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Caregiver's Guide to Family Holiday Stress

December 7, 2022

No matter which holidays you’re celebrating this month, there’s bound to be travel, extra events and commitments, shopping and volunteering, and opportunities to reconnect with loved ones. 

Here at Best Care, we treasure the moments we spend with our families at any time of year. But for those providing and receiving personal care services, the family plays a very distinct and vital role this time of year. So here’s a guide for dealing with caregiver burnout and some tips to make your life easier this festive season.

How to deal with caregiver burnout during the holidays

Family holiday stress is no joke; most of it can often fall on caregivers. Knowing how to deal with burnout during the holidays will make your life easier and create a more joyful, peaceful season for everyone around you.

So how can you find peace on Earth this holiday?

Start by simplifying your workload as much as possible. The holiday season brings a flurry of extra jobs—from planning special meals to decorating the home. So, it's no wonder we all deal with family holiday stress. Therefore, know what projects you need to complete in advance, which ones you can delegate or skip, and how you want your “must-do” activities and traditions to turn out.

Plan and delegate your time!

It’s easy to feel stressed about work and getting gifts for everyone on your shopping list—not to mention making the holiday dinner. Remember that you can't accomplish anything in a rush. Budgeting your time and creating a schedule can take some pressure off your shoulders. It allows you to focus better on which tasks you need to complete first.

For example, decorating can require a lot of physical strain, energy, and time. But if you’re falling behind, you may feel added pressure from yourself or your loved ones. So instead of going all out on decorations this year, choose your family’s top 10 favorite decorations and concentrate on putting those items out for display. Leave the others stored away for another year!

Get the family involved

When it comes to the big meal itself, rather than struggling to prepare an entire meal on your own, suggest a potluck for friends and family and prepare one dish. Delegating the big dinner can be helpful for both you and your loved ones. No one wants to miss out on Grandma’s amazing stuffing, but it can be too much for some seniors to prepare an entire holiday meal. Therefore, get the whole family involved in holiday prep work!

Inspiration for caregiver holiday activities

If you’re struggling to come up with festive and fun ideas for the holiday season that will appeal to the range of ages in your family, Best Care is here to make your job that much easier.

Here are some of our personal favorites!

  • A card game tournament. Everyone enjoys a good card game, whether Crazy Eights or a rousing game of Go Fish.
  • Play a board game. Classic board games like Monopoly or Clue are a great for family entertainment. Pick up a junior board game like Sorry or Chutes and Ladders to keep the kids busy.
  • Cookie decorating. Who doesn't love cookies? It's a fun activity for all ages. Bake some cookies or gingerbread houses ahead of time to bring to the party. Next, ask everyone to bring their favorite decorating supplies. 
  • Decorate stockings. Pick up plain stockings from a craft store and fun paints, glitter, and pompoms to stick onto each stocking. Arts and crafts offer an excellent activity for grandparents to do with their grandkids!

Do caregivers get holiday pay?

Family caregivers spend 20 hours a week on average performing home care services, yet most are unpaid. Helping out with a loved one’s home care needs is admirable. However, the time commitment can often conflict with other priorities and result in struggles with money.

At Best Care, we strive to support caregivers across Minnesota, ensuring they get paid for their hard work and enjoy extra benefits like holiday pay. That means you can rest and relax this festive season and enjoy some peace on Earth with loved ones.

For more tips on avoiding family holiday stress or caregiver burnout, we encourage you to reach out to Best Care!



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