Some thrive while others dive during the holiday season, a time when we are expected to be jolly and festive. When I made home visits as a community outreach social worker in dementia care, I would see many family caregivers get energized from the holiday spirit, decorating their homes inside and out despite the heavy care demands that they face. This time of year made them feel good. On the contrary, I also saw many caregivers go through the motions, wearing red and green but feeling blue because of the circumstances they were living under having an ill family member who was disappearing in front of their eyes. Their circumstances made celebrating difficult.
You may be dealing with circumstances now that are making it difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Whether you are dealing with illness, financial strain, death or other significant loss, here are 20 #AcknowledgeAssessAssist #Self-Care tips to #Allow yourself to make it through the red and green holidays despite the blues.
1. Be true to yourself: If you are feeling sad, acknowledge it and allow it. Fighting your feelings can make it worse eg. feeling inadequate because you do not feel happy.
2. Attempt to feel better by surrounding yourself with positivity. There is an expression "misery loves company" but aren't you better off gravitating towards supportive people you feel comfortable with who have the potential to uplift you? Just as "calm begets calm", happiness can beget happiness - even if it helps just a little.
3. Be open to making change without judgment: Assess any changes that need to be made to assist you in making the holidays easier. There may be traditions in family celebrations that need to be altered to accommodate a sick family member or gift giving changes due to financial strain.
4. Assess your comfort: Monitor your activities, Assist by not over-doing, setting boundaries and saying no to activities you do not want to do. Having said that, be cautious and assess if you are saying no to an activity that may be really good for you. In other words, assist by assessing whether it would be beneficial to push yourself a little.
Further assisting self-care tips include that you:
5. Listen to an uplifting song.
6. Dance to an uplifting song.
7. Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for.
8. Have a cup of tea or a warm bowl of soup
9. Take a hot bath.
10. Massage your own shoulders or treat yourself to a massage.
11. Watch a funny show that makes you laugh.
12. Smile at strangers.
13. Do a guided relaxing meditation.
14. Reach out and share with a supportive friend or family member.
15. Write an affectionate note to a friend, family member or to yourself.
16. Write down an inspirational quote and put it down somewhere you can see it regularly.
17. Express your angry feelings by venting or punching a pillow.
18. Go for a walk.
19. Do stretching, yoga or aerobic exercise.
20. Treat yourself with compassion.
20 + 1. Read a book or favorite magazine
Good Luck and Best Wishes for making the Best of the Holiday Season!!!