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Holiday, Gifts and Stress

By Jude Roberts, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 4)

Even if youíre not a caregiver, the threat of the holidays being right around the corner strikes instant fear, terror and major stress into the hearts of almost everyone. However, there is hope for caregivers to enjoy the holiday season and still make it a special time for their loved one as well. The key is to pace yourself, as well as to help your loved one do the same, so that neither of you will feel completely drained, depressed or overwhelmed, especially during such a special time of year. Here are some suggestions that may help you both survive the holidays:

Organize Your Time

Try not to schedule too many social events, one right after another. It's better to miss out on a few holiday events than to end up with yourself or a loved getting too exhausted, which could lead to health problems for both of you. Remember, when it comes to holiday events, it's the quality, not the quantity, that counts.

Make sure that your loved one gets a chance to have some quiet time away from all the noise, stress, and chaos that is a natural part of the holidays. Itís best to spend some quiet time together, so that you both get a chance to unwind from recent events.

If you end up traveling away from home for the holidays, make sure to begin packing way in advance so that youíll have everything needed for the person youíre caring for, as well as for yourself. Make lists and check them often prior to leaving home. Remember to have any refills on medications done early. If youíre traveling by car, remember to break up the car trip with a stopover at a park or at a favorite restaurant so that your loved one can get some fresh air and feel less confined.

Watch out for holiday burnout in the person youíre caring for, by taking note of unusual irritability, tiredness, or even boisterousness, depending upon their condition. Also, be aware of possible holiday burnout in yourself.

At the end of the holidays, you may notice some post-holiday blues creeping into the mood of your loved one. Itís best to try and get them back into their regular, daily routines as quickly as possible, but do it gradually so that itís not too much of a shock.

Patience is always required as a caregiver, but even more patience is required during the holidays, and in order to keep yourself from stressing out too much or becoming too exhausted, itís important to try and keep your own, personal holiday schedule under control. This doesnít mean to deprive yourself of social events that youíd like to attend for yourself, but know what your limits are, know that itís okay to reduce your holiday commitments down to only a few, and donít feel guilty about telling someone ďnoĒ when asked to participate in yet another holiday function.

 

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