Advice for those who spend the holidays away from family
The holidays are a time to share special moments with loved ones.
It can also be a tough time of year for many who can't share them with their family.
Many have to spend the holidays alone, or without their husbands, wives, or kids for a variety of reasons.
Illinois Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class Sammye Geer has spent several holiday seasons with her three daughters but without her husband.
He's also in the National Guard, deployed overseas.
"It is extremely hard to go from being a dual parent, being the dual parents and co-parenting 24/7 to being just a single parent," said Geer said.
It's tough for Geer's family to end the year without her husband, but she says it's worth the sacrifice to serve her country and a good lesson for her daughters.
"100 percent, they are a lot more respectful of anyone in a uniform," Geer said.
Many have to spend the holidays without any family, said Clinical Psychologist William Moredock.
Moredock said there are several things people can do to help.
"I encourage my clients, or people that I work with, to get around people that make them feel happy, make them feel positive," he said. "If it's not a family member if something happened that they can't connect with their family, join another family. Try to find a friend or two."
Moredock encourages people to volunteer if they have to spend the holidays without family.
He said it can be an emotionally enriching experience to help others during the holidays.
"If you're occupied, if you've got something to do, especially if you're contributing what you have to someone else, it can make that day and that season meaningful for you and a little more bearable," Moredock said.
If you have to spend the holidays alone Moredock said to keep yourself busy.
Meditation can also be a helpful way for people to heal during tough times.