The holidays never fail to be an extremely busy, and hectic time of year. Full of laughter, joy and memories, the holidays also bring along busy schedules, shopping, and loads of preparation. It is a time you want to spend as much quality time with your loved ones as possible, while also having time to buy gifts, wrap and prepare meals.
This is no different for a caregiver, who on top of the normal tasks, is also responsible for the well being of another person. The holiday season can prove to be a difficult time for caregivers, who have to juggle so many tasks. That is why it is so crucial to keep a few things in mind during the holiday season.
Do the things you love!
Always continue your traditions! If there are activities you do, foods you make or places you go, try your best to make sure they happen. You should always do things that make you happy, and things that have value to you during the holidays. In order to do so, plan ahead. Schedule time to take part in your annual traditions, so you don’t feel like you missed out after the holidays have passed.
Make time for your loved one
The one that you’re caring for has special needs that you must be cognizant of day after day. Take some extra time during the holiday season to make them feel special, like they aren’t just a patient or somebody who needs help. Take them out to do something they once loved doing, if it is possible. Reminisce with them about their holidays growing up. It’s the little things that can truly change a person’s holiday season.
Give time to yourself
This applies year round, not just during the holidays. Cameron Von St. James explains that scheduling “you time” is a must. “Many [caregivers] even feel guilty if they take time for themselves. I don’t believe you can be an effective caregiver if you are not taking care of yourself.” Cameron has made a point to take time to himself as he’s cared for his wife, Heather, an 11 year survivor of pleural mesothelioma.
You could treat yourself to a relaxing day, or schedule some time to do an activity you love. Maybe, pick a day to sleep in. You deserve rest and relaxation. Since the holiday season is generally busier than normal, it is extra important to take a breather and do things for your own physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Don’t stress about the small stuff!
There are an unbelievable amount of details to consider during the holidays. What do you do when your plans don’t all fall into place? Probably panic and stress out! What should you do? Nothing. Do not stress about the small stuff. If you can’t bake the pie you wanted, or find the gift you were looking for, it is okay. The true meaning of the holiday season is to spread joy and make memories with the ones you love. The rest of your family and friends will understand your additional pressure as a caregiver.
Are you a caregiver and do you have any tips or suggestions we can share? Leave a comment and let us know!