Holiday Stress and Self Care

Dealing with Stress Over the Holidays

cup, drink, dessert

This holiday season is a bright one for many as we finally get to spend time with family and friends and bask in the joy of lights, love, and laughter. For many though, the holidays can bring on negative emotions. Especially for those in hospice care, it can be a time of sadness as patients and families prepare for a loss and recall happier memories. Yes, the holidays can be stressful for almost anyone. But for those dealing with grief it can feel overwhelming.

Hospice care is about making patients with terminal illness more comfortable and increasing their quality of life.  It can give the patients and family a chance to come together and spend quality time in each others presence while their care team works to manage pain and symptoms.

Helpful Tips – For the Holidays

This can be a tough time for patients and their families. Here are some tips for dealing with stress over the holidays.

  • Recognize that these holidays might look different from previous celebrations.
  • Be still and be present with loved ones as they cope with the grief. You do not have to have just the right words. Sometimes all it takes is being present in a time of sadness.
  • Be honest in dealing with family and friends.  If it is to overwhelming, it is ok to say no.
  • Take care of yourself. Managing stress and doing things for your mental and physical health are important. Set aside time to be still and calm.  Make sure you are sleeping and eating well.  It is important to take care of yourself even if you do not feel like it at the time.
  • Do something that makes you feel good. What do you enjoy? What makes, or used to make, you happy? Take time and invest in what makes you feel good. Have lunch with friends, make a coffee date with a loved one, volunteer at a local charity and help others…
  • Slow down. Dealing with a life-threatening illness changes priorities and schedules. Now more than ever it is important to slow down, open up your schedule, remove excess plans that add stress, and concentrate only on the ones that truly bring you happiness.

The American Psychological Association (APA) says that almost half of all women and a third of men report an increase in stress around the holidays. Add a life-threatening illness to that equation and getting through the holidays can seem overwhelming. Additionally, if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, you may be feeling additional stress, or you may be worrying about you and your loved ones’ health. Its ok to take a step back, tighten your circle, and focus on what really matters to you this season.

Contact Lotus Hospice

If you need help this season with hospice care and the care of a loved one, please contact us at 281-493-6800