The holiday season is officially upon us. That means tons of hours spent cooking, cleaning, shopping and let’s not forget all the holiday parties. For anyone, this can be a stressful time. But for someone who is caring for a loved one, all these additional activities can add on a whole different level of stress. We’ve done the research for you and are going to provide you with the best tips to help get you through this year’s holiday season!
Watching for Signs of Stress and Burnout
As a caregiver, you are reasonable for two people. It’s important to pace yourself and watch out for any signs that you may be experiencing burnout from all the additional holiday stress. By creating a schedule with all the additional holiday activities will help to give you a feeling of control and structure. By creating this schedule, you will be able to see the tasks that you can pass along to others, or maybe you can simplify your holiday season but crossing them off of your list.
Your Own Holiday Emotions
The holidays can bring up many wonderful or painful memories. You could remember the joys of a child, or maybe this is the first holiday season without your loved one. For anyone dealing with their own personal stress during this time you need to find a balance. Remember that if anything is making you uncomfortable just take a few moments to breathe. Try not to let the little things bother you. This is a joyous season and by preparing yourself for various situations you could be dealing with will help to keep any emotions to a minimum.
Acknowledging Your Emotions
It’s important and healthy to acknowledge any emotions you may be feeling. The holiday season can be extremely overwhelming. By suppressing any feelings, you may be having will only make things worse, and could cause emotional outbursts etc. If you find that your emotions are focusing on the decline of your loved one try focusing on the positives. You are giving so much to your loved one and you should be very proud of that. If you find that you are in a position of hearing other family members talking about all the amazing things that you no longer have time for, try focusing on all the help that you have received. Avoid any type of negative thinking when it comes to your loved one’s care, this will only cause heartache and create more stress.
With all the additional tasks that will need to get done it’s important to remember to still make time for yourself. Be sure to sure to still go to the gym, or for a walk. It’s important to keep those reflection times in your life. Especially during the season. It may be hard, but try to limit the sugary holiday goodies, these goodies could cause an energy and emotional crash. So be sure to get outside and enjoy the day, even on the harder days.
Create a De-Stress List
The only person who can help you to be less stressed if yourself. You understand yourself better than anyone else and know exactly what works best for you. By putting together a list of things that help to calm you during a stressful time can be extremely beneficial. By carrying this list, you will be able to reference activities or quotes that can quickly bring you a sense of calmness.
Finding A Support System
While the holiday season is a busy time for everyone, it may be a little bit harder to connect with your normal support system of friends and family. There are local support groups that meet in your area that are always happy to listen and to help. By attending a few group meetings will help you to feel less alone and that what you are feeling is normal this time of the year.
Asking for Help
During the holiday season can be the best time to introduce help to your loved one. A lot of times since there is so much to do people are more willing to have others help out around this time of year. Home care can help with a lot of the daily activities that you just don’t have time for with your loved one. By hiring a home care worker, they can take care of things like transportation, bathing, meal prep, and most importantly provide you respite care. If you already use home care with your loved one, this is a great opportunity to let them take on more hours. This way you can take the time to get all your holiday activities done without having to worry about your loved one, home care will have it covered.
Every year you go all out, and it’s important to keep traditions. Maybe this year you can simplify a little bit by attending fewer holiday parties, or by being less extravagant in decorating. People will still appreciate all that you do during this season, but will completely understand why you need to focus more on yourself and taking care of your loved one.
As you enter the holiday season just remember you got this. If you start to feel stressed or burned out, take a step back and remember to be positive and find your balance. There are plenty of support systems like home care, or caregiving support groups who can help give you that extra supportive push that you need.