The holidays can be a stressful time for many care partners as they juggle caring responsibilities, organizing functions, and different events with friends and family. This holiday season, it is important to ensure that you as a care partner are taking care of yourself and getting the rest and relaxation you deserve.
A good way to help ensure that your loved one is cared for and everything is arranged is to plan a schedule of your holidays. Make notes on a calendar of the places you need to be, things you need to bring, and how you're going to get there. Plan out activities for your loved one to bring along with them in the case that they might want some down time. Take an hour or two and map out your holidays and create to-do lists so that you can stay on track and not feel overwhelmed last minute.
Another aspect that will make your holidays smooth is to distribute tasks to others. Think of stepping on ice, when you're putting pressure on only one point, the ice is much more likely to crack as opposed to when you distribute the weight evenly. Share some of your tasks with friends and family and don't be afraid to say yes and ask for help! The holidays can be stressful enough already, but as a care partner it is important that you ask for help. The holiday season encourages individuals to give, so do not be afraid to receive!
Take time for yourself. I know that sounds selfish, but as a care partner, it's okay to spend some quality time on you. Ask a friend or family to swing by for a visit and take some much deserve you time. Read a book, go on a walk, take an extra long bath, grab a coffee, do whatever you want to do for that time and come back feeling refreshed and relaxed. The care you offer to someone else is only as good as the care you give to yourself.
At the end of the day, do not beat yourself up if everything did not go as planned. Be flexible, take a deep breath, laugh and enjoy time with friends and family. Keep in mind that you are doing your best and if you and your loved one are having a good time, then that is all that matters! And if they might be frustrated, overwhelmed, or not as cheerful at times, try to encourage them to laugh it off with you! Tell stories that will make them laugh, play a game, or do something that you know will boost their spirits.
What do you do as a care partner over the holiday season? Share with us in the comments below!