The holiday season is upon us with all of its joy, laughter, family and parties – but a personal caregiver may not feel free to enjoy this festive time of year. Those who are providing day in, day out care for an elderly or sick loved one rarely get a chance to differentiate one day from another.
In fact, very often caregivers are fatigued and overwhelmed with the gravity of their task – and the holidays only add to the burden they feel. Even those who do not find their caregiving obligations stressful can find it difficult to do ordinary holiday things, like going to parties or spending time shopping for gifts.
If you are a personal caregiver, the holiday season is a great time to give yourself a gift. Here are some ideas as to ways to take some of the pressure off and allow yourself a break this Christmas.
The Best Gifts for a Personal Caregiver
Get Some Help: If you do not have other people helping you on a regular basis, splurge and hire someone to come in one day a week to give you a day off. Of course, you may have friends or family members who can help, but by hiring someone, you do not have to feel guilty or that you are imposing. However you go about it, make sure you give yourself the gift of adequate time off to rejuvenate.
Enjoy Your Hobby: Whether you love to take long walks, to express yourself through art, or to browse antique shops – come up with a plan and a strategy to do so on a regular basis. Carve time out of your schedule to do the things you love, so that you do not feel that you are losing yourself in the process of caring for someone else.
Eat Well and Get Enough Rest: You may realize you haven’t had a good meal in days. It may be tempting to stay up late to fit in all the things you did not have time to do during the day, but you need to get enough sleep. But those who are sleep deprived and not getting enough nutrition are often irritable and impatient, two characteristics which will not serve you well when interacting with a person who is physically or mentally impaired. Being well rested will not only help your mental health and well-being, but eating well will help your immune system to stay strong and your overall physical health to thrive.
Take a Spa Day: No ,you don’t have to book a few hours at a spa (although if you can, why not?) But leave the laundry for a few hours, and take the opportunity to relax in a hot tub, or have a professional technician come to your home to give you a manicure and pedicure. A little bit of pampering will go a long way for a personal caregiver who gives so much.
Give Yourself Some Credit: You are doing admirable work, but it is often difficult and lonely to be a caregiver. Allow yourself to feel your own emotions, and don’t feel guilty if sometimes you just feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to cry it out. Then pat yourself on the back – you mean the world to the person you are caring for.
If you feel that it may be time to consider assisted living or memory care for your loved one and you live in the Venice area, we invite you to visit A Banyan Residence. We will care for your loved one with the same attention and affection that you do – and know that once they are in a safe and nurturing place, you can resume your close and special relationship with them, without the stress. Have questions? Call us today. And Happy Holidays!