The holidays are a time of joy — of family dinners, exchanging gifts and spending time with those we love. But when you’re caring for a loved one, this can also be a time of stress. With the arrival of the season, it can mean additional work to make sure your family member is well looked-after. This can elevate your stress levels, and you may not have the chance to enjoy the holidays like everyone else. To help you cope this season, we’ve assembled a list of tips to help you deal with caregiver holiday stress.
Holiday Stress Tips for Caregivers
- Lessen the holiday activities . Trying to do everything — to cook a fancy dinner, to set up all the decorations, to plan all of the family get-together time — may be enough to push you too far. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all. Rather than put up all of the decorations you have in storage, choose your favorite items and keep it simple. Don’t worry about sending out holiday cards if it feels like too much effort. Skip the big meal and just enjoy spending time with your loved ones. In fact, low-key celebrations are likely going to be best for the person you’re caring for, so it’s a win-win.
- Be reasonable about holiday expectations . Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to host elaborate holiday festivities. Being a caregiver for your loved one is a demanding role that can take a physical, mental and emotional toll. Set the expectation with yourself and your family that the holiday season may look a little different this year. In fact, this season is the perfect time to cut back on the festivities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to ask for help when you need, and if something feels like it’s too much, don’t be afraid to say “no.”
- Adopt some new traditions . When you’re dealing with caregiver holiday stress, it may be easy to focus on what you can’t do. Instead, consider what you and your loved one can still do. Load the household up in the car and take a drive to look at the holiday lights. Make a delicious batch of hot cocoa and enjoy a classic movie. Rather than hosting a big holiday party, schedule some video chats with friends and family. Even with health restrictions, there is still plenty of activities you and your loved one can enjoy without stressing you out.
- Arrange for additional help. Make sure you have time to enjoy the holiday by planning ahead and arranging for additional assistance. You can get the help you need in a variety of ways. If you want to hire a professional caregiver, work with them to plan your ideal holiday schedule so it matches their plans, as well. A friend or family member could also be a viable choice to lend a hand — just be sure to speak with them in advance so they know what to expect. Or, you could also opt for using a local respite care service to give yourself a few hours a week for gift shopping or just relaxing.
Managing Holiday Stress with Help from Garden Plaza
If you decide that respite care is something you want to consider this holiday season or after, Garden Plaza of Florissant is here to help. Our mission for respite care is to provide oversite and care for families to get some rest. Your loved one will be comfortable and well-looked after by our skilled team. We understand that no one likes change, and it gets even harder with age. That’s why Garden Plaza requests a minimum two-week stay, so your loved one can adapt to their new environment and get some well-deserved rest, as well. While your loved one is with us, you can be sure they’ll experience the same level of care and respect that every other resident receives.
To learn more about how Garden Plaza can support you and your loved one this holiday season, contact our team today.