Holidays can be a relaxing time full of family and friends, good food, and ongoing traditions. But celebrations can also be stressful when you have aphasia. These tips for navigating the holidays with aphasia will help to make the holiday season a little more enjoyable.
Tips for Getting Through the Holidays When You Have Aphasia
1. Prepare in advance for travel
Traveling is one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of the holidays for many people, and traveling with aphasia isn’t any easier. Coping with holiday stress is less difficult when you relieve some of the craziness of holiday travel by preparing yourself for possible delays. If you have aphasia, consider getting a TSA notification card for plane travel. You should also plan driving routes before leaving the house, as both roads and airports will be crowded.
2. Call your host beforehand
Getting through the holidays with aphasia is also much less stressful if you touch base with your host before a visit or meal, and let them know how they can make things a little easier. For instance, you can request to be seated next to someone you can easily speak with during larger group meals.
Sometimes singing can be easier than speaking if you have aphasia, so it might help your holiday stress management to make extra time for listening to holiday music or participating in carolling events. You can even sing while you cook!
4. Shop online
Stores are busy during the holiday season—online shopping has made it much easier to make purchases for loved ones without feeling rushed. Skip the stress of the mall or the department stores during the holidays and shop for gifts from the comfort of your own home.
5. Plan your favorite non-speaking holiday activities
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays without needing to say a word. Decorating a tree, lighting a menorah, or going out to a holiday lights show are a just a few examples of the ways that you can enjoy the holidays with aphasia without having to make conversation. Prioritize the traditions, games, and outings that make you feel the most comfortable and maximize your ability to enjoy the time with your family and friends.
6. Practice self-care
The holidays are exhausting, and can be even more so when you have to work hard to communicate. Get enough sleep, and make sure that you’ve build rest periods into your schedule that give you the time you need to recharge.
Navigating the holidays with aphasia doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Share your favorite tips with your family and friends to help them understand the ways they can help before the holidays are underway.
At the same time, we want to hear from YOU. What are YOUR best tips for navigating the holidays with aphasia? Share your story, and consider giving to the National Aphasia Association this holiday season to help us bring more resources, news, and research to those living with aphasia.