Caregiving has its own challenges, being a caregiver during the holiday season has even more challenges. As a caregiver it is important to remember that the traditions of the past, do not have to be the traditions of the future. The pressure of trying to make everything the same and add that layer of caregiving can be quite overwhelming. Below are a few tips to help minimize caregiver stress during the holiday season.
Tip #1 – Do not put too much pressure on yourself.
Remember the reason for the season and enjoy time with family. Do not spend time worrying about decorations, sending holiday cards, or the perfect meal. Spend time enjoying family and friends enjoying holiday activities.
Tip #2 – Do not worry about making every else happy.
The holidays can bring emotions of joy and moods of negativity. If you are caregiving for a loved one who is unhappy during the holiday – remember that is not your fault. You can only be responsible for how you treat others and the mood you present. Take care of the things you can control and do not allow any negative emotions to bring you down.
Tip #3 – Be prepared
The holiday season comes with lots of parties and engagements. Make sure you plan accordingly. Plan the food you need to bring, the gifts you need to take, and the caregiver assistance you need as far in advance as you can. Preparation is the key to lower stress.
Tip #4 – Prepare family members for what they might expect.
Extended family may not understand the unique dynamics of caretaking. Often, when family members who do get to be with you regularly come for the holidays, they can be surprised at how the family member you are caregiving for has declined. Many times, out of goodness, they offer advice and can interfere with your normal routine. If you can educate and prepare family members in advance this will reduce the stress caused by unwanted caregiving interruptions.