The holidays are a stressful season for just about anybody. But for those who look after an aging loved one or anyone in their care, it’s even more challenging to make time for seasonal delights—but not impossible.
You might already dread your growing to-do list as we approach the peak of the season. But here’s a reminder that you still deserve to care for yourself, even while juggling your caregiver responsibilities. So to help put self-care at the forefront of your mind moving forward, here are five actionable steps caregivers can take to reduce their holiday stress:
1. Determine what really matters to you.
Instead of trying to make everything perfect, take some time to figure out what’s truly a priority to you this season and focus on that.
Whether it’s the Christmas Day meal or that one holiday tradition you just love, focus on what really matters this season, and don’t stress over the rest!
2. Accept help.
Caregivers are notorious for not asking for help and certainly for not accepting it. But make this year’s holidays different, and reduce your load immensely by taking help when it’s offered. Chances are, you’ll be happy you did in the end.
3. Make holiday meals easier.
Coordinating holiday meals is probably one of the greatest stressors for anybody during the season, so this year, consider adjusting your meals for convenience’s sake.
You could ask your dinner guest to bring a dish, do take-out, dine at someone else’s house, or even opt for getting your groceries delivered this year—anything helps!
4. Find time for what you love.
It wouldn’t be a joyous season unless you made room for some joy, right?
So between everything on your to-do list, don’t forget to make time for the things you look forward to each year! Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the most difference.
5. Hold on to your routines.
Having company in town is lovely, but it’s easy to get whisked away by hosting and forfeit your self-care in the process. For any caregiver who deals with an influx of holiday stress, sticking to your routine can help you stay grounded and more in control.
So this year, as we head into this busy season, remember that your self-care is important, and as the old adage goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup without filling yours up first.”