Creating a caregiving holiday wish list

It's important to accept that you don't have to be jolly 100% of the time just because it's the holiday season. Be kind to yourself. Let the guilt go.

Feeling stressed by reading others' social media posts? Remember people usually only show their shiny, filtered, and happiest stories and moments on these platforms. Imagine what it took to get all 12 children to sit perfectly still, each one cheerfully looking at the camera. Watching everyone's social media feeds around the holidays can make you feel like you don't measure up. If you need to take a social media holiday for a few days around your celebration, you can always scroll back through your feed when you have some distance from the celebratory day.

While you're taking that break from social media, consider creating a holiday wish list that allows others to give something to you, the one who has been giving so much to others. This could be a literal list you create where folks can choose something for you, or it could be something more fluid. Your wish list may include things like respite, where you ask family members for a break so you can do something meaningful for yourself even if that means having the house to yourself for a day so you can sit in your pajamas and binge-watch your favorite show!

What about home repairs? Have you been so caught up in caregiving that you've not been able to keep up with your home? Do your bushes need trimming or your gutters need cleaning? Fans need dusting? This is a great way to allow others to help out if they are not comfortable doing the more personal caregiving tasks for your loved one.

Stress swallows each and every one of us up this time of year with caregiver "hats" and you're constantly juggling those hats. It's OK to occasionally be "grinchy" about the ridiculous pressure the holiday season puts on us. There are no perfect families, and there are no perfect holidays. The nice part about our memories is that as the years go by we subconsciously edit out the bad parts and become more nostalgic about the good experiences. Try to live in the moment and make more happy memories. Erma Bombeck told us we must find "bless in the mess."

If you are caregiving for a loved one and would like to get connected with others in our community who are walking the same path, join ABC11's Caregivers Corner moderated by Nicole Clagett. The group has more than a thousand people supporting one another and sharing wonderful information and resources daily. More helpful tips about this topic can be found on ABC11's Caregivers Corner section.
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