Tips for Reducing Caregiver Stress Over the Thanksgiving Holiday

Caregivers in Holt MI

Caregivers in Holt MIThanksgiving can be one of the most wonderful and fulfilling times of the year for you as a family caregiver, but it can also be one of the most stressful. As you head into the holiday season you are not just thinking about your care efforts for your parent, but all of the added demands, obligations, and responsibilities associated with celebrating the holiday. This means that you might experience an increase in your caregiver stress, which can put you at greater risk of suffering burnout, exhaustion, and even illness and infection. Finding ways to reduce this stress and manage the stress that you do experience will help you to stay healthier, maintain the quality and effectiveness of the care that you give to your parent, and enjoy this holiday as much as possible.

Use these tips to help you reduce caregiver stress over the Thanksgiving holiday:

• Plan carefully. The Thanksgiving holiday is not the time to just “wing it”. Now is the time for you to pull out your planning notebooks and calendars and get to work carefully planning out each aspect of the holiday. This should include writing out a complete guest list, planning every dish on the menu, and organizing activities and events so that they are not cluttering the calendar or impeding on your care efforts. When everything is planned out you will be better able to see how you need to spread your energy and efforts, and where you might need to start trimming down.

• Learn to say “no.” One of the biggest sources of stress is being overwhelmed and overstretched, and this issue becomes even more pressing when the holidays roll around. Now you are not just handling requests for basic tasks and activities, but also holiday parties, volunteer work, events, and contributions. While you might want to be able to do all of these things, it is likely not possible to do them all and still maintain your mental, emotional, and physical health. Learning how to say “no” to the things that you cannot comfortably fit into your schedule will relieve stress and enable you to focus on those things that you do choose to do.

• Prioritize for you. The people in your workplace or church might think that a fundraiser or party is the most important thing that you could do during the Thanksgiving season, but you might think that it is much more important for you to spend that time in the kitchen with your aging parent preparing your favorite family dessert recipe. Work on prioritizing activities and events for your needs and the needs of your family rather than those of other people.

• Focus on the true meaning of the holiday. Thanksgiving is about being with your loved ones and giving thanks for all of the blessings that you have in your life. Taking the time to truly focus on this and show gratitude and thankfulness can be extremely beneficial in controlling and reducing your stress. When you acknowledge the wonderful things around you you are better able to diminish the impact of the difficult things, and give you something to think about and look forward to further when you are dealing with challenges after the holiday.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Holt, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.