Coping with Christmas chaos!
With Christmas fast approaching there is so much to think about, and it can all get far too overwhelming.
People with an acquired brain injury often struggle with crowded, loud and bustling spaces, finding things too much to handle. Whether it’s the disorientation if you struggle to find familiar faces or landmarks in a crowd, or if it’s the noise and physical jostling, this can all bring added stress and anxiety to the build up to Christmas.
Here are some ideas of things that might help:
Going out with a friend, family member or support worker.
Timing a shopping trip for a part of the day when it might be quieter and when you have more energy.
Having a plan of what you need to do so that you can be organised, as this might reduce the time you are out and the need to dart backwards and forwards between shops.
Trying not to get separated from the person you are with while you’re out and having a plan ready in case you do.
If you are attending groups, think of the activities they might be doing at this time of the year – lots of laughing and singing of carols may become too much, even amongst familiar faces!
Talking about some of the fears you might have and working out a plan to deal with them – whether that is when you might need someone to step in for you to ask for something in a shop or help you work out your money at the till.
Trying not to over-commit yourself by accepting too many invitations. If you have more than one falling on the same day, pick the one you would like to go to the most.
Be OK with changing your mind at the last minute and accept that it is sometimes a choice you have to make.
Talking to a friend, family member, or a support worker who may be with you, what kind of things might indicate that you are ready to go home, such as looking tired, getting more confused, having difficulty staying involved in a conversation.
Thinking about how loud and lively the event might be and if it may be a little too much for you, perhaps you might choose not to stay for the whole thing.
If you tire easily, thinking whether there will be opportunities for you to sit down comfortably.
If you live on your own and worry about being on your own over the festive season -
Is there someone you can arrange to go and see or who can come and see you?
If you can’t see anyone in person, is there someone you can speak to on the telephone, or if you use social media maybe over Facebook or Twitter?
Is there a group activity you can sign up for, so that you can spend time with others? Sometimes care homes open their doors to others who are on their own to join them for Christmas lunch.