DECEMBER 10 2020
Let us discuss some ways Caregivers can take care of themselves during the holidays and throughout the pandemic. Self-care truly is VITAL and is an effective way to reduce stress, improve the well-being of both yourselves and your loved ones, and to help you find some moments of joy during these challenging circumstances
Tips for caregivers:
1. 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲 – aside from the multitude of everyday responsibilities that you have, the holidays present so many more tasks and commitments. You just cannot do it all, and that’s ok because none of us can. Stop to consider what is truly important to you. Once you figure that out, decide how you will proceed. For instance, if you do not enjoy cooking or do not have the time, make your meal a potluck so everyone contributes or have it catered by a local restaurant. Focus your time and energy on the things that you enjoy doing.
2. 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘅 – I know some of you are laughing at this concept. But finding time to relax and do something for yourself really makes a big difference. Reach out to family or friends that can help with your loved one while you go shopping, to a movie, or church. Check out available resources such as home health, daycare, or respite care to allow you several hours weekly to have a break and allow you to take care of your needs. Even things like taking a long bath, going for a walk, reading a book, or spending time in prayer can offer you a much-needed break and some stress relief.
3. 𝗟𝗮𝘂𝗴𝗵 – Laughter truly is the best medicine, and we must make sure to fit it into our daily routine. Watching a funny sitcom or movie, talking with a friend and sharing jokes, watching old family videos, or combing through family photo albums are all ways to bring some laughter to your life, or at the very least, make you smile.
4. 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 – None of us can go it alone. We all need help and the support of others. This is especially true for caregivers. You still must reach out and ask for help from family and friends, Support groups are great avenues for getting support and understanding from other caregivers who know exactly what you are experiencing. Currently, we do not have in-person groups but there are virtual groups that you can attend. Also, if you need anything, you can always call the Alzheimer’s Association's 800 # (800-272-3900) which is a helpline that is available 24/7.
5. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘇𝗲 – This too shall pass! When you are in the middle of stressing because your family members, who only come around for holidays, are criticizing your caregiving methods, remind yourself This too shall pass! When you pull a burned turkey out of the oven because you were comforting your loved one who was extremely agitated, remind yourself, this too shall pass! Keep reminding yourself that the added stress of the holiday season, and even of COVID-19, will soon pass. Take a deep breath, and hang on, consistently reminding yourself this too shall pass.
As always, questions and comments are encouraged!