At Village at Proprietors Green, we understand additional “To Do” lists always seem to accompany the holiday season. There are gifts to buy, food to prepare, cards to write, and events to plan – all while keeping up with the ongoing responsibilities of everyday life. For someone caring for a older loved one, these extra tasks may make an already full plate spill over with stress.
Here are some ideas for taking care of extra stress during the holidays:
- Simplify the season – Continue the holiday traditions that hold true meaning to you and your loved ones, but consider scaling back on others.
- Share the care-giving – The holidays often bring friends and family members home for visits. Take time for yourself while they enjoy the company of the family member for whom you are caring.
- Say yes when others offer help – Many of us may think we are inconveniencing friends and family members who offer to help, but that’s not the case. Let others lend a hand: they’ll feel good about it and you’ll free up time to take care of yourself.
- Seek out help – Take advantage of home health aides, adult day programs, and short-stay options at assisted living communities. Even if you feel you are irreplaceable (which you are!), your loved one will benefit from interacting with others and you will benefit from taking a break.
- Sleep, eat, and breathe – It’s far too easy to place your loved one’s well-being ahead of your own, but this practice might backfire in the end. Don’t forget to focus on your health, too. Get enough sleep, eat well, and relax.
- Maintain supportive relationships – Phone calls, visits, and outings with friends, as well as sharing experiences with others who understand your challenges, will alleviate some of the pressures you may be experiencing.
No two caregivers’ experiences are alike. Although your loved one appreciates what you do and others lend support, only you know the impact of care-giving. Be good to yourself, and remind yourself every day that you’re doing a great job.
Let us know how we might be a resource and have a happy holiday!