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Dealing With Stress Around The Holidays

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Law enforcement kept busy in southeastern South Fakota this Christmas Eve and Christmas.

First with a standoff in Marion, Police say 32-year-old Johnathan Mandler held his grandmother and 15-year-old cousin hostage. After letting them free, Mandler stayed in the home for 12 hours before officers used pepper spray to force him out.

Then 3 hours later, early Christmas Morning, after a domestic dispute in Vermillion, police say one man held his children hostage until 4 in the morning. Police tried to negotiate with the man. But, after losing contact with the suspect they entered the home and found the man dead.        

A man in Webster, New York intentionally set homes on fire to ambush and kill firefighters.

All happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Jeri Nelson an outpatient therapist for Avera Medical explains why it's important to take care of family this time of year.

“Be present with them. Listen to them. It can be very beneficial sending a card letting them know you’re thinking of them. There’s lots of small ways we can be present with people,” said Nelson.        

While no one is saying a card or a phone call could have changed the outcomes of these incidents this Christmas, it's always important to look for signs that something is wrong.

“You want to seek professional help if you were to notice they were really having or being major symptomatic,” said Nelson.

And even for people who weren't involved with any of these events, just hearing about them can add extra stress.  

“There are tough things that happen in the world. So, I think people need to limit how much they expose themselves, especially children,” said Nelson.

A Christmas that had law enforcement on their toes, reminds us that stress, holiday related or not, should be taken seriously.
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