The holidays are stressful for everyone. Even more so when you have a disability that makes it harder to do things. Remember when you were a child, and everything was magical and the only thing you stressed about was getting that toy you wanted. And the only person you tried to avoid was that one aunt that showed her love too aggressively? There are ways to make the holidays more magical. Here are some tips for a no stress holiday.
Ignore Rude Relatives
We all know the rude or intrusive family member or members that make any family get together awful. Some ways to make your family time more pleasant are
- Avoid-Just avoid being around them. You can help the host with clean up or serving. You can run errands. You can go to the store to pick up something that the host needs or just pretend to pick something up and never come back.
- Just ignore the rude relative- You can make small talk but ignore the majority of what they say, sneaking in some air pods couldn’t hurt either.
- Remember your reason-Remember the reason for going to the event in the first place. There are reasons you chose to attend instead of staying home.
How to Say No!
Another main reason for holiday stress is that there are too many things going on. Everything from family gatherings to friends and church. We don’t want to disappoint the ones we love so we say we will do or go to whatever you are invited to. This leads to fatigue, exhaustion, and bitter feelings. You need to say no sometimes if you are to enjoy the holidays. Remember to:
- Be polite- Be polite when you decline anything but also be assertive in your response.
- Don’t give in- If your friend or whoever is persistent, don’t give in. You are saying no for your health and your mental state. You do not have to do anything.
- Have an exit strategy-Some people just will not take no for an answer. Be sure you know how and when you will exit the conversation. Sometimes you just have to say No! and walk away.
Fun Activities with Family
Take some time to plan some fun family activities by thinking about what made the holidays special to you and do that for your kids.
Special treats like hot cocoa, a favorite dessert and seasonal candy helps make the holidays fun again. You don’t have to spend hours making desserts or spend a lot of money. Your kids will remember it just like you when you were young.
Seasonal games. Buy the seasonal coloring books and other activities. Color with your kids and do the cute little word searches. Reconnect with the simplicity of childhood. You can even throw on a holiday movie while you do the activity books.
This site has some easy crafts to do with your kids.
Reduce Your Workload
When you suffer from fatigue, you can’t do everything Pinterest says you should do.
Look on the internet for simple recipes. Instead of making everything from scratch. Buy premade items and substitute.
- Turkey stuffing = boxed stuffing
- Green bean casserole = use canned everything
- Mashed potatoes = buy the premade stuff at the store
- Turkey = Rotisserie chicken (okay, not the best substitute but at least you don’t have to spend all day cooking it)
Shop online so that the packages come to you. Most online places have an option for gift wrapping. There is also the bag option to gift wrapping (Dollar Tree anyone?) If you have to go to a concrete store, choose small stores so you don’t have to go cross country for a couple of things.
Only decorate one part of your house. You can decorate just the dining area or just the living room. Decorate just the front of the house outside or just your lawn. Use big decorations if you have an open floor plan. As much as we want to do everything, it isn’t necessary. You will not ruin anyone’s holiday because you only decorated your table.
Quality of Life over Pinterest Ideas
Everyone wants the perfect holiday but when you have a disability that makes normal days hard much less holidays. Your family will not have a terrible holiday just because you used canned food and only decorated the front lawn. They will not enjoy it as much if you are too tired and in too much pain to celebrate with them.
It’s the quality time your family spends with you that make the holidays special. So, relax and use these tips for a no stress holiday. Do you have any more no stress tips for the holidays? Leave them in a comment below!