Top 10 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress for Caregivers

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress for Caregivers

Nov 18, 2013

Caregiver Support, Caregiver Tips

Caregiving can be a full time job, often for more than just one person. Caregiving can be especially stressful over the holidays, and asking others for, and accepting their help, can be very important. Because of this, it is important to remember, as the holiday season nears, that with proper planning and preparation, the seasons can a happy and meaningful time for all members of a caregiving family, instead of a stressful time filled with worry.

Here are ten helpful tips to make this holiday season more enjoyable for the one you care for, and better for you as well:

1. Make sure to set limits around your current situation. Remember that celebrations, even enjoyable ones over the holidays, can increase the demands placed upon the family caregiver. Make sure to plan carefully before the holidays occur to help reduce some of these pressures.

2. Sometimes it is OK to have a less than perfect performance or total control over a situation during the holidays, and that is just fine. Accept some of this and avoid giving up emotionally or denying the stress.

3. There's no need to do EVERYTHING during the holidays. There are often many family traditions for people, but you do not need to do all of them every year. Simplify the family get-togethers in numerous ways; consider asking family to come for dessert instead of an entire meal, use disposable or recyclable holiday and festive materials instead of creating a mess with dishes, select names for a gift exchange program instead of gifting to every family member, and much more.

4. Remember to use self-care techniques. Deep breating, stretching, a warm bath, and other personal care methods can help to fight negativity and stress around the holidays.

5. Enjoy some of your favorite music! Don't want to bother others? Remember your headphones!

6. Before jumping head first into the holidays, make a list of what needs to get done. Don't be afraid to delegate these responsibilities, which also allows others to participate in the events. Also, consider using respite services if needed.

7. Don't forget to eat sensibly!

8. Make sure to celebrate even your smallest successes, and give yourself credit when credit is due.

9. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as it is used for self medication purposes.

10. Feel confident in accepting your feelings. They are yours, and they are valid. Even with the best holiday plannings as a caregiver, there will be times of emotional upheval. Remember to talk to someone, share your burden, and even consider attending a caregiver support group if desired.

Of course, there are many more things you can do during the holidays to help yourself reduce the stress levels. We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you do need other information or assistance as a Caregiver, please contact FamilyMeans today.