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Melt Holiday Stress with These Caregiver Tips

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Just anticipating holiday hustle and bustle can be a source of anxiety. In-home caregivers in Oklahoma and throughout the country are especially subject to increased stress. Below are ways to ease holiday dread and help you enjoy the special times ahead.

1. Simplify holiday tasks.

Many people max themselves out with holiday “must-dos.” Scaling them down will reduce the pressure. One way to assess what you can omit is to draw up a simple chart. Write down your traditional holiday tasks, and then ask yourself these four questions:

  • Would the holiday be as meaningful without this activity?
  • Is there an easier way to do this?
  • Am I doing this out of habit, obligation, or free choice?
  • Can this task be shared?

2. Budget your time.

Enlist the help of your calendar and clock. Pinpoint when you should start an activity, and designate a specific day for it. For example, calculate when you should do the cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Then, when the day for a task arrives, estimate the time it will take to complete it. Is there a job you tend to belabor? If so, set an alarm or timer. Then try to stick to your time allotment. Don’t get unnerved if the work takes longer than expected. Unanticipated glitches happen. Just use your estimated time as a guide.

3. Make lists and avoid over-scheduling.

To net your ideas and avoid forgetting important things during the holidays, get them down on paper. For example, create lists for menus, groceries, gifts, and chores. Once you have everything down, be selective regarding what you do and when. A constant stream of activities zaps energy and increases edginess. Decide on what is most important, and don’t over-commit yourself.

4. Streamline shopping.

There are several ways to systematize gift buying:

  • Shop online whenever feasible.
  • Catalog shop, and order by telephone.
  • Buy the same gift for as many people as possible.
  • If you prefer to meander the mall, keep a list in hand. This will prevent you from getting sidetracked, overspending, and overbuying.

5. Recognize your limits.

Oklahoma senior care agencies encourage all caregivers to keep their emotional antennae attuned to signs of burnout. Common warning signs include feeling overwhelmed, getting sick, and feeling short-tempered. If you feel yourself burning out, take a breather, practice meditation, talk a walk, or excuse yourself for a personal timeout.

Being the primary caregiver for a senior loved one can be especially challenging during the holidays. If you could use additional support meeting your loved one’s care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 405-285-4191. We provide live-in, part-time, and respite care Oklahoma families can rely on, and our caregivers can help with everything from running errands to providing companionship and emotional support. Give us a call today. We are here to help.