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9 tips for handling holiday stress

The holidays can be stressful for anyone. If you’re spending your first holiday season without a loved one, it can be even more difficult. Here are nine tips to help you make it through this hectic, emotional time.

  1. Be realistic about what you can comfortably handle this holiday season. It’s OK to ask someone else to host the family dinner, or allow friends to help with shopping and other chores.
  2. Are you up to talking about your lost loved one? Just let others know what you feel comfortable discussing.
  3. Feel free to change up your holiday routine. From when you open presents to what you eat for your holiday meal, how you choose to celebrate the holidays is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to do it, whether you continue old traditions or start a new one.
  4. Do something in honor of your loved one. Donate time or money to a cause with special meaning. Invite an elderly neighbor or friend to join you for a holiday meal.
  5. If you decide to go holiday shopping, make a list before you go. You can also shop online to avoid crowds altogether.
  6. Take time to rest. The holidays can be draining, both physically and emotionally. Get enough sleep and plan time to simply relax.
  7. Express your feelings. It is natural to feel sad. Talk to someone you trust about your concerns, be it a family member, friend or professional therapist.
  8. It may take time to feel “normal” during the holidays again. You may have a new normal. You may even find yourself looking forward to the next holiday season.
  9. Give yourself permission to have fun. It’s OK to laugh and enjoy yourself.

For more holiday tips, please see Holiday caregiving for those with limited abilities on the Simplicity Plan blog.

Date: Wednesday, December 05, 2012

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