How to Cheer Someone up in the Hospital During the Holidays

A large part of enjoying the holidays is being at home with family and friends. You cozy up by the fire together, get to share your favorite holiday foods with one another, and laugh at the all the crazy memories from past holidays together. Yet, when someone faces a serious illness over the holidays, all the joys of Christmas can seem to fade away. The cold hospital takes place of the warm fire at home, food options become restricted by doctors, and it becomes increasingly harder to muster up a laugh. Watching a friend or loved one go through this can be heartbreaking. Last year, a family friend struggled with the last stages of cancer during the holidays. Her breast cancer had metastasized to her lungs, liver, and bones. It labored her to just get out of bed. All I wanted to do was bring her some Christmas cheer to lift her spirits because in reality, that was all I could do for her. But you would be surprised how much showing love in this way can lift others up during very difficult times. Here is a list of 5 things that can cheer up and loved one in the hospital during the holidays.

Give The Gift Of Aromatherapy

Hospitals are strict about lighting candles, and for good reasons, but most allow you to bring in your own diffuser and essential oils. There are some great Christmas scents that also have many healing benefits. Try Frankincense and Myrrh to improve sleep naturally or to clean the air from infections. Classic pine, peppermint, and citrus are energizing, while lavender and anise help to relax the nerves. Perhaps try a little clove oil to help them breathe easier or nutmeg oil to help with digestive issues or arthritis.

Decorate Their Hospital Room

Transform their cold drab hospital room into a winter wonderland. Well, maybe not go that far, but you can certainly do some things to help brighten the place up. Bring in a cozy Christmas blanket and slippers or hang up cards from friends and family members. If the hospital permits plants, bring in a mini Christmas tree, a Christmas cactus plant, or a bright red Poinsettia. A wreaths that goes on the door handle of their room with a beautiful ribbon and ornaments helps create that Christmasy atmosphere. If they don’t like plants, you can always gift wrap the door, make it look like a giant present, and hang up snowflakes. Just be mindful when decorating that your loved one may have to share a room with someone else. If they do, it may be best to hold off on the singing elves and the blinking Christmas lights. And of course be conscious and carefull to not set any decorations that could get in the way of the medical equipment or medical staff in the room.

Give Them Relief From Boredom

Let's face it, sitting in a hospital bed for most of the day can get very boring. Bring your loved one an iPad and Bluetooth speakers so they can access all the classic Christmas movies or fall asleep to their favorite Christmas songs. Better yet, have a movie marathon day with them where you get to enjoy the best Christmas movies together. If your loved one prefers a good book, give them a great reading lamp and a few new books to try out or give them an e-reader like a Kindle.

Bring Them Home Comforts

Many people have a special thing they wear during the holidays. A friend of mine loved her silky white robe with candy canes embroidered on them. Others may have a favorite hat, silly socks, sweater, or scarf they may want to wear. Ask them what favorite things you could bring them from home to make their stay in the hospital a little more comfortable during the holidays.

Help Them Stay Connected

Often, people facing serious illness want to keep up with their normal routine as much as possible. It gives them a sense of stability and familiarity during so much uncertainty. For example, I love Christmas cards and typically send one to a huge list of friends, family, and acquaintances every year. While in the hospital last year, your loved one could use your help by providing and helping to write Christmas cards for them. You can have them tell you what they would like to say in each card, and fill it out for them, and then have them sign the card. If your loved one doesn’t have the energy to sign cards, you can ask them if they would like you to sign for them. Alternatively, you can help them connect with people online or by making a bunch of phone calls on their behalf while sitting with them. They will be relieved and appreciate that you helped them keep family and friends updated on their condition. This will give them a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that they are able to still do the things they love and are important to them. And of course, they will love it if you bring them all of the Christmas cards they get in the mail during the holidays. This helps them feel how much they are loved and thought of by family and friends.