The holidays have been dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year.” But for many people, they are far from that. The holidays can actually be a very stressful or emotional time of the year. Those who have recently lost loved ones usually feel their grief pick up. There is also all the traditional demands of the holidays that cause stress for families: buying gifts, traveling, staying with others, hosting at your home, strained family relationships and so on.
If you’re caring for a loved one, the holidays can be particularly challenging. You may be sad to see that your parent isn’t the same as they used to be. You may feel like your traditions have faded away. Or maybe you’re not sure whether to include your parent in the holiday fun, or if it’s better to leave them in the peace and quiet of their home.
If you let your mind wander, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed. Don’t let the true spirit of the holidays get away from you. It’s important to be grateful for what you have, even though it may not be what you pictured for yourself.
Here are some tips for practicing gratefulness at this time of the year.
Make a List
While Santa’s busy making his list, make one of your own. Write down the things you have to do in a list form or on a calendar. Then mark the things you have to do and when they need to be completed by. Everything else can wait. This helps you see what’s necessary and what can be put off until later.
Boost Your Care
Give yourself some extra attention this season. Focus on eating healthy meals and snacks, getting enough rest, exercising throughout the week and taking some time out for quiet and relaxation. It’s especially easy to get off track during this time of the year.
Ask for Help
If you need help, ask for it. People aren’t always sure where they’re needed, so be honest and upfront. There are many ways for people to help. Even older children and teens can be helpful by taking more responsibility around the home.
Name One Thing
Each day, think about one thing you are grateful for. Choose something different each day. You’ll find that even the most simple things – having a warm home, the ability to drive around town, the luxury of buying holiday gifts – make you luckier than most.
Do Something for Others
It may sound counterproductive to do something for someone else when you hardly have time for you and your loved one, but this is a great way to boost your spirits. It feels good to help others, and it reminds you what this time of the year is all about.