The holiday season can be a stressful time for anybody. That stress can be especially acute for dementia caregivers, however. You will likely have to contend with the same seasonal hustle and bustle as everyone else, all while also keeping up with the daily demands of dementia care. To compound matters, the holiday season can sometimes bring with it the feeling that you are doing everything yourself, or that perhaps other family members are not doing their fair share.
For your own well-being, as well as the well-being of the person in your care, it is important to deal with holiday stress in a healthy and appropriate way. Here are some suggestions for doing so:
- Learn how to say no. Just because you have hosted the family Christmas dinner in years past, does not mean that you are obligated to host it this year. Feel free to decline any duties that place a lot of unnecessary stress on you.
- Ask for help. Instead of asking for presents for Christmas, ask for people to help with projects around your home; to provide respite care; or to help you take on some of the caregiving responsibilities.
- Make sure you have an outlet. Take up journaling, drawing, running, yoga, or some other activity that can allow you to vent your feelings of stress.
- Create a schedule. Disorganization can be overwhelming, so schedule a day to do your online shopping, a day to wrap gifts, etc. Having a game plan will help you mitigate stress.
Seasonal stress is tough to avoid, but what you can do is address it proactively — putting your own mental health as a top priority.
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