The holiday season comes with joy, happiness, and sometimes stress. If you have a disabled family member, holiday stress can dampen the most important part of the holiday season— celebrating your family.
What causes holiday stress? It’s easy to get caught up in changing schedules, taking on more responsibility, and setting high expectations. Give yourself the gift of a stress-free holiday this year. Here are five tips for caregivers of disabled loved ones for coping with holiday stress and making your holiday joyous for the whole family.
Vacation, travel, and visiting family can throw a wrench in anyone’s daily routine. However, a steady schedule is an important part of day-to-day life for special needs loved ones. Try keeping meals and bedtime to the same hour each day. If you switch your schedule around to squeeze more holiday activities into the day, be careful not to overdo it. Creating too much holiday stress is an easy way to take the fun out of an activity for disabled loved ones and caregivers.
Don’t feel guilty if you need to say no to playdates with visiting family members or friends. No one knows better than you, the caregiver, what could trigger an upset for your disabled family member. Many friends and family members may want to drop by without warning. As previously discussed, sticking to a schedule is an important part of reducing holiday stress.
Be strong and explain this to drop-in visitors or last minute activities. Pick and choose a couple of fun activities you know your whole family can participate in and have a successfully fun time.
Everyone creates high expectations for the holidays but these high expectations can be feeding your holiday stress. If you plan on going to a holiday party or other outings, take two cars, just in case your disabled loved one needs to go home before the rest of your family is ready.
The holidays are for appreciating our special families and the joy they bring to our lives. Take time to sit, talk, and listen to each of your family members. Your disabled loved one will get more joy out of special time with the ones they love most than they will out of any loud, overcrowded community activity. Give thanks to each of the people in your family for their contributions and unique attributes. Gratitude is the cure to holiday stress.
Perhaps no one will feel more out of sorts and overwhelmed from holiday stress than caregivers. Remember to take some time to yourself and relax. You too need to stick to a schedule that includes laughter, joy, exercise, and gratitude. Ask for help whenever you start to feel overwhelmed.
Call us at Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers today and find out how we can help reduce holiday stress for caregivers and disabled loved ones.