Sandwich Generation: Self Care for the Holidays

As card carrying members of the Sandwich Generation, do you ever come first in your long list of daily responsibilities? Make an exception over the week between Christmas and New Years. Take some well-deserved time just for you.

Photo courtesy of Nina Matthews Photography –

Ask for what you need. Pronounce the Christmas meal potluck and don’t feel guilty about it. If they insist, let your family help with the dishes after the holiday dinner. Accept your friend’s offer to bring an appetizer – or even the main course – to the New Year’s Eve party. Everyone will be glad to play a more active role and you’ll have more time and energy to participate in the festivities.

Give yourself a break. Arrange for your out of town guests to stay in a hotel – it actually may be a relief for all of you, and the beginning of a welcome new holiday tradition. Instead of worrying about all the desserts you’ve consumed, use that energy to take a brisk walk in the park. Or pay off some debt rather than taking the family on an expensive outing; they will understand and grow from the experience.

Find emotional support. Are you facing the challenges of college kids coming home, integrating new in-laws into the family, caring for the growing needs of your parents or all of the above? Take a deep breath and call a friend. Share your feelings about what’s going on in your family. Relish in getting it off your chest, some positive feedback, a different perspective or a good laugh.

Give yourself a stress-free IOU and relax into the idea of some peace of mind. You really don’t have to deal with the mall mob scene. This season give the gift of time together to your family members, and tell them it’s the perfect gift to give back to you. It’s a present that will let you all know how much each other cares, and it’s sure to be the right size. Have a joyous and relaxing holiday season!

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