Protecting Your Health and Well-Being during the Holiday Season
The holiday season is a joyful and exciting time, but it can also be stressful. As a family caregiver, you might experience this stress to an even greater degree, and suffer further consequences to your health and well-being. Focusing on protecting your health and well-being throughout the holiday season can ensure that you are able to enjoy the holidays while also remaining comfortable and healthy, and allowing you to move forward after the season in the best way possible.
Use these tips to help you protect your health and well-being during the holiday season:
- Make sure you get enough sleep. The holidays add a wide variety of extra challenges and demands to your schedule and can make it difficult for you to fit everything into your day. Do not take this as an excuse, however, to trim hours out of your rest each night. Getting enough sleep is critical for protecting your health and well-being, and enabling you to reduce and manage your stress effectively. Establish a set sleep schedule and keep up with it each day so that your body can get what it needs to thrive.
- Eat a healthy diet. During the holiday season you are surrounded by treats and indulgences of all kinds. While there is nothing wrong with sampling a few of your favorite festive sweets and snacks, this should not become your regular diet for the weeks of this season. Make sure that you are still eating the healthy balance of nutrients to give your body what it needs to fight off illness and infection, maintain energy, and stay at its best.
- Take time to yourself. Throughout the holiday season you are likely to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about others. You plan and attend parties, shop for and wrap gifts, bake cookies, give to charities, and do any number of other things to help the people in your life treasure their holiday season. This year, do not forget yourself. Give yourself the gift of some time to yourself and relaxation this holiday season. Plan for a respite home care provider to come to the home to spend time with your aging parent and ensure that they are given the care, support, and assistance that they need to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable, and then take an afternoon, a day, or even a weekend to relax, refresh, and focus on enjoying the holidays.
- Streamline your celebrations. As a family caregiver, your holidays are different now than they ever have been. You may not have the time, energy, or resources to do everything that you used to do to celebrate the holidays. Do not allow this to make you feel guilty. Streamline your holiday celebrations and learn to say “no” to those things that will put more stress on you than will give you benefit. You might need to trim down the number of events that you attend or cut down your gift list. Do what you need to do to ensure that you have the energy that you need to focus on your family and yourself throughout the season.