For most Americans, the six weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s is a festive time of celebration, fun and family. Parties, community events, shopping, and all of the great food are what the holidays have come to mean. But for caregivers, this time can be trying, challenging and stressful. Living with and caring for a veteran during the holidays can be a challenge. The coming weeks can spark anxiety, excitement, nervousness and happiness. Caring for someone in need is both rewarding and grueling and the holidays often feel like something to just get through. Fatigued, the caregiver may prefer sleep to socializing. Overwhelmed, the caregiver may have trouble finding time to shop for holiday groceries and gifts. Melancholy, the caregiver may not be in the mood for holiday cheer.
There is a solution for holiday doldrums: caring for you! How can you take care of your veteran or service member if you have not invested in your own health, wellness and happiness?
Start by setting boundaries – this simple action makes for better, more enjoyable holidays.
Say no to invites and parties that you really can’t attend.
Know that it is okay to be selfish: set your own holiday schedule, eat well and ask for help.
You do not have to do everything – order healthy meals out.
Cut down on this year’s holiday list and/or shop online.
Finally, practice gratitude and give thanks for what you have.
Additionally, use the Everyone Serves handbook and view our Caregivers Empowering Caregivers Webinar Series for helpful information.