Updated: Nov 21
Well, the holiday season is here. I love this time of year. Life is so festive and exciting. But being on a care journey for twelve years, I've learned how to enjoy the season without getting overwhelmed.
As fun as the holidays are, they do add more to an already full plate of family caregivers. So I've learned to give the holidays a great big kiss. Keep it short and simple.
I've learned that thinking about yourself this time of year is really important. It's so easy to get caught up thinking about and then doing all the extra stuff that comes with the holidays that you're tired before New Year's arrives. So you've got to learn to kiss the holidays.
Over the years, I've learned that I have to be honest with myself about what I feel like doing and then think about the resources I need to help me do them. The holiday season can get so busy and you can get focused on what has to be done that you can quickly fall into the doing it all all at once, all by yourself trap.
So here are my tips for giving the holidays a great big kiss.
Think about how you're feeling right now and decide what you can do. Thinking about yourself is the first step because you're the one who has to perform the tasks. As family caregivers, we don't have extra extra time, extra energy, extra brain space for adding more to our already full plates. Being honest about where you are in this moment helps you be patient with the reality that you're one person doing the job of several people. It's okay if you're already tired. Use that to decide what you can do. Knowing how you are helps you look for the resources you need to do what has to be done.
Use resources like delivery services as much as possible. Though COVID was a bear, it did leave us with increased delivery options so we don't have to run as many errands that come with holiday prep and planning. When you do have to go out, consider using store pickup options to spend less time while you're out. Also, if you have to go out, try to pick traffic times and times when the stores will be less crowded. Traffic in Chicago can be stinky, so I take advantage of those short windows when traffic isn't awful.
Ask for help. My last tip is to ask for help. If you have a signature dish that everyone looks forward to having, think about who can and will help you do the prep work for it. Think about who is most likely to help you chop vegetables or pick up the ingredients for your dish. One of the things that I remember during the holiday season was cooking with my family, and that's a great time to spend time together doing something you want to do while you're getting something that has to be done.
Giving the holidays a great big kiss is my tip for having a festive, low stress holiday season. I hope this helps.
So be well.
Until next time, Dr. Sheri.
Dr. Sheri L. Yarbrough is an author, caregiver, and founder of Praxis Senior Care-Giving Solutions, a consulting business that provides care-givers with practical and easily implemented strategies that can be tailored to meet their individual care needs.
View Dr. Yarbrough's weekly blog on all things caregiving from a caregiver's perspective.