The holiday season can be a busy time for anyone, and caregivers can feel a tremendous amount of stress balancing responsibilities while trying to enjoy this festive time of year. Self-care and stress management are important for maintaining physical and mental health. We’ve developed a list of ideas designed to help caregivers manage stress this holiday season and beyond in an effort to ensure happier holidays for everyone.
Start by making your own well being a priority. A recent article in U.S News and World Report suggests creating a “well-being wall” with posted reminders to encourage incorporation of revitalizing activities in your daily routine. By posting these notes in a highly visible location, other friends or family members may become positive supporters of your effort to care for yourself. They may even offer help.
Ask for help when you need it. Whether asking friends and family to run simple errands or contribute to a potluck, put out a call for assistance if you are feeling overwhelmed. For example, don’t feel pressured to prepare food from scratch if your time and energy are limited – convenient options abound at grocery stores and other markets and are delicious sanity savers!
Find simple ways to pamper yourself. Set aside 30 minutes every day to soak in a warm bath, read a book, listen to your favorite music, sip tea while a scented candle burns – whatever serves as a treat to your senses. You deserve to have time to yourself and to be happy.
Laugh when you can. Spend time with a friend who makes you smile. Read a silly book. Watch your favorite sitcom or get away to see a funny movie. Laughter and smiling release chemicals in your brain that main you feel great and reduce stress levels. We should all laugh more often!
If you are having and especially difficult time or feel truly overwhelmed as a caregiver for an older loved one, seek out a support group or professional help. None of us are alone.
At McKnight Place, our goal is to provide the highest standard of care to our residents and their families. We are here for you.