DARMSTADT, Germany — Happy thoughts might not be enough during stressful moments, especially for those facing the holidays alone this year.

This is why free classes on stress reduction, self-care and relaxation are being offered in communities of the 233rd Base Support Battalion.

The classes are the second installment of the Lunch ‘n’ Learn series in the Darmstadt and Babenhausen communities and are aimed at making people happier one hour at a time. Classes are from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Scheduled classes include:

• “Staying Healthy With Yoga” taught by Constanze Trembly, a certified yoga instructor and therapist, Wednesday at the Army Community Service center in Babenhausen, and again Dec. 16 at the School Age Services on Cambrai-Fritsch Casern in Darmstadt.

“Recognizing and Coping With Holiday Depression” taught by Sterling Deveraux, a licensed clinical social worker, 10 a.m. Friday at the Darmstadt ACS.

“Relaxation and Stress Relief in a Fast-Paced World” taught by Cathy Angelica and Roy Tannis. The class will offer a brief exploration of guided imagery and meditation techniques to foster relaxation Dec. 17 at the Babenhausen ACS and on Dec. 23 at the Darmstadt ACS.

• Child care is free during these classes.

• Also, Social Work Services will hold a support group meeting for spouses of deployed troops from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Darmstadt ACS.

Past classes have proved helpful in beating the lows associated with the holiday season, according to Blan Palmer, a Family Advocacy Program educator, who said just getting out the house may help.

More than 15 people attended the Ladies Only Special, a presentation by Evelin Dugan last week on getting back into shape, both inside and out. Also, Patrice Promack, a certified massage therapist, conducted an “anti-gravity” class Tuesday, teaching simple techniques to help reverse the effects of gravity on the body.

“We put a lot of emphasis on how great the holidays are, but it’s not that easy when spouses are deployed somewhere,” Palmer said. He added the idea behind the classes was to keep community members from becoming despondent during the holiday season.

“We’re hoping to get people out, try new things and think about new practices,” he said. “All the classes are healthy things that are good for you. Plus, it gets people involved in social situations.”

Some symptoms of holiday blues can be headaches, changes in sleep patterns, avoiding people and holiday situations, low energy levels and crying more than usual, according to Deveraux.

He said identifying the problem is half the job of overcoming the blues, while coming up with a solution is the other. Deveraux said classes like these definitely are a help.

Reservations are required for each class. Call ACS at DSN 348-7411 or civilian 06151-69-7411.

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