How to Have a Hectic Holiday

Margery Pabst - December 05, 2013 11:51 AM

You're probably thinking, 'I need to read that title again' but you read it right!  Usually an article will have a set of guidelines and principles; we are all so accustomed to the positive' to do' list that I thought this negative slant might be a better attention grabber.

With the celebration of Thanksgiving, the holidays are official, so let's do a quick self check on our thinking about ourselves and caregiving over the past few days with the emphasis on 'thinking' because how we think about our caregiving role and our loved ones leads us to act in certain ways.  Example:  If I think the holidays will be hectic, then they probably will, but if I approach the next month with calm anticipation, then the season may very well pan out in a better way.  There are also a number of thoughts and statements we need to avoid.

Since I've made many of these mistakes, sharing my top five may help you be more aware of the pitfalls, so here goes my list of thoughts that will make for a hectic holiday and into the New Year.  Do any of the following statements or thoughts apply to you?  If you answer 'yes' for any of them, then you are in danger of having a hectic holiday.

"No one can do this job but me."

"No one can do this job as good as I can."

"If I don't do this job, something bad will happen."

"If I leave for a few hours, everything will fall apart."

"My loved one/ones expect the holidays to be the same."

I was reminded of these five dangerous thoughts by recent guests on my radio show, "Caregiver and Physician Conversations" sponsored by  Dr. David Decker, Executive Director of the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute and Dr. Sally Litherland, Director of Research and Development identified these statements/thoughts as being the most damaging and creating caregiver fatigue and illness.

As we approach the holidays, all of us need to pay particular attention to our thoughts and actions.  Teamwork is the order of the day, so make plans to ask for help and scale back, without stopping, your favorite holiday traditions.  As we move into the 2014, let's ask for help from others and be kinder to ourselves.

On Tuesday, December 10, I'll be interviewing Dr. John Guarneri, the lead physician for "Caregiver and Physician Conversations" and our caregiver panel for our special holiday show to be aired at 2pm Eastern.  The caregiver panel will be providing tips on having a happy, tradition filled holiday that reduces stress levels for caregivers and families.

Margery Pabst is eCareDiary's caregiving expert; her latest book,"Words of Care" found at , and

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