The holiday season can be especially hard on family caregivers. In addition to regular caregiver duties and life responsibilities, there’s the extra work involved in following your family’s holiday traditions. There are gifts to purchase, decorations to put up, and holiday parties to attend. When you have difficulty finding the time to get everything done on a normal day, adding holiday activities to the mix can cause some serious stress. If you’re looking for ways to de-stress your holidays and find more joy, below are some suggestions to make being a caregiver during the holidays a little easier.
#1: Focus on the Meaning
Instead of getting caught up in the trivialities of the holidays, make it a point to focus more on what they mean to you. If the holidays are a time when being with your family is most important, then make that the focus of the holiday instead of hanging decorations or buying gifts. Rather than spending your time stressing over getting everything done, use the time you’d spend on holiday preparations to spend quality time with your children or significant other.
#2: Continue Only the Most Important Traditions
Consider picking only your favorite traditions and doing those. Let the others fall to the wayside. You can always pick them up again when your life slows down. By putting your time into your most important traditions, you can get the feeling of the holidays without all the extra work.
#3: Decorate Less
Are you the kind of person who truly “decks the halls?” Does your house end up looking a little like something out of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? If so, think about cutting back a bit so that decorating doesn’t take quite as much time.
#4: Ask for Help
There are very likely people in your life who would love to help you but feel uncomfortable asking if you need it. They may worry that you’ll feel insulted because their offer might be perceived as an accusation that you’re not doing a good enough job. Try asking those closest to you if they would spend a few hours with the older adult while you go gift shopping or decorate your own house. You could also ask someone else to bake the cookies for your or wrap packages. A home care provider can offer the respite you need to finish your shopping, decorate the tree, or just take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season.
#5: Keep the Older Adult Involved
Involving your aging relative in holiday preparations not only makes the season more festive, it can also relieve some of your workload. Seniors can participate in most holiday activities in at least a small way, which can also make them less work for you. For example, when you’re wrapping gifts, ask the older adult to stick on bows and tags or cut pieces of tape for you. Your senior loved one can also benefit from time with a home care provider preparing holiday treats, writing greeting cards or wrapping gifts for the grandchildren.
The holidays should be a time for joyful gathering, peaceful reflection and time spent with loved ones. If the stress o the season is overwhelming you as a caregiver, consider a home care provider to take some of the caregiving responsibilities off your plate.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Bradenton, FL, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Bradenton today at (941) 499-5946.