The holidays can be a joyous but stressful time (but it doesn’t have to be stressful). We offer 10 tips for caregivers to take care of themselves over the holidays.
1. Practice self-love
While the holidays can be stressful, it’s essential to take care of your physical and mental health. Keeping yourself healthy produces positive outcomes and improves the quality of care for those who depend on you.
2. Keep it simple
Remember, you have only so much energy and so many resources, don’t expend them at the expense of your own health. Keeping things simple and stress-free will save energy and your mental health.
3. No-stress meals
It’s ok to go out for meals or order in. The point is to enjoy the time together with those you love. If the time spent preparing a meal is more stressful than it’s worth, skip it.
4. Start a new tradition
Sometimes getting out and about isn’t possible due to personal responsibilities and time constraints. Invite people over to decorate, watch holiday movies at home, make yourself your favorite treat. You can develop new traditions that fit your life.
5. You can ask for help
Ask your friends and family to help with cleaning or groceries, shoveling the walk, tidying up. If resources allow, you can also order the things you need online or hire someone to help you.
6. Shop online
With so much going on, it’s challenging to find time to shop for gifts. Don’t be afraid to shop online for gifts and groceries, it’s a great time saver and keeps things relatively stress-free.
7. Brush off negativity
It’s the time for connecting with loved ones but also a time to keep our differences in check. Negative comments may come and go but don’t own them, brush them aside. Enjoy the time with those you love.
8. Let go of perfection
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. You have limited resources and limited bandwidth, work with what you have but leave perfection behind. The point is to enjoy the season.
9. Connect with caregivers
If you haven’t already, connect with caregivers in your community or find online communities to share your thoughts and gather tips. This is a great time to lean on these communities as you process the holidays.
10. Go with the flow
Take things as they come, there’s little need to stress about things that are beyond your control. You’ll feel much better physically and emotionally, but let go of the little things and allow yourself to enjoy the company of those you love.