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Holiday Stress: Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays

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There is no instruction book for how to navigate the holidays as a caregiver. The holidays are stressful enough, but when you add caregiving for a senior to the list, the combo can push you to your breaking point.

Don’t let that be the case this year! Get a grasp on things now so you can fully enjoy the holiday season and make the most of the time with your loved ones. While there are many factors beyond your control, you can still adjust your attitude and outlook to make sure this holiday season is a bright one.

Tips for Managing Holiday Stress for Caregivers

The most important thing to remember during the holidays, and year-round, is that you’re doing the best you can. You’re not perfect and it is okay to cut yourself some slack. Use these tips to help you bring the joy back into your holiday and eliminate some of the impending stress of being a senior caregiver.

Try these 5 tips to make the holiday season a little merrier:

  1. Focus on What is Most Important – Sounds simple enough, right? As much as you want to make the perfect holiday experience for your loved ones, especially your aging parents, you have to remember that perfection isn’t possible. Prioritize the things that are most important, focus on your happiest traditions and remember that time spent together is the best gift of all. Don’t be afraid to simplify the season.
  2. Ask for Help – Not only are there people around you who are willing to help, but it’s also a great way to make new memories. Have everyone pitch in to cook something, have a decorating party or ask a relative to watch your loved one while you run errands. Sometimes it really does take a village – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
  3. Create New Traditions – It’s never too late to try something new. Instead of focusing on the things your loved one won’t be able to participate in this year because of health concerns, try coming up with new ideas that get them involved. Drive around and look at Christmas lights, watch a holiday movie together or write out old fashioned Christmas cards together. Whatever you do, make it count.
  4. Be Flexible – Depending on your loved one’s health, you may have to adjust your plans on short notice. Try not to be disappointed when your plans change. Make the most of it and try to choose things that don’t require a lot of advanced planning. Simplify your holiday menu, keep several dates available for outings and just be open to going with the flow.
  5. Practice Self-Care – As a caregiver to seniors, it’s very easy to put yourself last. The needs of your loved ones have to come first. And while that’s commendable, you need to take time to enjoy the holiday season for yourself. Not only is it good for your physical health, but it’s beneficial to your mental health as well. Try implementing strategies to manage your stress this holiday season by:
    1. Listening to calming music
    2. Meditating
    3. Making a to-do list and delegating tasks
    4. Enjoying a spa day
    5. Read a favorite book
    6. Revisit stressful situations after you clear your head
    7. Reminisce about good times and memories
    8. Watch your favorite holiday movie

Just remember, there are plenty of caregivers who are dealing with the same struggles as you. You are not alone in your journey. If you are truly struggling this holiday season, consider joining a local support group or seeking help through online forums. Sometimes all you need is to feel like other people understand what you’re going through.

Genuine Support for Caregivers at Peregrine Senior Living

We understand the demands placed on caregivers of seniors. It is our goal to help lift some of the burdens on you by supporting seniors through the aging process. We focus on transforming expectations and creating an atmosphere that supports growth and fulfillment. Learn how we can help support your needs as a caregiver while also providing your loved one with unparalleled care. Contact us today.

Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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