Holiday Musings



Here goes - a title for this week’s blog.  Hmmm – How about “A few of my favorite things?”  Um, no.  I think, for me – what would be more apt is “Self Care during the holidays”, or maybe – “Some ways I try to stay sane during the holidays (and other times, actually)”.

My last blog reflected my heavy heart during recent world events – and as I approach the HOLIDAYS – the messages blasted by the media (SEASON OF GIVING!  18 MORE SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!) juxtaposed with the headlines can be jarring, to say the least.

During the holidays, and especially this year, I find it helpful to keep a few principles in mind.  Breathe.  That’s first.   Find pockets of hope and meaning where I can.  Here and there, often in unexpected places.

A few thoughts, not necessarily in order… No judging, ok?

Being present. My son is a junior in high school – and we have officially boarded the college crazy train.   I am very mindful that the window of time before he leaves is becoming smaller every day – so I am making an effort to recognize that the moments that I have with him are a gift (along with his smelly socks).   My daughter sent me a video today of my 2 year old grandson counting in the bathtub – I wish I could describe his little voice to you “1 . . . 2 . . . 9 . . . 12 - - SOAP”.  A gift.

Experiences.  I am known for being a little nutty about holiday lights – I make my husband, son, and anyone else I can grab - drive with me every year to find the most extravagant (and often outlandish) light displays, accompanied by the loudest holiday music I can find.  They groan and love to tease me – but I treasure this experience with them.  If you know of an especially fabulous holiday light display please let me know.

Memories.  Gift buying can be overwhelming - so a few years ago I began giving family photos as gifts.  I try to capture a special photo from a holiday gathering or vacation during the past year, and frame it as a gift.  This year is especially memorable for me as I am giving photo books of my son’s Eagle ceremony to both my husband and my father (both Eagle scouts).   I have also done photo ornaments for my children and grandchildren – which bring back a precious memory each year that we decorate the tree.

Food and cooking.  I absolutely recognize that for some, cooking is a chore – but for me, during the holidays (or any time I am feeling anxious and a little crazy) it is therapy.  I try and make time to get into the kitchen and bake at least a few times during the season.  I turn on the cheesiest holiday music that I can find and go to town!   (Not to brag, but my cookies are kind of famous – and yes, I share recipes).

Walking my dog.  When I go to get my running shoes, my labradoodle (Keiko) does this inexplicable dance of joy that is a wonder to behold.  Making time each day to get outside with her is especially important for me during the holidays.

I would love to hear your thoughts about experiences you create and ways you make meaning during this season.   Leave a comment, send me an email, or give me a call.  No judging, promise.  Happy Holidays.


About Author

Kim Andreaus

Work Life Program Manager

Kim Andreaus is the Aging and Eldercare Program Manager for Work/Life. She has experience in geropsychiatry; both inpatient and in a community mental health setting. In addition, she has been a faculty member at NCSU, UNC-CH and Wake Tech and has taught courses in gerontology and conducted training in geriatric mental health.

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