Enjoy the Holidays

I know you’ve written several articles on surviving the holidays for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease and those widowed.  I don’t have these added stressors, but still the holidays are so difficult for me.  Do you have any suggestions to help to actually enjoy them? 

Alicia, Oroville

Dear Alicia,  

Many of the people like yourself who dread the holidays tell me it’s usually because of 4 reasons:  (1) childhood disappointments and hurt (2) added stress due to added costs and demands on time and energy (3) unrealistic expectations, (4) the weather.  We can’t undo the past, but we can decide not to be victims of it.  We can control how much we spend and decide to prioritize how we spend our time to get rest.  We can have a mini-version of the things we love about the season.  We can even change our attitude about the weather!  I find being with children so therapeutic.  If you don’t have young children in your life offer to volunteer at a day care center or watch them at the Mall as they sit on Santa’s lap!  Helping someone in need also takes you from being a victim to being a victor and finding joy in this season. 

Sincerely, Lyn