Well, you’re not alone. Studies have shown stress levels rise during the holidays, leaving caregivers in need of some extra help. If you are currently caring for a loved one, or if you know a family caregiver who could use a break, here are some great ways to lighten the load during the holiday season:
Holiday shopping is stressful enough without the added worry of not having the time to get it done. Between the financial strain of buying all the gifts and battling the crowds at your favorite stores and shops, Black Friday can actually mark a dreaded day on the calendar.
Luckily, the rise of technology has made shopping online easier and safer. Shopping online still gives you access to great deals without having to fight the crowds. Plus, you can do it on your own time--even if that means shopping at midnight!
Food Shopping or Meal Prep
While hosting family and friends for the holidays can be very rewarding, it can also add to your stress levels. If you’re planning on hosting a big holiday meal, delegate out the food shopping duties or enlist a family member or friend to help you with the meal prep. Or make the dinner a potluck where everyone contributes a dish.
You might also consider a menu that involves DIY-pizzas to get everyone involved. You can set up different topping stations and have all of your guests customize their meals. You’re guaranteed to make everyone happy and it would no doubt help you and your family make lifelong memories together.
Respite care is another great option for caregivers who need a break. Here in Indiana, our Five Star Senior Living communities offer respite care for caregivers who are looking for a short-term solution for their aging loved one. You can take advantage of respite care for a variety of reasons, including:
- To avoid caregiver burnout. You feel as though you need a break or a vacation.
- Your senior loved one needs supervised attention on a short-term basis and you will not be able to provide it for them.
- You want your loved one to try out the experience of life in an assisted living community to see if they like it.
Respite care provides your loved one with high-quality care in a friendly environment for the duration of their stay. This gives you peace of mind and more time for yourself.
Start New Traditions
Just because you’ve gotten used to certain family traditions over the years, doesn’t mean that you can’t mix it up a little! Instead of putting pressure on yourself to buy gifts for the whole family, try doing a gift exchange or Secret Santa this year to cut down on the amount of gifts you have to buy.
You can also start incorporating regular exercise into your family traditions. Plan for your family members to all participate in a local 5k walk/run in the New Year. It will inspire you to put fitness first throughout the holiday season and encourages the whole family to get involved. If you can find a race that also benefits a charity, you will no doubt feel even better about participating.
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