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Holiday Stress?

Ah, the holidays are here. How is everyone doing?

The stress and struggle during the holiday season can be real. At least it is for me. High expectations, seasonal affective disorder, depression — I experienced all of these even before I became a caregiver.

There was so much to process during that first holiday season on the road with Norma. She was away from her home for the first time in years; the home where she decorated the mantel with fake snow and Christmas figurines and where Leo set up his Lionel train track around the tree without fail. The home where lots and lots of cookies were baked.

This year it would be different. We were all in Florida now, not northern Michigan. There was no snow to be found, fake or otherwise. Even more significant was that Leo was no longer with us. How could I push through this season with Tim, Norma and Ringo with all of this grief and uncertainty?

It was important to me to find a balance between creating joy while still bringing in enough tradition to make it feel special at a time when we were sad and anguished. Though we were tempted to just let the days pass and get it over with, we chose to sprinkle a few things into our lives which allowed us to cheer up a bit during what was a tough time for all of us.

Over the next few weeks we will revisit the holidays from our perspective as Miss Norma’s caregivers. It is our hope that you will share some of your stories with us, too. In the meantime, our friends at Eldercare Link have shared 10 Tips for Coping with the Holiday Caregiving Blues. There might be something useful in there for you if you are anything like me and struggle during this time of year.

As always, you can find more support at:



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