Press Releases

Caring Contact Hotline Listeners Available to Help with Problems Big & Small this Season

bd048bd7b71958ff5da1_mini_magick20171207-14936-q1lyn5.jpg
bd048bd7b71958ff5da1_mini_magick20171207-14936-q1lyn5.jpg

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year … It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” 

Words to a classic holiday song. Yes, the holidays are here – a joyful time of year reconnecting with family and friends, creating memories and enjoying music, food and special traditions. But the holidays can also be a time of great stress and anxiety – too little time, too much to do. The holidays can be difficult if you are alone, suffering a loss or just plain weary. Some people wish the holidays would just go away.

The American Psychological Association reports that the leading holiday stressors are time (67 percent often or sometimes), money (62 percent often or sometimes) and commercialism or hype ( 53 percent often or sometimes). A study conducted by Healthline and reported by the Harvard Medical School found that among the holiday stressors listed by respondents were the financial demands of the season, negotiating the interpersonal dynamics of family and maintaining personal health habits, such as an exercise regimen.

Sign Up for E-News

"The holiday season can pose very real dangers through stress and related health problems – even for those who 'love the holidays,'” said Janet Sarkos, executive director of Caring Contact, an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline and listening community. "It's important that people know there are others out there to whom they can call for help and support.

"At Caring Contact, we are here to listen when people may not be sure where to turn. Our volunteers provide a listening community through our caring and crisis phone lines."

When stress is high, it is difficult to stop and regroup, noted Sarkos. The Mayo Clinic offers these tips that can help minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
  • Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events.
  • Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change, as well. Choose a few to hold onto and be open to creating new ones.
  • Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
  • Stick to a budget. Before you go gift- and food-shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts..
  • Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  • Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
  • Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
  • Take a breather. Make some time for yourself.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Caring Contact has trained volunteer listeners available to help people get through holiday stress or depression. Listeners are trained to provide an empathetic and nonjudgmental ear and all calls are anonymous and confidential.

Callers can reach a caring listener by dialing 908-232-2880.

Caring Contact serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey. Callers also reach Caring Contact by dialing 908-232-2880. Those preferring to seek supporting through texting may text “heart” to 741-741. Caring Contact also provides best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey Community.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at Caring Contact should contact the agency at 908.301.1899.

About Caring Contact

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline providing active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. We attentively and compassionately serve those in emotional distress and educate our communities about the power of personal connection. We are affiliated with CONTACT USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology. If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call us at 908-232-2880. To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Clark's CityMD Urgent Care Shares Flu Survey

CLARK, NJ - As flu season is in full gear and the probability of catching the flu is a real concern, a majority of Americans admit to taking actions that may contribute to the spread of this highly contagious virus.  According to a recent survey, roughly three out of five Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms (61%) admitted to being out and about the last time they ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_cb76d129f430419a337a_sjhsfishfry

Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

Catanzaro Dining Hall at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen

Friday Night Lenten Fish Fry

Food & Drink

Clark VFW : Spotlight on Joseph Horling

February’s spotlight is on Joseph Horling , Staff Sergeant US Army 1942-1946.

Joe was born in Rahway NJ on Oct 1, 1920.  He and his brother Anthony were born to Anthony Sr. and Bertha Horling .  Joe’s father was born in Munich and his mother Bertha in Austria. 

Joe enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1942.  Eight months later, in 1943, he enlisted in the US ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

February 22, 2018

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

First Hand Account: Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 22, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Don't Rule Out a College Based Solely on Sticker Price Here's Why

Has your child been crossing schools off their college list based solely on the sticker price?  In this week's Tuesday Takeaway, Chris Curran talks about why the sticker price is often far higher than the actual price you will pay.    Take a listen to Chris Curran's latest chat and don't forget to check out his book College Funding ...

Choosing a College With the 'Right' Fit

Do you know if your child is choosing a college with the right fit?  Do you know what the right fit means or why it matters?  Take a listen to Chris Curran's latest chat about why fit matters and don't forget to check out his book College Funding Secrets.  

Check out other columns by Chris here.

Scutari vs Mahr

February 14, 2018

I read with interest in a local newspaper regarding the Union county democrat party political infighting for their “county chair” selection.  There were 2 letters juxtaposed, each one listing supporters of either Senator Scutari or Fanwood Mayor Mahr, who are the two main people vying for the “boss” position.

Although I am a democrat I am not a committee ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!