We often neglect our own well-being when we’re spending much of our time caring for others. With the holidays rapidly approaching, we wanted to share some quick tips for caregivers on how to reduce stress and make sure to care for themselves too.
1.) Meal prep in advance.
Feeding a family for the holidays is stressful enough on it’s own, without the added stressors that are inherent in being a caregiver. To cut down on that stress, get all the groceries needed for your meal at least a few days ahead of time.
Next, spend time prepping the food beforehand. Peel any potatoes, mix your dry ingredients, etc.
Do any kind of meal prep that can be done in advance or refrigerated overnight, so there is less to do on the actual cooking day.
Don’t be too humble to ask your loved ones for help. They can help in many ways such as contributing a side dish, helping you setup, helping with cooking, or helping with clean-up afterward.
It’s easy to get swept up in all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. You may feel tempted to give into your worries of not getting everything finished in time.
This is why it’s important to schedule time just to care for yourself. Use this time to clear your mind so you don’t get carried away.
Do a calming activity that makes you feel good. Yoga is said to be an effective tension-reliever. Watch an hour of your favorite lighthearted TV show to help you unwind or get a relaxing spa treatment.
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Your calendar may already be full of pressing matters to deal with, so be sure to pencil in an exact time in which you can focus solely on fulfilling your own personal needs.
3.) Have a good back-up system.
If you spend a lot of time constantly checking in with your care recipient, and feel that you may be too busy to check-in as often as you normally would due to the holidays, consider getting a back-up system.
Perhaps you can have a relative or friend take on some of your care shifts while you focus your energy on other activities (such as cooking or preparing your home for guests).
Have them take your loved one to their medical appointments for you, or take them out to eat, so that you can have a little alone time to rejuvenate or get caught up on your do-to list.
With that, we wish you a wonderful holiday season. May your home be filled with love, laughter, and the lingering aroma of all your favorite foods.