Being a caregiver is stressful enough without the added pressure of the holiday season. Especially during these uncertain times. You most likely have a lot of expectations from your care recipient, your family, or a combination of both. Although you want to make this time special for everyone else, remember to prioritize yourself. AARP offers ten tips as you go into the holiday season:
Focus on what is most important to you
Make activities simple
Embrace new traditions
Know your holiday season triggers
Act on self care
Reach out to other caregivers
Ask for help
Keep a positive mindset
Focusing on what is important means making a prioritized list. It also is a reminder to be unapologetic if we cannot get everything done. Making activities simple contributes to this idea. Instead of being too elaborate, focus on the things that matter. When old traditions will not work, try some new ones. Because of COVID-19, the Center of Disease Control urges you to limit your spread. This can be isolating, so trying to embrace the change and starting new traditions can help. Reaching out to family members that are alone for the holidays, even if it is just a text, can make the world of difference. Shopping online for gifts can reduce the physical contact you have with people.
The holiday season can also be a time of grief. If this is the case for you, AARP reminds you to know what triggers those feelings and cope as best you can. This is why self care is essential. While it is the season of giving, think of it as giving back to yourself, too. You deserve the giving that you show to others every day. Communicate with other caregivers. Ask friends for help. Know you have others that are there to help you (AARP, 2018).