Tomorrow Begins the Holiday Season
Turn aarrghh into an anticipatory aha!
Anticipating the holidays may make for hassles, stress, and anger. There is so much to prepare for, and then, on top of this is the continued care for yourself and care receiver. Other people seem so festive while you’re feeling so frustrated.
Looking forward to the holidays may be helped with these few but important suggestions:
- Keep the communication open. Honesty is the best policy.
- Let sleeping lions lie means that it might be best to overlook the lack of family or friends pitching in to help. Opening this conversation during the holidays despite the best of intentions may antagonize those around you so none of you will enjoy the holidays. However, be clear with the dust has settled about your expectations and needs.
- Entertain when your balloon is full of air, not when your energy has fizzled. “Dinner” or “supper” is a meal and a meal can be enjoyed any time of the day because it’s about the people sitting around the table that matter. Make it simple, potluck, or order a cooked meal from a grocery store or restaurant.
- Plan only one activity each day so that no one feels overwhelmed, this being a gift of time.
- Accept the need to adapt, choosing those activities that are workable and won’t exhaust you. Simplify the house decorations and reduce the number of social engagements.
- “Sip and See” can be hosted anytime your care receiver is feeling well enough for a visit. Provide a quiet space and a beverage for a short visit. A wonderful way to keep the conversation flowing is to bring out family albums and pictures which provide lots of stimulating conversation, and I bet, hysterical stories.
- Although this may feel like another thing to do, this is an investment in the future. Write a personal thank you note to those who stepped up to the plate to relieve you of some of the stressors during the holidays. This will reinforce their continued supportive efforts.
Self-care ritual: Kick the guilt! You are doing an amazing job so give yourself credit for what you DO, not what you don’t do. Enlist the services of hired care providers, either at home or at a care facility, who will provide respite care. Arrange for this, don’t ask, and celebrate the pleasure simultaneously as you provide your self-care ritual and your care receiver.