The holiday season typically brings with it a rash of seasonal party invitations, longer to-do lists, and less time to get it all done. For those working in healthcare, it can bring added challenges. Here are five tips to create a more conscious approach to the holidays this year:
Find ways to create moments of peace. When you act, speak, and think from a peaceful place, you honor others and yourselves. It reduces your stress and changes the energy around you -- and in the world. Ask yourself, what thoughts, actions, and environments bring you peace, and then create a plan to tap into that peace daily.
Honor your feelings. Especially when you witness others suffering through chronic illness, it can be easy to compare your struggles and rate them as less important. If youíre going to be compassionate toward others, you also need to show yourselves compassion. Your feelings matter. If youíre tired, stressed, or sad about the holiday season, acknowledge this and then ask yourself what steps you can take to get some rest, reduce your stress, and/or receive support.
Make conscious eating choices. The holidays bring a lot of temptations. Itís OK, unless itís against doctorís orders, to treat yourself, but donít go overboard. Ingesting too much sugar, alcohol, and calories will affect your well-being.
Create a balance between the time you want to invest in the festivities and other responsibilities. Itís easy to get distracted by the holidays. Make conscious choices that reflect your core values when it comes to gift giving, spending time with family, and recharging your batteries.
Have fun. Too often we fail to understand the true value of having fun. Like self-care, it can become a low priority. If your entire holiday season is filled with obligations, most likely it wonít feel fun.
But what about patients and their families who are struggling at this time of year? For those who have lost loved ones, and for those facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses such as cancer, the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions for both patient and caregiver. To ease the stress of the holidays, here are two simple tips for them:
Give yourself permission to say "no, thank you." Remind them that this is the time to put themselves first and let go of the expectations of others. Itís OK to take a pass on participating, or to change up traditions so they can save time and energy.
Ask for what you need.
Wishing you, your patients, and their families peace and well-being this holiday season.
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