Tips for Making the Holidays Less Stressful & More Joyous for Family Caregivers
The holidays are right around the corner. This magical time of year begins with Thanksgiving dinner and stretches through New Year’s Day, full of special times spent with family, creating memories to last a lifetime. For family caregivers, the holiday season can be more challenging. Let’s explore ways to help the entire family enjoy these amazing times together.
Keep things simple: Rather than organizing an over the top holiday plan, remember that it is fine to scale things back. Having a simple holiday gathering can put the focus on what is most important: quality time spent with family. Caring for a loved one can take your full attention, so if you’re feeling stressed or short on time, consider displaying your most favorite items rather than your entire collection of festive decorations. Ask family members to help you decorate, clean the silverware, and set the Thanksgiving table or to make various dishes to complete the meal. Don’t pressure yourself to keep up every aspect of traditions. If the process of sending out holiday cards feels like too much, consider e-greetings or scale down your list to a few people.
Change your strategy for holiday meals: The heart of a holiday celebration involves a meal spent with loved ones. But the planning, buying, prepping, cooking, and cleanup of a holiday meal can be overwhelming, especially for the hosting person. By shifting how meals are handled, the outcome can be just as enjoyable but infinitely less stressful. Try a new approach:
- Keep the traditional parts of the meal but streamline the number of options for dinner. By picking fewer side dishes or scaling back the number of desserts, there will be less work and less waste.
- Incorporate a few premade sides from a supermarket or restaurant to reduce the preparation needed.
- Consider having a family meal at a local restaurant.
- Divide shopping for supplies and cooking responsibilities between family members. This lets everyone participate in the meal and share their favorite holiday dishes.
Don’t forget to make self-care a priority: Caregivers by nature are empathetic and giving. The multitude of responsibilities of family caregiving makes it easy to become run down. When we are busy caring for a loved one, it is easy to forget to do things like get good quality sleep or eat a healthy diet. Self-care is never selfish. Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms like indulging in too much holiday cheer or eating lots of sugary treats, which can result in a sugar crash. Try to take some time to take a walk, enjoy holiday decorations in your neighborhood, or put on some holiday tunes and dance. Do something to bring some joy to your life every day.
By approaching the holidays with a different mindset, it is possible to put the focus on creating memories with loved ones and making the process more simple and enjoyable for everyone, especially family caregivers.
CarePatrol knows the power of family as we have been giving families peace of mind for over 30 years. We partner with you to make finding senior care options easier and more tailored to the needs of your loved one. Your CarePatrol Local Care Advisor will schedule a tour of your matched communities and accompany you on these visits. We support you by giving you the information you need to make an informed decision, and ease the tension of move-in day, and we’ll stay in contact, ready to help if their needs ever change. Our services are at no cost to the families and older adults that we serve. Reach out to see how CarePatrol can give you a holiday season with less worry.