Holiday Health Tips
For some health care workers and caregivers, the holidays can be a joyful time when spirits are lighter. It feels good to care for loved ones and enjoy time together, celebrating with family traditions. But for many the holidays also bring added stress—an already busy caregiver finds there’s, even more, to do during the holidays. Something’s gotta give! It’s OK to give yourself a bit of a break this year. Here are some tips to help you make it through the holiday season with more joy and less stress.
- Focus on what is most meaningful—as much as we’d like to create a perfect holiday experience, remember perfection is not the goal. Meaning and joy are. Prioritize the activities that hold the deepest meaning and focus on those.
- Simplify your holiday activities— if going all out puts you over the edge then skip it. You don’t have to put out ALL the decorations, hang all the lights, send all the cards—ask for help or skip it altogether this year.
- Start new traditions—instead of focusing on what you “can’t” do this year, find new things you can do. You can visit drive thru lights, video chat cookie baking, holiday movie night, etc.
- Gift-giving—try shopping online this year to avoid crowds and keep healthy, You can also, schedule fun experiences for a future date instead of giving a gift. Some other ideas include photo gifts or regifting.
- Think positive—ok, this sounds cliché but negative thinking actually activates your body’s stress response, so steer your mind to the positive when you start down that slippery slope. Try to stay mindful of your thoughts.
- Keep self-care at the top of your list—of all the times to focus on this—now is really important. Get as much sleep as possible, eat healthy, stay active, get outside, enjoy holiday music, enjoy holiday treats moderately.
- Ask for help! Even if you don’t normally do so, the holidays are a great time to get some extra help, even if it’s just for a few hours. Ask friends, family, or reach out to community resources. Remember you’ll be happier if you can learn to “go with the flow” and expect that there will be things that go wrong—this will help you avoid disappointment.