- Focus on what is most meaningful
As much as caregivers would like to create the perfect holiday experience, remember that perfection is not the goal — it’s really about meaning and joy. Adjust your view of a “successful” holiday.
- Adjust meals and gifts Simplify the menu.
Focus on the dishes that are traditional and give you that holiday feeling. Split up the grocery shopping and cooking. Eat at someone else’s home/restaurant. Try shopping online (many online stores will also wrap gifts). Give the gift of time or attention.
- Keep self-care at the top of the list
As caregivers, we give and give and give, and during the holidays we give even more. All that giving can leave you running on empty, with high stress levels or even full-on burnout. Like our cars, we can’t run on an empty, so think about what fills you up and do more of that.
- Connect with other caregivers
Connect to share your feelings and get tips for holiday survival. If it’s difficult to get to an inperson caregiver support group due to health issues, holiday activities or weather, try online message boards or social media groups like AARP’s Family Caregiver Discussion Group on Facebook.
- Ask for help
The holidays are a great time to get some extra help — even a few hours can be a huge relief. Family and friends can lend a hand with holiday preparations. Remember, you’ll be happier if you can go with the flow and expect that there will be some delays, a crisis or two and maybe some disappointments. But alongside those things, there can be real joy.
The bottom line is that this time is precious. Even if this holiday season doesn’t include all of your family traditions, savor the moments and make new, meaningful memories you can cherish forever.
One of the best gifts you can give yourself is asking for help. Reach out to Case Management to help you with holiday coping strategies and take advantage of our free program. You are not alone!