This time of year means shorter, cooler days and lots of holiday celebrations. For most of us, it is a time of traditions; be them decorating, shopping, eating, or gathering with families and friends. For some, the holidays bring about stressful times and anxiety about caring for an aging loved one. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 90% of caregivers experience some form of depression related to caregiving.
The combination of the weather and stress of added events and celebrations can be especially tough on caregivers who are already trying to wear multiple hats. Here are some ways to help address holiday stresses:
Kick guilt to the curb – Often, adult children with hectic schedules worry they should be doing more to help their parents. Aging parents worry they’re a burden to their children. Rather than ignoring these feelings, have an open conversation about your point of view.
Choose foods that help – As tempting as that turkey sandwich with stuffing is, it’s a recipe for a sluggish afternoon. Also, remember as you enjoy those holiday spirits that alcohol is a depressant and should be consumed in moderation, or not at all.
Balance the Past, Present and Future – Reminiscing about holidays gone-by can be wonderful, but can also add to depression or anxiety. Try focusing on what lies ahead, be it a meetup with a friend later in the day or a granddaughter’s graduation next spring. Try to keep a positive outlook.