FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN / Happy Holidays Day
/ Editorial List
As we enter the 2013 holiday
season next week with both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah
falling on the same day (turkey matzo balls?), we caregivers are
putting our own
personal holiday checklist in place. Ensuring
that our holiday decorations are placed with our
loved ones’ safety in mind (check), creating special
holiday menus for our loved ones (check), enlisting
the support of family members who will be
celebrating with us (well, we can hope!). But
as many of us do, you probably forgot the most
important item on the list – caring for you. I
know, I know, caring for you during the holiday
season is sometimes more of a challenge than caring
for a loved one. But for your sake and the
sake of your loved ones, it should be at the top of
So, let’s run through some self-care tips.
Give yourself some gifts by
letting your friends help you. When someone
asks, “Can I do anything for you?” give him or her
something to do. Let your friend run an errand or
stay with your loved one while you take a break and
get out on your own.
Keep the romance alive. Couples facing caregiving
situations are apt to forget to nurture the
relationship that brought them together up to this
point. These relationships need just as much, if not
more, attention as they did before.
The motto "Everything in moderation" should be your
guide through the holidays. There are many
temptations throughout the season—alcohol, sweets
and rich food. Go ahead. Have some (I said “some.”)
Just don't over-indulge. It may make you sick or
uncomfortable—something caregivers can rarely
prepared for unexpected circumstances. Something may
come up, and probably will, so what can you do? If
you can, change the situation. If you can't, accept
it and move on. You cannot control life no matter
how planned out you believe you have things.
Remember to see the humor in a situation when you
can. It will really help defuse the stress.
Try to keep up on your regular exercise routine, or
start one, during the holidays. Walking five times a
week is a great way to stay in shape. There is also
something about pounding the pavement that helps
release frustrations and clears your head. If you
are looking out your window and the snow is
flurrying and drifting, find an alternative. Many
health clubs have indoor tracks. If that doesn't
appeal to you, check with the nearest shopping mall.
Some open early just for walkers.
Keep setting goals. Before you were a caregiver, you
set personal goals. Your life did not end because
you became a caregiver. When the caregiver duties
subside, you should not “return” to your life, you
should continue with your life.
Now, if we could only
add Christmas to next week’s celebration, we could
have the holidays done in one fell swoop. I
just don’t know how well pumpkin and candy cane
knishes will go over.