Dealing with Caregiver Burnout during the Holiday Season

caregiver burnout during the holiday season

Caregiving isn’t a profession that is eligible for Christmas or New Year’s holiday; instead, a caregiver needs to work double during the holiday season. Whether it is preparation for Christmas, New Year’s, or the daily chores that a caregiver comes across, there are chances for burnout.

Planning the dinner, baking the cookies, and helping in purchasing gifts are some of the tasks that caregivers come across during the holiday season, which can’t be ignored. Since everyone expects a lending hand in hosting relatives, the thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that caregivers also expect a day off.

According to a survey, caregiver agencies always lack staff during the holiday season to meet the demands. Moreover, privately hired caregivers demand holidays, which becomes quite challenging for agencies.

The stress of not celebrating the holidays with their families, coupled with an excessive workload at the client’s place, could result in caregiver burnout. While some situations may worsen as the elderly may become abusive, less tolerant of gathering, noise, which also requires a caregiver to maintain their mental peace.

Preparing for Holidays

As a caregiver, one should be aware of the fact that there would be some alterations in their daily schedule as families would be in the holiday celebration spirit. Tasks that are unexpectedly added to the schedule may overwhelm caregivers, which is the reason prior to mental preparation is necessarily crucial.

Accepting the fact that a change in the routine is expected in the season, along with a little more burden of handling the elderly adequately, is suitable for both caregivers and the care receivers. This could eventually help in managing stress levels in the near future.

Dealing with the family of the elderly, especially during Holidays, could be another reason for stress. There could be instances when a caregiver needs to handle the elderly and to manage the household tasks in a way that it doesn’t lead to burnout. Establishing adequate measures of self-preparation always lends a hand in dealing with stress and challenges during this time of the year.

Awareness about Burnout is Mandatory

Though caregiver burnout could be witnessed at any point in the year, it is mandatory to consider the fact that it becomes worse during Christmas, Jewish Holidays, & New Year’s Eve. The holiday season brings extreme joy and excitement bundled with lots of responsibilities and workload, which isn’t escapable. Managing work, along with ensuring break, is perhaps an excellent way to manage anxiety during the scheduled hours.

The level of emotional stress during holidays couldn’t get worse if the caregiver experiences symptoms of depression and isolation, which can lead to caregiver breakdown. A caregiver usually doesn’t have time to spend these quality hours with their families instead are involved in making others Christmas Eve remarkable. A feeling of guilt may arise when these individuals aren’t able to celebrate the most beautiful time of the year with their family. It is thus crucial to prepare oneself mentally and physically to ensure Christmas Eve isn’t affected by the overburden of work and responsibilities.

What Causes Extra Stress during the Holidays

No one else could better understand the role of a caregiver than a caregiver itself. One needs to work without external support, even in the conditions when they eventually need care and rest. Any task or emergency could lead to burnout, and during the festive season, the burden of work and managing both care and task completion could lead to burnout.

Some of the most common causes of caregiver burnout include:

  • Transportation issues
  • Scheduling clashes
  • Shopping
  • Housekeeping chores
  • Personal attention along with medication
  • Dealing with Alzheimer’s patients

Things get worse when any of the tasks mentioned above/duties fall the same day. It is essential for the caregiver to manage their schedule and plan in advance so that they can avoid any incident of stress at the eleventh hour.

Another issue that working family caregivers usually face is to ensure that their weekly hours are complete, and they manage household chores along with adequate care to the elderly. Without mental stability and physical fitness, one cannot imagine managing their responsibilities.

How Caregivers can cope with Burnout

The initial thing that a caregiver needs to understand is that they are not alone. Almost every caregiver needs to undergo such phases in their lives when they are unable to manage their stress, especially in the holiday season. Accepting this fact could be the initial step in dealing with the burnout that one can’t prevent in some situations, but few measures can eventually help.

  • Getting organized is the key to deal with burnout, which can simplify things up to an extent
  • Frequent breaks could also help in relieving stress
  • Take a healthy diet and manage time for a workout for adequate physical health
  • Join a community that helps you in getting over the issues and provides mental support
  • Getting support from relatives and acquaintances could help

The overall holiday season is perhaps a tough time for a home caregiver who can’t celebrate with their family. Holiday burnout is a situation that can be tackled but can’t be prevented. A caregiver must understand that they are getting the best reward of satisfaction that no other job could ever offer them.

Related blog posts:

How a Caregiver can help in planning your Christmas Holidays
Christmas Activities for Seniors that Makes their Day Special

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