The holiday season is a time marked by kids laughing, families gathering and late-night outings. These are the cheerful sights and sounds that surround us for one month each year. Whether you’ll be visiting your in-laws or spending quality time your Memaw, chances are high energy and lots of noise will fill your days. While this is a perfect recipe for family fun, reality is, this scene can be exhausting for a lot of people — especially if you have hearing loss. Upon reviewing submissions, we’ve compiled the best advice to pass along to you to ensure you get the most out of this time of year. Here are five ways to hear more and fear less this holiday season:
- Wear your hearing aids. This one may seem obvious, but with the hustle-and-bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to walk-out the door and forget. Even if you’re not fond of them, wearing your hearing aids really does help. Experiment in similar situations prior to the gathering and test-out different settings. If you don’t want to experiment in public, try it at home.
- Don’t fake it. If you’re in a conversation with a close friend or family member and are having difficulties hearing, let them know. It’s better to have five memorable conversations than ten or twelve ones that you can’t recollect. Just remind yourself that your friends and family are there for you and want your holidays to be just as, if not more, enjoyable for you.
- Take a break. Introverts aren’t the only ones who benefit from a hiatus during the holidays. Stepping away for a few minutes from the sounds of holiday family gatherings will give your brain and ears a break. Resort to the restroom, step outside on the patio, or relocate to a quieter room with less noise. Cleaning your pallet, per say, can help reenergize and refuel you for another round of holiday hobnobbing.
- Bring your sense of humor. Along with the gifts, this is something you’ll want to be sure you have as you leave the house. While you may not hear every laugh or kitchen-ding, try to laugh a little and be grateful for the loving friends and family around you. And who knows, you may even get ole Suzy to crack a smile!
- Set reasonable expectations. Whether this is your first holiday season experiencing hearing loss or your tenth, it’s always important to keep the situation into perspective. Unmet expectations can lead to frustration and disappointment, neither of which you want to allow to damper this cheerful time of year.