Caregivers need to find ways to manage their stress this holiday season and you, as family and friends of a caregiver, can use holiday gatherings to help them do this. But first you need to open the door to a conversation with the caregiver about how they are doing. Here are tips for them to get this conversation going and allowing the love and support to flow.

Here’s the forth of 6 tips: showing your loved one that you recognize the incredible work they’re doing.

4) Honor and affirm the caregiver for their generosity, perseverance, and commitment.

holidaytipsCaregivers are extraordinary people. Or they are ordinary people who have stepped up in ways that are extraordinary.

However they have come to their caregiving role and situation and however they feel about doing it, many will rebuff our attempts to honor and affirm them for the personal qualities they are bringing forth right now. They might say that they are doing it out of love and loyalty. Or that they had no choice, that it’s a burden, but there’s no one else to carry it.

An exercise I offer in my book Coaching for Caregivers: How to Reach Out Before You Burn Out asks caregivers to list the various things they are doing as a caregiver. Then it asks them what values of theirs they are honoring by doing each of those things – even if they are doing them reluctantly or out of guilt, resentment, etc. Regardless of motivation, their caregiving actions are ways that they are walking their values.

So, honor and affirm them for doing that. Another gift that requires no wrapping!

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