Parkway Village - A Baptist Health Community

5 Ways to Handle Holiday Stress

Published on December 6, 2018

Everyone experiences a little stress during the holidays, but for those who serve as caregivers, November and December can be the most overwhelming months of the year. If you’re a caregiver, read on for tips for dealing with the holiday stress and ideas for enjoying the holiday season.

Keep it simple.

From holiday dinners to shopping to wrapping gifts, your to-do list is long this time of year. Find ways to check it off quickly and efficiently. For example, serve a catered meal or host a potluck instead of cooking the holiday dinner on your own. Shop online rather than in-store. Opt for free gift wrap if it’s offered, or use gift bags instead of gift wrap.


As your parent’s needs increase, you won’t have as much time for holiday activities you’ve done in the past. Don’t hesitate to let your family and friends know what you will and won’t be able to do this year, and ask for their help. You may also consider hiring out more tasks this time of year like cooking, cleaning, or decorating.

Create new traditions.

As your parents age, some of your most beloved holiday traditions simply won’t be feasible anymore. Instead of feeling sad about letting those traditions go, find new ones you can enjoy together.

Make time for yourself.

Between your obligations as a caregiver and holiday activities, it’s easy to neglect your own needs, but it’s important to avoid running yourself into the ground. Make time for rest, relaxation, and activities you enjoy. This may mean saying no to some requests or events and asking someone else to watch after your parent while you take time for yourself.

Remember what matters most.

While it’s easy to let holiday stress take over, take a step back to focus on what really matters this time of year: spending time with the friends and family you love. You may not have the perfect meal, the perfect gifts, or the perfect decorations, but as long as you make time to enjoy the season with important people in your life, your holidays will be merry and bright.

The upcoming holidays may be daunting, but by following the tips above, you can find ways to help both you and your loved one enjoy the season. For more tips on how to care for your elderly parent, check out the Parkway Village blog.