Well, we’ve reached that wonderful time of year fondly known as the “holiday season”. This year it began on October 31st. I know….that was Halloween, but all the stores had their Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations up already. Of course, these will be followed by Kwanza and then New Year’s Day will mark the end of the season. If you are a caregiver, this can be a time of very mixed emotions. We all have in the back of our minds a Norman Rockwell memory of holiday seasons past. We remember huge family gatherings, laughter, a table covered with wonderful family favorite dishes, and gifts galore. There were days filled with cooking and baking, shopping for gifts, and decorating our homes. But things are different now. Now a great portion of your time is taken up with all the duties of caring for a senior or loved one. Add to that the time your job and caring for your family takes and you quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and resenting the holidays. The memories stirred up by holidays make us realize how much life has changed.
Perhaps the only way to get through this time is with a spirit of acceptance. Accept that life is different. There is no right way or wrong way to celebrate a holiday and every holiday season doesn’t have to be the same. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed while you try to keep up old family traditions. Think about what’s really important to you and your family and try to just do those things. Set limits on what you’re willing to do and don’t make too many social commitments.
There are some practical things you can do to make the season run more smoothly. Simplify things. You can cut back on how much decorating you’ve traditionally done. You don’t have to spend days baking every type of cookie under the sun….there are a lot of wonderful bakeries out there and some deliver right to your door. Ask family members for help….maybe they’d like to do some of the holiday cooking or baking. Keep family gatherings at a smaller more manageable scale and suggest a potluck dinner with everyone bringing something. Most importantly, don’t neglect yourself. Do something for yourself to lower the holiday stress level. Use the resources that are out there whether you call on family and friends or enlist an in-home agency and give yourself a much needed break. After all, caregivers deserve a holiday too. As a caregiver, how have you adjusted your holidays? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com