Easy tips and resources to help you cope with and make the most of Christmas after having a stroke.
There are over 100,000 strokes in the UK every single year, and they affect each and every person differently. There are many challenges that follow having a stroke that are both physical and mental which can then be exacerbated by particularly emotional events, like Christmas. There’s no denying that there will be all kinds of hurdles and hills to climb, but the festivities do not have to bring endless doom and gloom to your life as a stroke survivor. There are many ways you can not only cope with Christmas, but enjoy it too. Take a look at these tips and resources to help you with your Christmas plans:
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Involved
Your intelligence and personality are very much treasured by your friends and family and you are still very much welcome to be involved in the festivities. Some people may be unsure of what you feel comfortable with or how you feel, so you might need to take the lead and let people know that you do still want to be involved. If there are restrictions for you, let people know so that they can accommodate you. You don’t have to miss out.
Get Some Holiday Cheer In Your Home
Perhaps your family and friends can help you decorate your home so that it is cheerful and festive. Get some new decorations and embrace decorations that mean a lot to you. Certain objects may even help stimulate memories and aid in your recovery.
Keep In Touch With Loved Ones
It can be so tempting to isolate yourself following stroke, but it is so important not to do that. In person, via Skype, social media, or the phone: you can stay in touch with loved ones in some way during this festive period.
Allow Yourself The Time To Recover
Depending on when you had the stroke, Christmas may well be a period of recovery for you. If this is the case, you need to accept that it is OK not to have as busy a Christmas as you usually would. It is OK to let people come to you, to watch films you love and put your feet up, and to let other members of the family host Christmas dinner. The recovery stage you are at is unique to you and it is sensible to adjust your diary and activities to suit your recovery. Different Strokes did a really great 12 faces of recovery feature last year that could help you recognise that stroke recovery looks different for everyone.
Do You Need Help?
All kinds of everyday tasks can be a challenge following a stroke. Even saying ‘Merry Christmas’ could be really hard for the 350,000 people who struggle to communicate after a stroke.
If you need additional help coping with stroke recovery, the first thing you need to do is speak to your health care provider. Your GP or members of the stroke team who care for you will be able to help you with support. You may also want to consider special stroke care homes or live-in care to help you with everyday tasks whilst you recover.
You Can Enjoy Christmas After Having A Stroke
If you have had a stroke and worry Christmas is going to be a huge challenge in stroke care homes or at home, the first thing you need to do is put yourself first. By focusing on your own recovery and on your own needs, you have the best possible chance of enjoying the Christmas period and all the Christmases to follow too.