By itself, caregiving is a huge responsibility. Add the holiday rush and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Fatigue sets in and you wonder if you’ll make it through the season. These self-care steps will help you make it through the holidays and, most important, enjoy them. You may wish to print out this list and post it on the refrigerator.
- Connect with other caregivers. You can do this by participating in a chat room, sending emails, and text messages.
- Have one meaningful conversation a day. This conversation may be with a family member, a trusted friend, or even a stranger.
- Be kind to yourself. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Simplify your list and slow down.
- Involve your loved one. Is there special music that she or he wants to hear? Does your loved one want to send cards?
- Attend selected holiday events. Note these events on the calendar. Be careful not to over-schedule.
- Make “me time” part of each day. Read a magazine or watch your favorite television program.
- Give to others. Giving, whether it’s to a health organization, books to the library, or toys for the community sharing tree, embodies the spirit of the season.
- Keep a caregiving journal. The words you write document your journey and family history as well.
- Add physical activity to your routine. Just a few minutes of physical activity—a 15 minute walk or stretching—can boost your energy and mood.
Remember that caregiving is love in action. Tell yourself this each day. You wouldn’t be a caregiver if you didn’t care, and that is a blessing.