Five Creative Ways to Make the Thanksgiving Holiday More Calm and More Memorable

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With the Thanksgiving Holiday brings an added opportunity for calmness and relaxation, instead of stress and rushing around. Usually one of the most difficult things to do is finding activities or things your guests can do to help you with during the preparation of the day or weeks events.

I have at least five suggestions for you to try, that will make the day or the week a much calmer time for all of you.

1) As you make contact with family and friends, when they ask what they can bring to the dinner or the event, in addition to food or goodies, suggest that they start to make a list of things and people that they are grateful for. Past or present, living or not, if they start doing this on daily basis leading up to Thanksgiving Day they should have a fairly long list.

This list will be part of their gift that they bring to share with everyone.

2) During your family meal on Thanksgiving Day ask your guests to share their list of  what they are grateful for. You know even the most negative, and unhappy people will be grateful for sunshine, rain, clean water and soap to wash their hands. The important thing is to reflect, to go quiet and inside yourself and ponder the questions.

3) Children in the family circle are very important, and please include even the smallest at the big table, not a table of their own; this only separates and alienates the little ones. The children have so much to contribute. Let them know how grateful you as an adult are to them, you can even give them light tasks to do so they feel good about the day, this too builds memories for them.

4) Men, yes, usually you have to pry their bodies away from the television set, football games dominate their thoughts, either the local high school or college games. Men can be asked to participate in being grateful too. I have found that most think gratitude has to be attached to an emotion or centered on their jobs. They use their competitive nature to relate to most things. Once they understand that they support their families with more than money. They have a strong physical presence in their home and in their community and of course the role model that they are for the children. Your role here is to remind them in a calming relaxed manner so they will feel like the hero’s they are, not beasties.

5) Starting a tradition is wonderful as an end of a holiday event. Collect the lists of gratitude’s have many pictures taken to circulate later and give a remembrance note book to a newly wed or the person who traveled the farthest, so they can start planning for next year with ideas and fun.

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Caregiver stress reducer- Laughter is the BEST Medicine.

For Caregiver stress reducer- Laughter is the BEST Medicine.

There are times during your caregiving when spontaneous laughter us not going to happen. When you just feel a bit blue, sad and find it difficult to see any humor in your current situation try a video infusion of humor.

For me, renting one of my all-time favorite funny movies or TV shows that truly will provide the belly laughs and happy tears does the trick. I pick most of the I Love Lucy shows.  Also I will catch a few widely popular and funny cat videos on You Tube.

I always notice how quickly this sort of things eases any tension, dissolves anxiety and lightens my mood. This sustainable laughter is the greatest Rx for stress, especially caregiver stress. You can always repeat as necessary without any harmful side effects.

I’ve found that the funniest stuff is based on real life situations anyway, and with that you can begin to see some of the humor in your own life.

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Caregiver stress relief- 3 reasons why Eating out relieves caregiver stress.

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Whether you are dining Alfresco or having a picnic lunch, eating outdoors is one of life’s simple yet special stress relief pleasures.

Eating outside gives you a sense of freedom, space and calmness.

For caregivers who tend to stay indoors most of the time caring for loved ones, any outside activity is freeing.

You can get the same freedom and calmness bonus whether you are in a restaurant garden, a picnic pavilion, a trendy sidewalk café or your very own backyard.

When you invite a friend along, the experience becomes more enjoyable because the conversation is more spirited and much less formal.

Here’s some other reasons:

  • The open space is liberating, there is more room to move and you feel casual. The atmosphere is festive and sometimes romantic.
  • The outside views are interesting, you may have mountain or ocean scenery, or perhaps a lovely garden to stimulate you mind and free it from stress.
  • But the best part is that the food tastes better, maybe because in the fresh air you feel hungrier. In addition, I think the fresh air helps you to breathe in the great aromas of the food.

So that is your activity to help you celebrate life and reduce stress, take every opportunity to enjoy a meal outside.

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For Caregivers- The good kind of “Get Lost”!

get-lost The good kind of “Get Lost”!

When we are laser focused on the task or event at hand, when time seems to stand still or “where did the time go?” this is the good kind of “getting lost”.

Getting lost in the moment, in losing yourself so completely in a diversion, you forget all about all those other things stressing you out and you realize that they were not worth the trouble of worrying over in the first place.

Mat I suggest some great ways to get lost, consider rambling walks, ballgames, a movie, going to a museum, reading your favorite books, street fairs, weekends away from caregiving, or hopping in your car and going for a leisurely drive. Yes, you can do this, it’s called spontaneous fun!

Try anything you don’t have to plan, worry about or watch the clock during. You’ll find that these unscheduled get-a ways are a reality in themselves, and not just an escape from reality itself! Know that your life need not always be the restrained or programmed routine that it may seem.

This get-a-way is most important after your caregiving duties are done and you are transitioning back to your own identity again. Yes, there is a life after caregiving.

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Caregivers don’t stress while taking vacation pictures.

Caregivers, no need to stress while taking vacation pictures.


Going on vacation is a reward that caregivers deserve. The trip usually is remembered by pictures, that we show to everyone so we can relive the memories.

Sometimes we are so stressed and anxious to get our trip or special occasion documented in pictures, with a digital camera or our smart phones, we all but miss the wonders of the events and grandeurs themselves.

What I’m trying to say here is, you are never going to enjoy something more than when it is actually happening! So why spoil the whole experience by peering at it through the camera and making those silly selfies.

My suggestion is this take a couple of quick snapshots or video clips that will suffice to document the event and make the who, what, when, and where it all happened. (You know better than I that the pictures will be downloaded into your computer and probably lost or sent to the safety of a cloud program. You will probably show them off during a family reunion or during a holiday.) Be a participant during your vacation instead of an stressed observer. Take pen and journal in hand an write your impressions of the day, the event or the gathering. Write down details and emotions that you felt, describe the smells of the food and the sounds of the surroundings. Your first hand memories will be far more poignant and meaningful then just putting a picture on a disk.

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How caregivers can release their stress by thinking creatively!

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Caregivers can release their stress by thinking creatively!

Everyone has an imagination, even caregivers. Why not put your imagination to work, be creative and day dream.

Stepping out beyond the confines of a narrowed life perspective will allow your mind to be set free, expanding your personal possibilities, feel excited and be totally energized.

“However, you say, I’m not the creative type”. This may be true, in the way most people generally view creativity, with the usual art, music or writing. But each of us are true creatives in our own unique ways.

For example, you may enjoy building something, happy organizing a community group, confident in undertaking a new athletic endeavor, or planning an unique and elaborate social event. When you develop your self-care habits you will discover those hidden talents (hiding with in you) that haven’t been fully utilized because of the all- consuming caregiving lifestyle you are used to.

Its time to break away get creative and have amazing fun.

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How listening to music will soothe the caregivers soul!


We all enjoy some type of music, however for each of us caregivers, there’s a musical genre or composition that has the ability to reduce our stress and eliminate any anxiety.

You just have to know what it is because; we are all different with different stress reduction buttons. For some, for example, soft and soothing melodies work well. While for others, loud, rhythmic vibes work nicely.

To choose if you are not sure, try sampling some selections at a music store, pick up some cd’s or better yet try out

Then, because you are already prepared, when things start to go a bit tense, grab your phone, laptop and headphones and let the tunes bring you back to a more pleasant frame of mind.

Listening to soul soothing music is a part of caring for yourself.

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