It’s Christmas Time and with that often brings caregivers mood swings dominated with depressing thoughts of what’s missing from Christmas past, not sharing and feeling left out from the holiday celebrations with friends.
Fortunately I’ve never really experienced the drastic mood swings. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones or maybe I’m just more aware of the things one can do to avoid these pitfalls.
Thinking about what I do that may be different from other caregivers brought these three actions to mind: Inclusion, Exclusion and Celebration.
Inclusion consists of doing things I’ve always enjoyed doing and getting my Ma to participate as much as possible. Also, sharing with old friends the positive things I’m doing by connecting through phone calls and the internet.
Exclusion is by me trying to stay away and keep away from Ma negative influences. This includes people, places and things. We all know people who are never happy and insist on sharing their unhappiness with others. There are also those who, with little experience or knowledge of their own, love to contribute unsolicited advice. Bad memories are often triggered by places you’ve visited in the past. Try to go places that bring back happy memories. Sure they may bring on some sadness for the happy times of the past but for me the cherished happy memories they trigger usually outweigh the sadness. Exclusion also includes conversations with your old friends. Remember only your most loyal friends are willing to take the time to listen to your problems and even for them that can become old. Your friends are much more likely to reach out to you when they know you’re more often than not going to be a pleasant person to converse with. Try to exclude negative thoughts from conversations you have with your friends.
Celebrate and Deck the Halls, this is a great way to include your caree. It can become addicting too which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can fill in time that would normally be inactivity bringing on boredom. So just try to take the first step and see where it leads. The act of decorating for the Holidays can provide a sense of accomplishment and pride to both you and your caree. It can inspire you to invite friends in so you can share what you’ve accomplished.
Here’s a video that shows what the simple act of setting out the Nativity can lead too.