The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but for those who are full or even part-time caregivers, this time of year can be even more challenging. As the calendar books up and our “to do” list grows longer, it is common to wonder how it will all get done. As a caregiver, who has special demands placed on them each and every day, your energy level can really get depleted.
We’d like to offer you these suggestions for finding ways to recharge and embrace the holidays with an uplifted spirit.
Tips for Event Planning
- Bring the Party to You! Travel can add stress to the holidays for both you and the person you are caring for. Keeping your party in a familiar environment can also help to reduce exposure to germs keeping everyone healthier.
- You don’t have to do it all! Everyone loves pot luck and now is the time to embrace this All-American tradition. This holiday season has everyone bring a dish to pass. It will reduce your stress level if you don’t have to cook the whole meal.
- Limit the Crowd. This helps both you and the person you are caring for. Large crowds tend to be loud which can be stressful and overwhelming for those who are ill. Keep your guest list small and intimate. This will give you, and the person you are caring for, time to enjoy the company of all invited.
- Plan Ahead. Let those who are coming know how things are going with the person you are caring for. Don’t let them be surprised by any limitations or their current health status. This can lead to uncomfortable conversations or silences. Share any news ahead of time so visitors are prepared.
Tips for Parties and Gift Giving
- Be Selective. There are many parties to attend this time of year. You don’t have to say yes to every invitation, as tempting as it can be. The more there is on your calendar the more stressful life can be. Choose the few parties that mean the most and graciously decline the rest.
- Give Well. Everyone can appreciate a gift from the heart. Don’t waste countless hours traipsing through the mall. A loving note and gift card will be cherished for years to come.
- Receive Well. When others ask what you need, be honest. Ask for gift certificates for services that deliver, future help with errand running, or other assistance for the coming year.
- Eat Well. Eat well this holiday season. A balanced diet will help to keep your energy level up so you can feel well throughout the holidays.
Tips for Overall Wellness
- Ask for Assistance. Your list is a million miles long; don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to go it alone.
- Stay Active. Don’t let yourself get cooped up inside without anything to do. Keep busy, stay active, and keep in touch with friends and family. Do something you love, just for you.
- Keep In Touch. Stay in touch with family and friends. Make a date with a friend or family member for coffee, a little holiday shopping, or a trip to the movies. Get out and make connections. It reduces stress and helps to break up the routine that can drag you down.
- Let the Sun Shine In! Open the curtains. Let the sunshine in, turn on the twinkly lights. Brighten those gloomy winter days. It will brighten your mood and relieve some stress.