Caregiving During the Holidays — Remember to Take Care of Yourself!

Caregiving can be extremely taxing on even the most resilient people, especially during the holidays. While caregiving for a loved one or friend, or as a career is most rewarding, it also has its challenges and stresses. Here is some information from The Mayo Clinic.

Watch for Signs of Caregiver Stress – Sometimes caregivers are so focused on those they are caring for that they don’t realize their own health and well-being are suffering.

Watch for these signs of caregiver stress:

1) Feeling tired most of the time

2) Feeling overwhelmed and irritable

3) Sleeping too much or too little

4) Gaining or losing a lot of weight

5) Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

Strategies for Dealing With Caregiver Stress – It’s important to take advantage of available help and support.

These strategies have helped others manage their caregiver stress:

1) Accept help (& ask for it!)

2) Focus on what you are able to provide; don’t give in to guilt and understand that no one is a “perfect” caregiver

3) Get connected – organizations such as The Colorado Assisted Living Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Red Cross churches, hospitals, social groups, walking clubs, etc, offer social and educational opportunities

4) Set personal health goals, for example, to be physically active most days of the week, or set a goal for getting a good night’s sleep

5) See your doctor if necessary

Remember that when caring for others, it’s critical that you first take care of yourself. By not doing so, you put yourself at risk of exhaustion, health problems, and even total burnout.

Happy holidays….and remember to take care of you!