4 holiday tips for caregivers

For some, the holiday season is the most meaningful time of the year. It's a time to celebrate, and love and support the entire family. However, sometimes caregivers can get caught up in planning Christmas and spread themselves too thin between supporting their family and aging loved one, thus forgetting to spend time caring for themselves. As a caregiver, it's not only important to make sure the loved one you're caring for enjoys the holiday season, but that you're also making time for yourself and your own traditions.

Here are four holiday tips for caregivers to keep in mind this Christmas.

1. Find balance 
The U.S. National Institute of Aging suggests finding a balance between doing holiday-related activities with your family and looking after your loved one. Caregivers tend to have mixed feelings about the holidays: between happy memories of the past and new responsibilities and obligations, it's easy to be confused about how you should spend your time. Set your own limits in what you plan to do for the holidays and don't let your family, friends or relatives tell you otherwise.

"If someone offers to help you, let them."

2. Let others help
The holidays are all about coming together and spreading joy amongst each other. If your friends offer to help run errands for you during the holiday season, let them. Family Caregivers of British Columbia explained that asking for help—and accepting it when it's offered—is essential to your well-being. One of the most important parts of caregiving is making sure you set aside time dedicated to you.

3. Keep the entire family in mind
The holiday season is meant for celebrating the entire family. Holiday Tips for the Caregiver from the Alzheimer's Association says to make sure you don't forget about the rest of the family during the Christmas season. Talk to your family about how they can help make the holidays easier on you. If some of your normal holiday tasks—such as cooking, decorating or buying gifts—seem impossible this year, ask a friend or family member for help.

Keep the entire family in mind this holiday season.
Keep the entire family in mind this holiday season.

4. Create new traditions
There's nothing wrong with changing up your usual Christmas tradition. Instead of hosting the holidays in your home, ask one of your family members to have Christmas at his or her house this year. It can take the stress and worry off of your back if you've dedicated most of your time to caring for someone else. Different plans can create new traditions and make new and exciting memories.