A little smile, a word of cheer,
A bit of love from someone dear,
A little gift from one held dear,
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Never feel down,
even if you are half the world away…
For many of us Christmas is a time of excitement and celebration, but for those living with a chronic condition it can be challenging – both physically and emotionally. If you have a friend or family member who has a chronic illness, there are some very simple things you can do to help them over the festive period that can make a big difference….
- Going Out
Don’t expect them to go to every party, family gathering and drinks with friends. Remember: just because they did it today doesn’t mean they can do it tomorrow. Space out social gatherings or suggest quieter venues. Ask them what they can and can’t have at social gatherings.
- Offer to help with Christmas preparations
Preparing for Christmas Day can be stressful for the most of us, whether it’s buying presents, visiting family or simply managing expectations, but for those with a chronic illness it can be overwhelming. Offer help. Sit and down and work out what really needs to be done and what is achievable. However don’t take over and do it all. You might think you are helping but in reality, this might leave your loved one or friend feeling left out and inadequate.
- Spend time with them over the festive season
People with chronic illnesses often do not tell their doctor or healthcare professional that they are struggling with their mental health. It can be very hard to distinguish between a symptom of their physical illness and what is potentially depression. Being there for them creates a support network which makes them feel cared for.
- Offer to bring a dish over
Because someone with a chronic illness can tire more easily, offering to prepare them a meal can go a long way.
- Check they have enough medication over the festive season
Over the festive season, shops will be shut and medical services limited. Make sure that someone with a chronic illness has enough medication to last over Christmas and into the New Year.
- Don’t forget that everyone has different needs
Our needs are very individual and unless you know someone very well, it’s probably better to firstly let them know that you would like to do something that will help them and listen to what they suggest.
- Ask them how they are and listen… really listen!
Someone may look or appear well, but that doesn’t mean they’re feeling okay. Giving someone a chance to talk about how they feel could make their day better and make sure they feel supported.
Do you know someone who is spending Christmas on their own due to their illness? Invite them over even if it’s just for a cup of tea. People with depression, mental health issues and anxiety are often forgotten. If they aren’t up for a visit, give them a call…
No matter where you find yourself in the world during the month of December, there’s never any escaping Christmas expectations. Seasonally, this is supposed to be a time for family and loved ones – and we’re constantly reminded of how we should be celebrating, through films, adverts and songs on the radio. But for those of us facing a difficult Christmas this year, that’s the last thing we want to be reminded of…
There is a number of reasons why many people find Christmas season very difficult including death in the family, loss of a job, loss of a marriage or relationship, financial collapse, loneliness, depression, or family problems. A study into festive despondency by psychiatric healthcare facility Florida House found that 29 per cent of people feel depressed at Christmas because it reminds them that they don’t have anyone to share it with. Meanwhile, for 69 per cent it simply makes them realise how broke they are…
Are you facing a difficult Christmas season? Are you overly stressing about what needs to be done or the upcoming family gathering? Are you isolating yourself from all of it and everyone?
So, if you are feeling like the only person in the world who is not filled with festive joy, how can you make it through Christmas?
- Keep things simple. Keep your schedule simple. Keep your commitments simple. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
- Balance alone-time and time with others. Don’t isolate. Isolating will only make things worse.
- Talk about the issues with someone who is safe. Talk about why it’s a difficult Christmas, but don’t ruminate about it. Identify the pain and work through it.
- Do self-nurture. Take time to de-stress. Find gifts for yourself, pamper yourself, go for a long walk, read a book and wear your pyjamas all day if you want to.
- Give something back. Christmas is a great time to volunteer and there are always people who need assistance; helping out at your local Church or charity car boot sale is a great place to start.
- Lower your expectations. In fact, try to have no expectations. Too often we have too high of expectations, and the disappointment that follows when those expectations are not met will only add to one’s pain.
- Ignore the media. The schmaltzy ads and poignant songs can bring back many memories. At times this may feel overwhelming and trigger some pretty intense emotions. (This is totally OK). But when things get too much, it’s a good idea to mute those telly ads, switch off the car radio and completely disconnect from social media. And if you still need an escape, consider celebrating Christmas somewhere where you won’t be reminded so much of home or the person you miss…
It is not Christmas yet, but it is never too early to show someone they are loved….
Show someone they are loved…
Have a wonderful Christmas
lots of like minded friends in the New Year!
Hope that will help you get all your troubles sorted in the last week before Christmas and meet the coming New Year
Have a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year
🙂 🙂 🙂
If one night a big fat man jumps in through your window, grabs you and puts you in a sack, don’t worry. I told Santa I want you for CHRISTMAS.