Managing stress is essential for caregivers and seniors alike. Here are more tips to help you stay peaceful as you navigate the holiday season!
7. Make Yourself a Priority
Set limits on all the activities you will take part in. Remember it’s ok to say no to some things! Reducing stress means spending more quality time at home, enjoying a peaceful quiet surrounding. Communicate well to friends and family so they will understand ahead of time that you can’t say yes to everything.
8. Prepare Others
Not everyone is used to being around a setting with medical equipment or illness. If you are a caregiver for a loved one who is declining in health, prepare your friends and family ahead of time on what to expect. This will allow everyone to enjoy visits more and make them full of quality time. It might be something as simple as asking people to speak up for those who are hard of hearing, etc.
9. Guard Your Heart
Another reason to communicate with your loved ones ahead of time on what to expect is to guard against the comments that can sometimes be hurtful, even though they are unintentional. It’s not uncommon for siblings to come visit and mention that your ailing parent is losing weight from not eating enough, or that you are not lifting, moving or turning them properly. Guard against being hurt or angry by explaining the state of affairs ahead of time.
Try to stay closely connected to your support system, whether they are professional or familial. Caregiving can feel like a lonely job sometimes and is overwhelming if you don’t have proper support in place. You are not alone! There are many ways to reach out for help. Find support groups on social media or ask your loved one’s physician. This is especially true if you’re caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
11. Let Perfection Go
So often, caregivers want to do everything perfectly, but that is simply not possible. While you may want to give 100% of your heart and soul into caring for your loved one, please remember to care for yourself too and cut yourself some slack. Give grace where it’s needed and remember that no one is perfect, and no family is without its flaws! Let a dirty house go, lower your expectation on yourself and others, and laugh a lot.
Remember not to compare yourself to others! If you are on social media a lot, keep in mind that people usually only put their best foot forward for Facebook. People seem to only post pictures of perfectly behaved children making beautiful cookies with grandma or a beautiful home with the fireplace crackling in the background. Please be kind to yourself and realize that we all want the world to see us as normal, jolly, and perfect on social media! It’s ok to find the humor in the imperfection of it all and just embrace life as it is—real, raw and sometimes funny!
Allow yourself to enjoy this holiday season! Keep it real and cherish every moment. None of us are promised tomorrow, so make today count—however that looks!
For more information on caregiving during the holidays, please contact us today.