Although our culture actively promotes the idea of holiday perfection through TV ads and popular movies, for many family caregivers, the period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is anything but idyllic. As the daily stressors mount, the average caregiver often struggles with having enough time to juggle a household and job with holiday activities and caregiving duties. If this describes you, here are some creative ways to celebrate the holidays this year without experiencing caregiver guilt.
Avoid Unrealistic Comparisons to Past Holidays
The first step is to clear your head of all those old holiday memories. That’s because the perfect holidays you remember so fondly probably weren’t so perfect after all. Although there’s nothing wrong with reminiscing about the “good ole days,” drawing comparisons between this year and past holiday seasons will only set you up for disappointment.
Be Thankful for What You Have
Being thankful requires the ability to accept where you currently are in life. Although there are usually circumstances that everyone would like to change – for example, taking care of an aging parent with dementia – accepting the fact that your efforts are making a difference will transform disappointment into gratitude.
Communicate Honestly with Loved Ones
If you tell them in a loving way, even small children can understand that your time is limited while caring for Grandma or Grandpa. Use the same approach to communicate honestly with adult family members about your inability to bake all those cookies like you did last year. Helping the entire family understand that each person’s desires are important to you – but that you also have a lot on your plate – will help keep expectations more realistic.
Focus on What Truly Matters
Don’t beat yourself up if you end up shopping online, decorating sparsely, or skipping Christmas cards altogether this year. Instead, remind yourself that your health, well-being, and peace of mind are all gifts you can offer to your loved ones. By cutting back on some of the unnecessary holiday traditions, your friends and family will have more quality time with you!
Watch Funny Holiday Movies
Laughter truly is “the best medicine” when it comes to keeping caregiver stress at bay. Find some funny-yet-touching holiday movies and start a new tradition by watching them each year. If your kids will be joining in, look for holiday movies that use a comedic approach to also teach valuable life lessons.
Find Other Ways to Decompress
It’s easy to get so caught up in addressing everyone else’s needs during the holiday season that you neglect your own. But it’s essential to remember to also take of yourself. That said, other ways to relieve caregiver stress include taking a hot bubble bath, going on a long walk along the beach, listening to relaxing Christmas music, or unwinding in front of the TV with your favorite holiday beverage.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Don’t allow caregiver stress to turn you into a Scrooge this holiday season. Instead, seek outside assistance from trusted friends, family members, or community volunteers that work with the aging. Another reliable way to get temporary help is by hiring a professional respite caregiver from a reputable home care provider.
Quality In-Home Respite Care for Families in Charlotte County, FL
When your aging loved one’s care weighs in balance, finding the right respite care provider can be nerve-wracking. Put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead® Senior Care. Conveniently available in Naples, Fort Myers, and Charlotte County, FL, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.