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Stress-Free Holiday Season Tips for People with Vision Loss from Lighthouse Guild

December 4, 2019

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a stressful period. People with vision loss can face particular challenges. Cooking, shopping and traveling can require more effort. Social interaction often increases with people who may not understand vision loss.

“We are surrounded by holiday music and calls for us to enjoy gatherings with friends and family, buy gifts and forgive past hurts. However, for some, the holidays can bring out feelings of sadness. Others may feel overwhelmed by the need to do it all,” says licensed clinical social worker psychotherapist Edward Ross, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Lighthouse Guild.

There are a few steps you can take to help make the holidays more enjoyable and less stressful.

Plan Ahead:  Plan travel details and alternate routes for shopping and visiting carefully and in advance. Shop during the least crowded times of day.

Acknowledge Feelings: It is not uncommon to feel sadness, anger or grief during the holiday season. Acknowledge those feelings and realize that it is OK to cry or express emotions.

Reach Out:  If you feel lonely or isolated, reaching out and seeking support and companionship can help. Community centers, religious organizations and other groups in your area offer opportunities to connect with others. The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Forget Perfection:  The holidays do not have to be perfect or exactly like last year. Traditions and rituals can change as people and families change. You can choose to hold on to some of the old traditions and create some new ones. 

Avoid Arguments:  Family and friends may not live up to your expectations but try to accept them as they are. Make every attempt to set aside past grievances for a more appropriate discussion time. Odds are others are also experiencing holiday stress.

Mind Your Money:  Decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to a budget for gift and food shopping. Sometimes a simple gift or meal can be the most satisfying and meaningful.

If in spite of your efforts, you still feel persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable, hopeless or unable to face routine chores, seek professional help from a doctor or mental health professional. 

Facing the holiday season may not be easy, but no one has to do it alone. Professional help is available through a number of resources including 

Behavioral Health Services at Lighthouse Guild, the only program of its kind in the United States designed for people dealing with the effects of vision loss on their emotional health. Staff are trained to help people with vision impairment who are suffering from depression, trauma, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety due to a chronic illness, multiple medical issues and family crises related to work, children, or housing.

About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services directed at prevention, early detection and intervention of vision disorders. Reducing the burdens of vision loss is the cornerstone of what we do. For more information, visit

Press Contact: Bryan Dotson, Manners Dotson Group, 917-796-8632,

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