The Path of a Caregiver: Surviving the Holidays

Jeana Crouse by Jeana Crouse Additional Needs

Jeana Crouse

Jeana Crouse

I am passionate about helping awaken our strengths as special needs parents and caregivers along this journey. I cherish the opportunity to help ot...

The Path of a Caregiver: Surviving the Holidays

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” Psalm 119:105

Is there a person that relies on you for all their needs, most of them, or even just some of them? Either way, if you are a caregiver, you will have answered yes to this.

The holidays are busy enough, but when someone is a caregiver, life seems very overwhelming. One might become exhausted early into December and most especially before Christmas.

How can we enjoy the holidays and still be the caregiver our person needs us to be?

I know this is easier said than done for most of us, but you must take time for yourself. If you don’t it will only lead to burnout and exhaustion. This can lead to illness. We as humans need to rest and recuperate.

Keep an organized calendar so you can plan accordingly and look ahead at what you need to accomplish that day. Most importantly, try not to think too much about the days ahead. One day at a time and one step at a time.

Use your time wisely and listen to what your gut and your body are telling you. If you know you need a nap, and you have the opportunity to do so, take one.

Talk to others, and tell people close to you that you really need help. Maybe give several people some things that you could use help with. This way you are not putting too much on one person. If you don’t tell anyone you need help, there is no way for them to know. I know it would be nice if others just knew our needs and came to our rescue. I don’t like to ask for help, but I do so I can keep my head above the weeds.

Head above the weeds

It takes a tribe.

I love the way tribal Indians lived. A child is not raised up only by their parents.

For example: From the article “Family Life in the Culture of the Plains Indians” by Sally Painter: “The elders of the family played a vital role. The women helped in child rearing and domestic chores. The elder men may have served on the chiefs' council. They served their extended family as teachers, mentors, spiritual advisors, and confidants. The Plains Indian elders were highly respected by their family. The family took loving care of their elder members, and honored the infirm to ensure an honorable, dignified death.”(Family Life in the Culture of the Plains Indians | LoveToKnow)

In my opinion, this is what family is all about.

I find it extremely sad that family care, for some, is nonexistent. I often wonder, why are we here if we are not taking care of each other and being kind to each other with love and compassion? I believe this is one of the core reasons we are on Earth.

There are many other ways to take it slow and take care of ourselves during the holidays, and that should continue into the year. We all know these things, but it can’t hurt to say them anyway.

We can all use a reminder of what our bodies need, myself included: exercise (at least take a walk), comfort from a pet, plenty of sleep, eat as well as you can. I know, nearly impossible during the holidays. It can be really difficult to not have dessert at every gathering. I mean, we have to try our friends’ desserts! Take small portions so you can enjoy without overdoing it.

These are all things we know. My hope is that this blog will give you a little encouragement and strength. Remember to have fun and take time out to be silly.

Caregiving is a lot for one person, and no one can ever know what it’s like until they have walked the path of a caregiver.

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