Remember to care for yourself at the holidays |

Remember to care for yourself at the holidays

Evelyn Donaldson
Submitted to The Union

The holidays are upon us, and with the holidays come challenges for those caring for a loved one, whether at home, in a facility or out of town.

Caregiving is a rewarding yet difficult journey. Every time we board a flight, we hear “take your oxygen first,” yet this is one of hardest things to do when you’re caring for someone else.

At the holidays this advice is particularly relevant.

Caregivers naturally want to continue the same traditions they have always enjoyed with family and friends, but when caring for someone, that may no longer be possible.

The stress in caring for someone can be tremendous and damaging to one’s health.

Now may be the time to examine those traditions and decide, which are most important to you and your loved one.

It may be time to simplify and begin new traditions.

Let others know what changes there have been in your life and that of your loved one.

Instead of trying to do everything by yourself, allow others to help. Often they have just been waiting to find some way to ease your burden.

Above all, please remember to be true to yourself and your emotions.

Avoid pretending you’re happy for the sake of others.

The most important part of this season, no matter what your faith or tradition, is peace and love. When you can let go and remember that, you will be rewarded with joy.

Evelyn Donaldson, MSW, is a member of the Eldercare Provider’s Coalition and facilitator of the “Yes I Can” series of caregiving classes sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Hospital Foundation.

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