Engaging at Home™

Embrace the Pause-Tips for the Holidays

Finding balance during the holidays can be challenging. What does embracing the pause mean? It means different things to different people. You have to decide what it means to you and your loved one.      

  • To many of us, it means pausing before you speak (always a good idea). 
  • Or pausing during the day to let in a little peace (another great idea).      
  • It might mean pausing to schedule a time during the day when you and your loved one practice gratitude and focus on the good things in your lives. Writing these things on a daily calendar is a simple and easy way to pause and reflect on what is important. It also offers an opportunity for you and your loved one to read each day again what you wrote the days before.     
  • A monthly calendar provides a sense of the future for your loved one. Remind them that we have many things to look forward to; add upcoming events to the calendar and joyfully celebrate what is ahead.  

We want to credit Courtney Carver, the author of Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More, for challenging us to think about embracing the pause. Her books and website show us how simplicity can improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives. 
Stress associated with the holiday season can be overwhelming. Caregivers share the added burden of keeping things sane for the loved one (the person being cared for) and friends and family. Embracing the pause – can create more space, more time, and even more love. Here are a few suggestions to help you “embrace the pause” from Oakwood Creative Care.  
  • Change expectations while celebrating traditions: Choose the most meaningful traditions and focus on those. Decorating a tree, baking cookies, listening to seasonal music, and reminiscing with old photo albums help provide opportunities for reflection on past holidays while doing something in the present.      
  • Celebrate through music: If you are stressed, singing is a simple and effective way to improve overall health and well-being. Besides the physical benefits (strengthening our immune system) and emotional and mental benefits (singing is a natural antidepressant), there are the social benefits (sharing a moment of happiness with yourself and others around you). Holiday concerts on television or YouTube are excellent ways to enjoy the holidays and embrace the pause.       
  • Prepare Guests: Keep it small and intimate if you have family or friends over. Prepare guests and tell them how they can support you and your loved one. Provide suggestions to your visitors of ways they can interact with your loved one.      
  • Create a safe space: Be mindful of the time of day, light/dark, and noise level, and support your loved one when they get overwhelmed. Create a box of holiday memories you can give them when they need extra support.     
  • Minimize travel: Try to bring the holidays to you through simple traditions. Having family/friends come to you in small groups and being in a familiar and known environment will provide comfort for your loved one.      
  • Ask for help if you need it. Asking for help when needed indicates how much you appreciate and trust the people willing to help.       
  • Embrace the pause. Think about what this means to you and how it affects your relationship with your loved one.
Engaging at Home™ provides an at-home engagement program bringing love, compassion, and validation to those affected by dementia and their families. Reach us via email at info@engagingathome.com or by calling (602) 418-5196.
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