The holidays are happy times but they can also be stressful. We overeat, we over spend, we say yes when we should say no. I remember a time when my ex-husband asked me to wait to shop for Christmas and finally gave me the go ahead the 23rd of December to shop. I remember sitting down on a bench in the middle of Wal-Mart crying my eyes out in a sea of people. Never had I waited so long to shop and I never did it again. That’s one example of typical holiday stress for everyone.
Having a hearing loss on top of it adds that much more stress. Music blares from speakers in every store, the extra people and chatter with all the check out counters open with beeping cash registers create a cacophony of noise to my ears. With my hearing aids, I find myself clenching my teeth trying to put up with the extra clamor. Without my hearing aids, I shop in peace but I also don’t hear what people say to me either.
Then there’s the big family dinner where everyone seems to be talking and enjoying the conversation but the hard of hearing person feels alone in the midst of family. We want so much to be a part of it all; the jokes, the stories and the family gossip but it’s impossible. And it hurts when we miss something, especially when a relative gives us the ol’ “Never mind, it’s not important” or our significant other tells us, “I’ll tell you later,” and later never comes.
If all this sounds familiar to you, come to our next meeting, this Saturday 9am-11 at the Sanderson Center. Our topic is “Holiday Stress Management.” We will be in the Conference Room (looped room was already reserved darn it!), we have CART (captions) and the FM system.
In the meantime, here’s a few links to check out:
Arlene Romof, holiday tips for the hard of hearing: http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/Holiday_MadnessRomoff_ND08.pdf
Tips for surviving holiday stress: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/12/23/9-tips-for-surviving-holiday-stress/