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Creative Ways for Caregivers To Manage Stress During the Holidays -- Part I

Holidays can be stressful enough when things are simple. But when you are managing your own household as well as being a caregiver to a loved one, holidays can be extra stressful. Here are some great tips on how to get through all the shopping and baking with a breeze!

1. Be Flexible About Traditions
Let yourself off the hook when it comes to using your best formal china and silver. It may not be feasible to do all the cooking, as well as looking after a family member who needs help. Try to narrow favorite traditions down to just a couple that mean the most, and then ask for help when possible. Let that time be a bonding time to make new memories!

2. Be Willing to Not Travel.
Even if you’ve gone to Grandma’s house every year since you can remember, try to think about the best interest of the loved one you are caring for. Are they able to travel comfortably? Can they handle all the stimulation? If not, perhaps a cozy holiday at home would be far more beneficial!

3. Let Go of Control
Remember that you can’t control the mood of anyone, including the person you are caring for. If you’ve gone to great lengths to make them happy but they just aren’t, then you have to let yourself off the hook and know that you did your best! Realize that they may feel moody during the holidays because of loss and change. Help them get through it together!

4. Ask for Help
Plan your holiday activities well in advance and get the help you need lined up. Ask friends and family to participate when possible and keep in mind that most people really want to help, so don’t deny them the opportunity.

5. Encourage Your Loved One to Participate
Your loved one may have been the patriarch or matriarch of the family for many years, but now they are dependent on you for help. This can be very difficult for them to adjust to. Imagine how you would feel if you suddenly couldn’t do normal mundane tasks. When possible, look for ways to get them involved in holiday activities such as cooking or decorating. Maybe they can’t do the cooking, but they may be able to be with you and show you how to make their old recipe!

6. Reminisce Together
Don’t hesitate to share memories and reminisce together. Talk about favorite stories from years gone by. Laugh at the craziness that families so often get into! Perhaps you can make some videos of these conversations to keep for years to come so you can pass these stories down to the next generation! Most of all, HAVE FUN. Allow them to contribute, and look for ways to bring honor and respect to your loved one, even if you’re caregiving. Taking care of someone is a tough job, but it’s also so very rewarding. Let this holiday season be full of precious memories!

For more information on how to manage stress during the holidays, contact us today!

Keep an eye out for Part 2 coming next week on our blog!