The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but they are particularly challenging for caregivers. Here are some tips to help you make it through the next few weeks:
1. Acknowledge your feelings. Raising a kid with challenges can be emotionally exhausting. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season. Remind yourself that it's normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed at this time of year, in spite of what you might see on TV and Facebook.
2. Learn to say no. You don't need to bake cookies for the school. You don't need to send out holiday cards. You don't need to participate in the neighborhood house lighting competition. Focus on what is meaningful for you and your family and spend your time there.
3. Make time for yourself Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle the rest of the day. Find something that clears your mind, slows your breathing and restores inner calm, whether that's a walk around the block, a short meditation, or a cat nap.
4. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out a friend or support community. They can offer a break in the holiday madness. Try to create some moments where you can share laughter and human connection.
6. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, or unable to sleep. If these feelings last longer than usual, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday...