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Tips for Avoiding Holiday Sadness

The holidays are almost here for happy normal people, that is. But you're over-burdened with elder care at the moment. You're facing difficult decisions for your parents. Health issues, financial ones and even legal ones plaque you.

Will you be forced to put your parent in a nursing home sometime next year? Will your parents still be with you next Thanksgiving? Then the memories of better times start rolling in; almost to the point of over powering you. What about those memories of loved ones who died on holidays? Not only was my grandfather born on Christmas Day, but he also died on his 84th birthday. Even after 33 years, I really miss celebrating my grandfather's birthday on Christmas Day. It was such a big part of my childhood.

And why can't it be like it used to be? If you could have just one more happy Thanksgiving with everyone there and having a good time. No wonder caregivers get depressed during the holidays. While everyone else is scurrying around at the malls buying Christmas presents and spreading joy, you feel left out. Many experts will tell us, you are not alone. Not everyone is as happy as they appear.

In fact, if many folks were more honest about it, there are things about the holidays they don't like, don't want to do, and feel forced to participate in. Have you ever noticed the large numbers of bored men waiting for their wives in malls? Here are 3 tips for avoiding holiday sadness 1. Happiness is something you do, rather than something you feel. Stop worrying that you're supposed to feel better, happier and more cheery. Just do a small favor for someone else; preferably someone who can not repay you.

A child who will not receive presents or a senior citizen who has no family are waiting for you. Every town and city are full of people who need you. 2.

Quit trying to recapture lost memories and make new ones. We all have our ideas on how it's supposed to be and how it used to be. Okay, things change. Make some new traditions and build new memories. Forget the hassle and mess of putting up that giant Christmas tree at your house.

Instead why not loan your decorations to a nursing home for the season? Help put up a tree for the nursing home residents who will sit and enjoy it for many hours. 3. Indulge yourself in one small thing. Maybe this sounds a little selfish, but I don't think so. Before you can really help others you need to recharge your own batteries. Do you want a day off where you can go anywhere you please without having to take your aging parent with you? Arrange it.

Have someone else stay with your parent. If you are caring for a parent in a nursing home, get away for a little while. Take a small vacation from the responsibilities for a few hours. You'll be able to do so much more when you get back. The holidays do not have to be sad times for caregivers. Remember there's a lot of stress out there for everyone and the happiest folks are the ones who plan for and work through their own personal circumstances.

Alice Stevens is actively involved in issues affecting the aged and their caregivers. She writes regularly for the blog Aging Parents Authority. http://www.agingparentsauthority.com


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