Whether you are just starting as a caregiver for a loved one or you have been doing it for several years, this time of year always seems to be the hardest. The “season of joy” is really just more work! Everything from family visiting, shopping and cooking to wrapping gifts and decorating.
Don’t forget the responsibilities you already have (work, community and charity) including caregiving. Could we dump anymore on you during the holidays? So, how do you get through the holidays and keep your sanity?
Let’s start with priorities.
- What is important for you to accomplish and what can wait? Complete all important tasks from start to finish without starting a new one. Multi-tasking is wonderful but it can make you feel overwhelmed when you are doing too much at one time.
- Consider giving yourself an allotted time per task. For example, 20 minutes to tidy the house, it is amazing when you are focused what you can really accomplish in 20 minutes.
- Everyone needs time to themselves. Caregiving is not easy. It is not too much to ask other family members for a short break . . . or, consider hiring a home care service one day a week.
- Sign your family member up for activities at a community activity center in your area.
- Don’t bother cooking . . . most grocery stores can prepare a whole meal for you with sides and more for a reasonable amount. Or, have your guests bring something and delegate what they bring. Consider letting another family member play host.
- House cleaning . . . hire a cleaning company to clean your house during the holiday. You can dictate how much you are willing to spend and what services you would like to get.
- Financial Assistance . . . Many states have heating programs to assist with help in paying your heating bill during the colder months. Contact your local health department or community service organization for information. Many churches and community service organizations have access or knowledge of food banks in your area as well as clothing and other necessities.
Remember, you can’t take care of someone else’s needs if you first don’t learn to take care of your own!