last minute holiday support: part 2

In our last post, we reprised suggestions (from Part 1 of Best Ways to Get Through the Holidays),for the best ways to cope with the upcoming holiday season.

Here are more proven strategies from Part 2 of Best Ways to Get Through the Holidays:

1) Contact the host or hostess before the get-together and let him/her know that you aren’t feeling like your usual self and may need to leave early.

2) Give yourself the first 30 minutes after you arrive to adjust to a gathering where your spouse is no longer with you.

3) Take your own car or alert a friend who is driving that you may want to leave early.

4) If you start to feel overwhelmed, you can retreat to the bathroom or take a short walk for some private time.

5) If you choose to avoid the usual gatherings, consider volunteering to serve meals at shelters, visiting shut-ins, or spending the day at a movie or health spa.

Remember: You will get through this time. We’ve found that the anticipation is usually much worse than the actual events. Be sure to plan ahead and do only what is most comfortable for you.


year-round volunteer opportunities

In our post on volunteering for the holidays, we suggested some short term ways to help others, especially if the usual holiday celebrations are too difficult to face since the death of your spouse/partner.

If however, you want to volunteer on a more ongoing basis, we suggest checking into the following opportunities in your community:

1) Schools that need tutors or other types of volunteers
2) Libraries
3) Food banks for cancer/Aids patients
4) Hospitals or hospices
5) Medical organization sponsored thrift shops
6) Meals On Wheels
7) Senior Corps Programs (http://www.seniorcorps.org/), such as Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and R.S.V.P.
8) Museums that will train docents
9) Family Service agencies that will train volunteers for a variety of tasks
10) Houses of worship
11) Veterans organizations and troop support services

A great online resource for finding local volunteer opportunities is Volunteer Match (http://www.volunteermatch.org/). This site offers a wide range of places and causes you can assist as well as help you can provide online, if you aren’t up to getting out.

Keep in mind that an added benefit of becoming involved in volunteer work is the opportunity to create new friendships.

Discovered other opportunities to help?

Let us know.