5 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout This Holiday Season

5 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when we gather with friends and family. This busy month, although joyful, can also be stressful, especially if you care for someone else. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed about juggling the needs of a family member and the holiday season, you’re not alone — nearly 70% of caregivers feel extra stress over the holidays.

The good news: There are some simple ways to alleviate some of this caregiving stress. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of things you can do to make this season a bit easier.

Put Yourself First

Prioritize your well-being this holiday season by scheduling regular self-care activities—whether that is a long walk, your favorite treat, or some uninterrupted time alone. As the saying goes, “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”

Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish; it's an essential part of being an effective caregiver, so carve out time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Do Less

Here is your permission; we’ll say it again: Do. Less. Set realistic expectations for the holiday season, focusing on a few meaningful activities rather than overwhelming yourself with an exhaustive to-do list. Embrace the power of saying "no" to additional commitments and obligations, allowing yourself the space to savor moments with your loved ones and minimize stress.
  • Here are a couple examples of what doing less could look like:
  • Incorporating premade food, whether that means ordering out or store bought sides and desserts
  • Opting for gift bags over wrapping paper
  • Sending calls or texts instead of holiday cards.
  • Selecting favorite decorations instead of putting up everything
  • Saying no to gatherings causing caregiving strain (or that you just aren’t excited to attend!)

Be Flexible

Recognize that plans may need to adapt, and be flexible in adjusting expectations to accommodate unexpected changes in caregiving responsibilities or holiday arrangements. Embracing a flexible mindset allows you to navigate the unpredictability of caregiving, find joy in the moments as they come, and adapt to challenges with resilience.

Let Your Home Help You Out

Organizing and preparing the home for a more accessible holiday season will create an environment that is both festive and conducive to caregiving responsibilities.

Check out our post with tips on how to make your home more accessible for the holidays. These small changes can help you ensure a safe and comfortable space for you and your loved ones, alleviating a significant factor in caregiving stress.

Get Support

Reach out to friends and family for assistance, delegating tasks to lighten your load, and know that you don’t have to go through the caregiving experience alone. If you are able, explore respite care options to give yourself a well-deserved break, allowing you to recharge and maintain your caregiving responsibilities more effectively.

As you navigate the holiday season, remember that taking care of yourself is not only a gift to you but also to those you care for. By prioritizing your well-being, setting realistic expectations, embracing flexibility, optimizing your home environment, and seeking support, you can create a more manageable and meaningful holiday experience for both you and your loved ones. Here's to a season of joy, connection, and self-care.

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