Tackle the Biggest Challenges Family Caregivers Face During the Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us. It is such a beautiful time of the year to spend time with loved ones. As a family caregiver, it can be a very trying time of the year, especially when you are the primary caregiver. We tackle the biggest challenges family caregivers face during the holiday season.
How do you navigate this time of the year and ask for help from others? Believe it or not, this may be a great time to address this. We have all been there and you should not feel alone in your mission. As a sole provider, you may feel stress, frustration, and anger. In knowing this we have put together 3 strategies to address this.
Ask your loved ones for help
Make time to discuss the challenges you are facing. An open discussion can help others understand how you feel and give them the opportunity to pitch in. Whether this is in-person, on a conference call, or virtually set a scheduled time to discuss this. Many may not feel comfortable in the actual caregiving role, but they may help in other ways. Some ways they can help may be as simple as:
- Complete items on your holiday to-do list
- Help with decorations
- Organizing paperwork
- Running errands
- Prepare holiday meals
- Clean the house or catch up on laundry
You can also see what resources the Family Caregiver Alliance offers to you in your state. Asking your loved ones for help is one way to tackle the biggest challenges Family Caregivers face during the holiday season.
Join a support group
Support groups are a wonderful tool to help you during the holidays. It is an avenue for you to meet others who are experiencing what you may be experiencing. This may ease some stress for you in knowing that you’re not alone in family caregiving. Support groups will give you the opportunity to ask questions. They can assist with the best ways to handle daily situations you encounter. Also, you will have access to peers who are in the same situation and can give guidance. You can also ask others their thoughts on how they tackle the biggest challenges family caregivers face during the holiday season.
Our beautiful friend and corporate influencer, Gregory L. Johnson, Emblem Health’s Chief Advisor for Family Caregiving – Office of the CEO shares his strategy with us. He states, “Mental health is a challenge during the holidays. Mental health is a challenge all the time. And the holidays are a tricky time.” Gregory continues, “There are a couple of points that I’ve come to learn that is helpful to me. One is I have support groups and they are extremely important in my life and I just double up in that situation.”
You can look for groups local to your area and/or online. There are many amazing support groups on Facebook and on the AARP online community.
Find gratitude in everything
It is very hard to find cheerfulness and be grateful when caring for a loved one. This time of the year makes it downright challenging with all that’s on your plate. It is human nature to dwell on the negative. If we reprogram our minds on positivity the benefits can be remarkable. Try to catch that negative thought and transfer it to a positive one. It can boost your emotional health and give you a step toward peace. You can try to find that silver lining by:
- Writing out a gratitude list
- Notice the smaller things
- Every night reflect on three good things from your day
Gregory L. Johnson states, “When I’m really feeling low I remember that the holidays in any and all traditions are about others. So I get myself involved in helping someone else and I’m very grateful for it.”
Taking the time to focus on our blessings will help us in the present moment. It keeps us looking forward to the good instead of the bad.
These may be a few of the biggest challenges you may face as a family caregiver during the holidays.
Gregory L. Johnson adds, “The holidays no matter what you celebrate whether it is Hanukkah, Christmas from a religious point of view, a secular Christmas or Kwanzaa, all are about light and love. Family caregivers are that every day of the year, people of light and love in the lives of so many. Happy Holidays, onward, in love and caring”
Keep these strategies in your personal toolbox and apply them at any time of the year. We hope you not only find them helpful but inspiring. Even though it may not be said, please remember: You are not alone and thank you for all you do.
Together, we can tackle the biggest challenges family caregivers face during the holiday season!