As the holiday song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Yet, while this may be true for some people, for others, including those recovering from a burn injury, the additional pressures of the holiday season can make this time of the year anything but wonder-full. But be of good cheer… here are just a few simple de-stressing strategies that could help you and your family find the spirit of celebration and fill it full of the wonder that we hope for each December.
– The holidays are usually a time of visiting family and friends. For those of us with changed appearances, this can bring additional stress to the season. Be prepared for the reactions people may have when they see new scars, bandages or splints: Use the Phoenix Society’s Online Learning Tool so you can be prepared to respond with comfort and confidence. Here’s a link to the Online Learning Program: http://www.phoenix-society.org
– If your family is still maneuvering through the inpatient stage of the burn injury and you’re wondering how to manage the holiday demands, consider asking a family member or friend to do the honors for you this year.
– Bouncing back from a burn trauma is a slow process. Allow for this holiday season to be smaller, slower and more focused on a few activities or traditions that your family really treasures.
– It’s a season for giving; you may be at a place in your recovery to give back to others or you may be in a place where it would help you to receive. When support is offered, remind people that other family members close to the burn survivor can also use a card and gift of encouragement to lift their spirits.
– While we sing of this being “the happiest season of all”, it is also a time of the year where we may especially feel the losses and changes of the past. Perhaps the greatest gift you can give to yourself this holiday season is the time and space to feel and honor the sadness within. Allow yourself to do something that feels comforting.
– And finally, to you and yours, from all of us at the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, we hope that love and joy may come to you this holiday season. May there be peace, not just on earth, but in the hearts of all.