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AARP Expert

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

As caregivers, we give and give and give, and during the holidays we give even more. Add the stress and isolation of the pandemic on top of that and you've got a potential formula for burnout.  That's why my 8th tip is:

Keep Up with Self-Care

Be aware of emotional ups and downs, fatigue, foggy thinking, inability to sit still or the opposite — feeling frozen and unable to get anything done. These are red flags that the stress is getting to you and you may be on your way to burnout (or already there), but when we’re busy it’s easy to let  self-care slip — just when we need it most.


I look at self-care like my car - it can't run on empty and neither can I. Self-care - or filling our own tanks - is not selfish, it's just practical. So find ways to fill up - even if it's just a little bit at a time:


  • Stay connected - to other caregivers, friends, family, neighbors. Social isolation is detrimental to your health, so be sure to find ways to connect safely via video chat, outside etc.
  • Get plenty of sleep (here are some tips for how to do that).
  • Weather permitting, get outside for a walk (even a short walk is better than none!) If your shopping mall is open you can walk there and enjoy the decorations (be sure to follow safety precautions).
  • Dance to holiday music!
  • Stretch or do jumping jacks while watching holiday movies.
  • Enjoy holiday goodies, but be aware that too many sugary treats can make your energy crash later and pandemic weight gain won't help you in the long run.
  • Be aware of unhealthy coping skills, like drinking too much.
  • Get outside for some mood-elevating vitamin D from sunlight, or consider therapeutic lighting if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • Relax and combat stress with meditation, mindfulness practices and holiday-scented aromatherapy to soothe and boost your mood.

How are you taking care of yourself this holiday season? 


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

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

#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

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