The holiday season typically includes a lot of hustle and bustle. There are holiday traditions and expectations that one might find overwhelming to fulfill if they have a busy family or are a professional caregiver. The current extended pandemic adds another layer of stress to caregiving and holiday expectations.
We recommend the following tips to reduce caregiver stress and to practice self-care during this holiday season:
- Do you want to decorate the interior of your house for the holidays but are you feeling overwhelmed? Pull out your decorations and ask a friend or another family member who you know loves to decorate and has a talent for decorating, to decorate your home. Leave the house. Let go of control. Let them do it the way they want to do it. And show much gratitude when it is done!
- Do you want to decorate the exterior of your home? Again, ask a friend or family member to do it. If you want lights hung, there are companies that will come hang your holiday lights and then return to take them down at the end of the season.
- Instead of cooking your holiday meal, purchase the entire meal or at least several main dishes. Don’t feel guilty about not cooking everything, just enjoy trying out the purchased dishes. If a family member expresses disappointment that you are not cooking your trademark dish, take the time to write out the recipe for them so they have it to make whenever they want. Tell them you are available by phone to answer questions about making the dish.
- Do you have a few last–minute gifts to purchase? Shop on-line whenever possible. Purchase gifts, where having the item by the holiday date will not be a problem. Gift cards at the receiver’s favorite business are always welcome. A gift card to a local restaurant, a local coffee shop, local store, etc will be hits! Also, local small businesses will appreciate your patronage in this extended pandemic. Also, bag your gifts in cute holiday gift bags and skip gift wrapping totally this year!
- When purchasing gifts for others, make sure to purchase a self-care gift for yourself! A massage, a pedicure, etc. There are lots of discounted self-care gifts available this time of year. Use it immediately!
- Work in 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week. If you don’t have a gym membership or piece of exercise equipment at home that you like to use, walking outdoors or at a nearby mall is the next best choice. Upon completing each exercise session, you will feel so much better.
- Do you personally know of more persons being infected by the COVID virus? I do! If you got your initial vaccine several months ago, get your COVID booster and seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible. Especially before holiday gatherings.
- And as crazy as this may sound in the middle of the holiday season, eat as healthy as possible over the holidays. Add a daily green salad to you diet. Add a daily piece of fresh fruit to your routine. Make sure to drink more water. If you drink soda or alcohol on a daily basis, go on a soda or alcohol fast for 5, 7 or 14 days.
- Do you like holiday music? Do the songs remind you of pleasant childhood memories or past holidays? Enjoy and play holiday music!
- Do you have favorite holiday movies or shows? Make time to relax and watch them by yourself or with family members. Record them so that your can watch at your convenience. Make it a relaxing event and evening.
Happy Holidays from the StaffLink team!
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