As the holiday season approaches, do you find yourself stressing about additional caregiving responsibilities? The act of providing care can be both an incredibly rewarding experience and an extremely difficult responsibility. How can you better take care of yourself and your responsibilities? Take a look at our seven tips below:
Prioritize and Plan. Before the holiday season begins, plan and prioritize events, obligations, and the tasks you need to accomplish. Planning will do wonders! This planning stage is vital if you want the holiday season to run smoothly. Get organized, gather your shopping lists, and plan your invitation lists and menus. Budgeting and having your schedule in one place will help you in the long run.
Engage the Family in Planning. Don’t take on the burden of the holidays on your own. Lean on them to help accomplish everything from household errands, cleaning duties, meal preparations, planning and more. Your spouse, siblings, close friends, and children (even the younger ones) can help ease the burden of responsibilities and will be the backbone of your support system.
Maintain Routines. With so many exciting adventures and hectic schedules to keep track of, it’s important to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Keep up with dietary, fitness, and other such regular daily routines, and help your loved ones keep up with regular habits as well. The comfort of a daily routine will keep stress at a minimum.
Avoid Stress. Avoiding unpredictable crowds, tension-inducing events, and high-stress situations will help seniors who live with dementia. Do what you can to provide comfort and calming techniques when such events cannot be avoided. One-on-one time at a big event, such as a crowded family reunion over the holidays, can give you a chance to reconnect and ground tense emotions.
Connect with Support. If you need help, find it. In addition to a strong system of support, hire professionals to help provide additional caregiving and to accomplish errands. Often times, we take on the Superman mentality of wanting to be able to do it all. Connect with others for support; Find online message boards, help groups, a counselor or therapist, and other health professionals in order to find the support and share advice on what you need.
Take Care of Yourself. Often when we take care of others we forget to take care of ourselves. Slow down and take some time to relax. Trust your instincts, be able to recognize the signs of stress. Treat yourself to some time alone or to just socialize with friends. The need to provide and care should not negatively impact our mental and emotional health. Eat healthy, exercise often, and sleep well.
Reflect. At the end of the season, some simple reflection can help make next year even better. Ask yourself about what worked and what did not. Maybe you will need to begin planning earlier next year or get even more family involvement. Some reflection can help you make improvements for next year.
Arise’s Nominate a Caregiver Contest
If you know a caregiver that is going above and beyond this Holiday season, nominate them to win some fantastic prizes! Arise will be offering a contest in celebration of National Family Caregivers Month by giving away an R&R gift package which will include a $50 Olive Garden gift card, a $20 Parkwood 18 gift card, a $50 Daylily Spa and Salon gift card, as well as some other special gifts. In order to win for the caregiver in your life, tell us why you think your family caregiver is the best of the best in our Facebook comments.