4 Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress during the Holidays

November 19, 2018

Manage Caregiver Stress during the Holidays

The holidays can be especially overwhelming for caregivers. Use these 4 tips to manage caregiver stress during the holidays and enjoy time with loved ones.

The holiday season can be a busy time of year. Shopping, decorating, wrapping gifts, cooking, and hosting parties are traditions for many families. For already overscheduled caregivers, the added demands of the holidays can be especially overwhelming.

Four in ten caregivers say the holidays are too much. They can’t juggle all of the demands their schedule and the season create. But there are ways you can set more realistic expectations and enjoy the holidays this year.

In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, we are sharing a few tips to help manage stress and avoid caregiver burnout.

4 Ways to Prevent Caregiver Burnout during the Holidays

  1. Accept help: Caregivers are often reluctant to ask for or accept help. Give yourself permission to do so this holiday season. Maybe a friend can pick up some of your holiday gifts while they are doing their own shopping. You could ask a family member to stay with your loved one so you can attend a party. If neither of those is an option, respite care might be. Your family member can enjoy a few days at an assisted living community to give you the time to get things done. Then you can relax and enjoy a few holiday festivities.
  2. Think creatively: Instead of trying to do it all alone, think about ways you can accomplish your goals more easily. While you might want to bake holiday cookies, buying them at a local bakery is quicker and easier. Using festive gift bags in lieu of gift wrap is another time saver. You might be accustomed to shopping for gifts online, but you can also shop online for home-delivered meals, wine, and other holiday essentials.
  3. Create new traditions: Setting more realistic expectations is another way to manage caregiver stress during the holidays. That often means adopting new holiday traditions, at least while you are a caregiver. Change a formal sit-down dinner to a potluck. Keep holiday decorations to a minimum. Send a festive holiday email in lieu of a card. This will give you time to truly enjoy the season with the people you love.
  4. Connect with peers: Another way to help manage caregiver stress is by connecting with fellow caregivers. You may find new ideas for navigating the holidays. Many family caregivers find online support groups to be the most convenient way to connect. The National Center on Caregiving’s Family Caregiver Alliance has some you might want to consider. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia, a good online support group is

Resources for Family Caregivers

If you are a caregiver looking for more news and research on caring for a senior loved one, we invite you to bookmark the Legacy Senior Living blog and stop back often. We update our blog every week so you have access to the most current information on aging, caregiving, senior living, and dementia.