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.

About Harriet Hodgson

Rochester resident Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 37 years, is the author of thousands of Internet/print articles, and 35 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Minnesota Coalition for Death Education and Support.

She is also a contributing writer for The Caregiver Space website, Open to Hope Foundation website, and The Grief Toolbox website. Harriet has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN.

A popular speaker, Harriet has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, caregiving, and bereavement conferences. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories.

All of Harriet’s work comes from her life. She is now in her 19th year of caregiving and cares for her disabled husband, John. For more information about this busy author, grandmother, wife, and caregiver please visit