Ten tips for coping with festivities when you're a carer

christmas decoration
Celebrations like Christmas can be more stressful than enjoyable when you're caring for someone.

Holidays, celebrations and festivals are meant to be a time for fun and getting together with loved ones. But for carers, celebrations can lead to even more hard work, stress and isolation, especially when it seems everyone else is having fun. As a carer, you may feel like you are trying to meet everyone’s needs, without enjoying any of the holidays yourself.

Ten tips to survive celebrations

notepad with pen and scrunched up paper

1.       Write a plan – if things didn’t go how you would like them to last year, then this year try to set out how you want to it to look.

red clock

2.       Find some time for you – even if it is only 5-10 minutes a day, set this aside on a regular basis to give yourself a breather. Take a bath, read a book, have a quiet cuppa or stand outside and take deep breaths. 

calendar with date circled

3.       Many celebrations take place over several days, so move the day if you need to so that you can find time to be with the people you want to be with. This can help take the pressure off one single day.

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4.       If you are having people come over to visit you, share out the jobs. If the person you care for has needs which have changed, then let family and friends know in advance.

child with pet

5.       Set aside some quiet space for the person you care for – for some people celebrations can be overwhelming and noisy, and will add to your stress if they are finding it hard to cope.

carers singing group

6.       Find some shared activities that everyone can participate in. Singing and music are activities which lots of people enjoy. 

woman on phone

7.       Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers to hand in case things crop up over the festive season. Try to order any medication that the person you care for needs well in advance.

homemade gift image

8.       Festivities often cost and stretched budgets can suffer for many months afterwards.  If you can’t afford presents for everyone, tell them in advance.  Or agree a price limit so that you only buy a small token or perhaps give each other a promise instead like “I will help you sort out that cupboard next month that was bothering you” or “I will bake you a cake for your daughter’s birthday.”

self care

9.       Remember that holidays and festivities are rarely perfect for anyone, even though television adverts and films may try to tell us otherwise!  If you find holidays difficult, make a promise to yourself to do something that you enjoy when it is all over.

older people holding hands

10.   Get more support and advice at the Coping with Festivities workshop for carers at the Carers Support Centre on Thursday 7 December, 10.30am - 12.30pm.

Our free workshop can help you get through

Clare will be sharing more advice at the Coping with Festivities workshop at the Carers Support Centre. There’s still space available, so book your place now.

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