Reduce Caregiver Stress by Giving Yourself Permission to Change Holiday Traditions

hammock silhouetteIn order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by caregiver stress, we must learn to give ourselves permission to stop doing some of the things we’ve felt obligated to do in the past.

After hosting house guests for ten days straight last Christmas, my husband announced he was done with huge family gatherings. He declared that this year he would be going someplace warm for the holidays. (He said I would be welcome to join him.)

At first I couldn’t imagine not having a tree, not cooking the feast, and not organizing the celebration. But gradually I came to the realization that our tradition has usually been a lot more work than fun. We love all of our children, but we don’t love having them all together in our home for days on end. So this year, we’re having a series of small gatherings. We’re visiting with our kids and grandkids instead of serving them, and we’re loving it.

Today I’d like for you to take a few minutes to think about giving yourself permission to stop doing something you’ve always done and start doing something that reduces pressure and gives you pleasure. If you can eliminate stress, it might give you and your care receiver something new and special to celebrate during the holidays.