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HOLIDAY STRESS REDUCTION FOR CAREGIVERS

Set priorities. Decide what is most important to you and your family, and focus only on just those things.

Stick with some holiday traditions, but let go of others. Hang on to what’s really important to you and your loved ones.  This might be the year to put up a small artificial tree instead of your regular six foot real one. It’s OK, really.

Say no. You don’t have to go to every party. You don’t have to say yes to everything that’s asked of you. Remember, it’s OK to think about your needs now. 

Ask for help. You don’t have to cook the entire holiday meal yourself. Asking everyone to bring a covered dish is most acceptable these days!

Use paper plates. Save yourself the work of washing dishes after the big dinner. There are some lovely but sturdy plates with holiday designs. Who really wants a lot of clean up anyway?!

Make shopping for gifts easier. Consider shopping over the Internet, so many places offer free shipping now, why face the crowds?! I like opening up my door and finding packages there-even when they aren’t for me!

Don’t overspend. Keep that promise to yourself this year! It will help decrease the stress.

Set aside time for yourself. I know it’s hard to do at such a busy time of year, but you can’t do anything better for yourself.

Take care of yourself. Do your best to eat right, get enough sleep, and get some exercise.  Find a “Caregiver Buddy,” someone you can really talk to and count on for support. You probably have friends going through the same things you are. She or he may need to talk too!

Let the holidays be a joyful time of year by focusing on “just being ” with your loved one. Remember, you will have special memories of this very sweet time. This is especially important f you think it may be the last one together. If so, call your local community hospice, let them help you during this time.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Toula

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