#7 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Mind Your Holiday Mindset

Caregiving Tips

Guidance on how to properly care for your loved ones as they navigate through the aging process

AARP Expert

#7 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Mind Your Holiday Mindset

With the pandemic and other issues in the news coming at us this year, it could be easy to get dragged down into negativity about the holidays. That's why my next tip is:


Mind Your Holiday Mindset


Negative thinking actually activates your body's stress response, so steer your mind to the positives when you start down that slippery slope. Try to stay mindful, concentrating on the present moment. It does take a conscious effort sometimes, to willfully re-direct our minds from the fearful and negative thoughts. But over time I find it gets easier.

  • Focus on what you can accomplish and experience instead of what you can't do this year or what isn’t getting done due to caregiving. Play those things up - FULLY experience them and relish every moment.
  • Celebrate what your loved ones can do, rather than dwelling on what they can no longer participate in. The pandemic may limit things they can do and their health conditions may also limit their abilities, so zero in on what they are still able to do. When my Dad could no longer help decorate the Christmas tree, he could still sit there and enjoy the holiday music and comment on the beauty of an ornament or be delighted when the lights came on. So I focused on those things.
  • Revel in the holiday joys you experience instead of focusing on those you bypass. Accept that it will be different this year but that doesn't have to mean it will be bad. I like to think about the more simple times when people didn't spend so much money and the holidays were celebrated in smaller ways.
  • Appreciate the help you are receiving rather than resenting those who aren't supportive. Your family members may not be able to help as much this year, due to the pandemic, but you can still appreciate anything they can do. People can shop for you, put up outside decorations, bring meals, pay for you to rent a holiday movie, or send cards and letters.

How do you adjust your mindset when you start to go into a negativity spiral? I always envision myself reeling my thoughts back in (like a fishing rod)!


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving


P.S. - below are links to my others Holiday Tips!


#10 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Ask for and Accept Help

#9 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Connect with Other Caregivers

#8 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Keep Up with Self-Care

#6 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Anticipate Holiday Hot Buttons

#5 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Approach Gift-Giving More Efficiently

#4 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Adjust Holiday Meal Plans

#3 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Start NEW Traditions!

#2 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Simplify your Holiday Activities

#1 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Focus on What is Most Meaningful




Gold Conversationalist

The approval of the vaccine should do away with any holiday negativity.  💉

We are on the way back to normality!  

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Ask the Expert: Social Security

Discuss your thoughts about the 2022 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment with AARP experts - and ask a question to earn 50 AARP Rewards points. Join the discussion now.

AARP Make Your Move Contest 2021

Enter Today! Ends 10/22/2021. See Official Rules

Test Your Knowledge, Score Big. New Game Each Day!

AARP's new Right Again! Trivia game - part trivia, part puzzle, all fun! Special opportunities for AARP Members and Rewards participants. Play Now.

AARP Right Again! Trivia

AARP Rewards

Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts. Get started with AARP Rewards now!

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health