Remember to renew your Medicaid coverage. Click here for your state's Medicaid home page.

5 Holiday Self-Care Tips for Caregivers and Individuals with Disabilities

Christmas, Hanukkah, and other seasonal holidays fill our minds with thoughts of family, friends, food, and fun. For stressed-out caregivers and individuals with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities, this time of year may not invoke those thoughts or feelings. It may be challenging to leave the house in the cold, snowy weather or focus on enjoying yourself while caring for a loved one. Be gentle with yourself this year, and try these five tips from Acumen Fiscal Agent to strengthen your mental health and reduce stress this holiday season.

Holiday Self-Care Tips for Caregivers and Individuals with I/DD

1. Minimize Your Expectations

Expecting too much out of the holiday season places further stress on yourself. It’s okay to scale back on things like hosting Christmas parties, decorating your home, or volunteering for holiday events. Remember, the most significant part of the holiday is spending time with family and friends and appreciating this extraordinary time of the year. 

2. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Setting aside time for yourself is one of the most selfless things you can do. If you live with a disability or if you care for a loved one, spending time alone can recharge and refresh you. Plan some time each day to do something you like — watch your favorite TV show, read a book, go outdoors, journal, or nap.

3. Spend Time with Others

This may seem like a contradiction, but it’s the exact opposite – it’s about balance. Time for yourself and time with others should restore your mental well-being. Plus, connecting with loved ones and friends keeps you from isolating yourself too much. When you are with others, your emotional cup is filled, brightening your day and that of the individual you are with.  

4. Make Your Health a Priority

As your physical health suffers, so does your mental health. Be proactive and plan how you will keep your body and mind strong. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising provide benefits, such as increasing energy levels, releasing stress, and boosting mood. However, it is the holiday season, it is okay to enjoy a sweet treat now and then, too.

5. Enjoy the Season

Most of us love this time of year because of all the fantastic things we do together. Decorating the tree with family, baking cookies with the kids, and attending holiday events with friends make our holiday so meaningful. As you begin to feel overwhelmed, focus on what you enjoy about Christmas or Hanukkah. As long as you’re with others, the holiday can be a time of restoration for you and not simply one more thing to do.

Happy Holidays from Acumen

We proudly provide fiscal management services to veterans, aging adults, individuals with developmental, physical, or intellectual disabilities, and their caregivers. Contact us at (877) 211-3738 to learn more today. We offer our services across the country and do our best to exceed expectations. Season’s Greetings from Acumen to you and your family!

Source:  De Vries, Ph.D., Dr. Ronald J. “Seven Self-Care Tips So You Can Enjoy the Holidays.” Web article. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. Web. 24 Nov. 2023.