Holiday Season, Keep the Joy
With Halloween over, the Holiday season is upon us! Thoughts go to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and hearts skip a beat. Shopping, meal preparation, gifts, family gatherings, travel, budgets, and planning all jumble together as the Holiday season takes over. It is “supposed” to be a season of thanks, good wishes, joy and peace on earth but can easily overwhelm us with stress and anxiety.
This isn’t your first holiday season so you already know a few things about how to best create the joy of the season and diminish the stress. Some stress is normal and healthy. After all, stress gets us motivated and focused. Lists help us to zero in on what needs to get done and who is responsible for each task. Know your limits – time, spending, tolerance, and patience. Prioritize for yourself what is a must do and what isn’t. Remember; don’t let the idea of “perfect” destroy all that is good. No one can do it all, so don’t try to. Take some shortcuts when and where you can. Delegate to others because by sharing tasks, all can enjoy!
Take into Account Special Needs
This includes your needs, health and time considerations. Family and friends may have young children or older parents and family members. There may be needed nap times, bathroom accessories, medical equipment (walkers or wheelchairs) to be considered. Special diets and sleeping arrangements should all be discussed well in advance and planned for. Remember, youngsters and oldsters may have tolerance limits so planning for a 6-hour meal may be just too long without breaks. Certainly, if there is any illness or disability, cognitive (Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease) or physical – balance or walking issues, consideration needs to be given. Other needs may be in the religious realm on how someone dear celebrates the holiday.
Be Realistic – you cannot be all things to all people and you don’t have endless energy. Not everyone can stay at your house and you can’t do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and monitoring without help – Joy means sharing.
Know your spending limit and stick to it. Giving handmade or other personal gifts, such as gifts of time and tasks are meaningful and easier on your budget.
Know when to say “NO”. It is often better to decline than to continue on with resentment.
Keep to your routine or schedule as best you can – diet, medications, exercise and sleep times
Get and accept assistance and support. When someone offers to help, welcome it! You can hire help, especially for guests who need personal assistance or buy some prepared things. The objective is for everyone; guests and hosts alike to have a wonderful holiday season make positive memories and share in the love of each other. For a family primary caregiver, the holidays can be a lot of added work. Hiring an aide before or during the holiday get-togethers can be very helpful for all involved.
Keep your sense of humor and exercise your patience!
Happy Holiday Season to You and Yours!!!