanding. I try to cling onto structure throughout the week, instead of in my days. I stretch and maintain as active of a lifestyle as my deteriorating body can handle. I seek mental health counseling so that I can continue to learn to open up to my loved ones. 

Now, by no means am I a mental health expert. I am constantly learning more about who I am on a daily basis. I want to be the best husband, father, son, neighbor, community member, and veteran for my network of people.

holiday season for veterans with mental health

How can I support a Veteran over the holidays?

Coming home from active duty service is a big change for people, going from the structure and predictability of the military to doing something new and being around large crowds of people can be overwhelming, to say the least. A couple of tips to best support your loved ones during this holiday season:

  • Take time to understand why the holidays are so hard for them
  • Allow them to take time to rest and recharge without getting upset
  • Remind your loved one how valued and important they are
  • Ask what they need – and listen to their response
  • Don’t shame your Veteran about what they are or are not doing
  • Be creative with traditions – even starting new ones
  • Have open conversations with extended family before they come over

While the holidays for Veterans can be stressful, make a game plan for what works best for you. Know your options and open up those lines of communication with your family. And if you are dealing with mental health conditions, and want to increase your disability rating with a Veteran Claims Master, please join the A-Team, and get your disability rating increase!

Anthony Rivera is apart of the VA Claims Insider Team and an Army disabled Veteran. Ready to work with him? You can sign up here or contact him at [email protected]

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.