Friday, December 17, 2010

10 Ways to make your Holiday Season Brighter

If you are caring for a family member, most likely you are feeling the pressure to create the perfect holiday experience for them. This stress added to the usual stress you feel can quickly lead to depression. Here are some tips to help cope with the demands of the season so that your holiday can be enjoyable and happy.

1.) Put first things first-If you always get depressed during the winter or around the holidays, see your doctor. There are therapies for this syndrome of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). See a counselor or find a friend to talk to.

2.) Simplify the season-Cut back, if you find the season overwhelming. Simplification is often the most effective tactic.

3.) Be honest with yourself and others-Be up front about what you can or can't do. Try to make people understand that your lives have changed and sometimes holidays and traditions might have to change as well.

4.) Listen to your favorite Music-Tunes can relax and help us get "into" the season. Be sure to include your favorites as well as your family's. If your loved one is in a nursing home, bring them a CD player so they can enjoy the music as well.

5.) Set soothing light-Try lighting candles with decorating for the holidays, baking treats or wrapping gifts.

6.) Get quiet time alone-Get up early, or go to bed late to find some "me" time. Take a walk, meditate or go to the gym for a quick work out.

7.) Delegate-Ask your spouse, a friend or a relative to take over some of your duties. You don't have to do everything yourself, and you will be surprised how willing others are to help out if you just ask.

8.) Remember the good times- Take time to walk down memory lane and remember your loved ones before these difficult times.

9.) Allow yourself to feel-The holidays can spotlight the things your elder can't enjoy any longer. The pain is real, allow yourself to feel it. Talk about it with other caregivers, friends or family.

10.) Let go of perfection-Life hasn't always been perfect, do the best with what you have. Take care of yourself along with others and do your best to enjoy the holiday season.

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