Last week, we talked about healthy caregiving and the importance of inner peace. But sometimes, especially during this time of year, stress can spoil our peace.
I love this list from AARP of 12 ways to reduce stress during the holiday season, especially the first two suggestions:
“Fill your tank first: We don’t expect our cars to run on empty and we can’t either. Find quick ways to fill your own tank, like making time for a terrific peppermint mocha or a visit with friends. Or maybe it’s a good night’s sleep or a day to yourself.”
"Line up someone to listen: It really does help to express our fears, stress and frustration to others. A friend or a family member can play this role, or you can contact a local or online caregiver support group." OR better yet, join the Courage to Caregivers One-to-One Caregiver Support program - we'll match you with a support volunteer based on your shared experiences. Check out our program here.
Other suggestions include cutting back on meal preparations, decorations and festivities; being flexible with shopping and gift giving; finding someone to help you care for your loved one; starting a new tradition; planning something to do after the holidays to avoid the post-holiday blues; and taking time to stop and be mindful of the joyful moments you’re having together, right now.
It’s easy for caregivers to feel overburdened and stressed at any time of the year, so it’s extra-important to remind yourself to take care of YOU during the added stress and busy-ness of the holidays.
And remember, if you need someone to listen, I’m always here for you.
Founder and Executive Director
PS: We are SO close to meeting our goal for our annual fund campaign! We are just $3,284 short of our $15,000 goal - with your help we can reach it! Consider making an inspiring impact to help us support mental illness caregivers. Don't forget EVERY donation is matched dollar for dollar through December 31 enabling your gift to make DOUBLE the impact!