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Caregiving During the Holidays
Categories: Caregiving Articles, Senior Care Tips, Taking Care of Yourself | Posted: 12/14/2015 | Views: 4378

This is a joyous season filled with excitement and bustling activity. It is a time of indulgence, parties, abundance, gifts, spending, and fun.   But, what if you are an overwhelmed caregiver?  Times like this can be a little hard when it seems that everyone else is in holiday mode.  Like the song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” there is a season and a time for everything.  When life is less like a Hallmark movie and more like a chaotic series of chores, it can feel depressing that we are not in the groove with the spirit of the holiday season.

When you are in this situation, it helps to not worry about what everyone else is doing and simply embrace "what is."  So, what if you decided to say no to all the parties and let loved ones know that you are simplifying gift-giving? What if you were to focus on the simple pleasures?  What if when people asked what you want for a gift, you asked for time visiting with your loved or so you could get a massage?   It is okay to not be in the same place as everyone else and to still enjoy your unique situation.

Seasonal Tips for the Caregiver:

  • Go ahead and say no to events.  You do not have to show up to your child’s cookie decorating event at school.  It is okay this year.   You may want to – but if there are just too many activities scheduled, don’t feel obligated.  Select the few you really want to participate in and simply say no to the rest.
  • Simplify your own traditions.  If you traditionally serve Christmas dinner, make it a potluck this year.  If you always buy the nieces and nephews the coolest gifts that you spend hours finding, this year, it would really be okay to give them an iTune gift card or simply cash and a cute card.
  • Keep Some Traditions.  If caroling or baking certain cookies is part of your holiday with your loved one, go ahead and keep the important ones.  You can still simplify these by cutting back if things are stressful.  For example, you don’t have to bake 10 dozen cookies – you can still have fun with a few dozen!  It is the memory of holidays past that you are trying to invoke.
  • Keep your loved one on a routine.  It is tempting to let your loved one stay up later, not eat healthy foods, etc. during the holidays.  While this is certainly understandable, try as much as possible to help them keep their healthy routines so that they feel well and rested during the holidays.  You don’t have to keep up the pace of those around you.
  • Acceptance.  Try to not compare your life to those around you.  It is hard when others seem to be having a more carefree life to not wish your life were easier.  Caregiving is a difficult task.  Acceptance is part of the challenge.  When we rail against “what is,” we often upset ourselves more.
  • Get a Little of What you Need.  Plan for small treats for yourself, outings with friends, or breaks that will allow you to get a little of those longed for holiday blessings.  There is no reason not to treat yourself a little during the holidays – no matter how difficult your situation.
  • Remember the Reason for the Season.  No matter what you are celebrating, one of the main themes of winter holidays is love and joy.  Keep your priority and your mind focused on the things that really matter and your holiday will be merry no matter the situation.

 

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