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Everyone loves the holidays, as it’s a time to engage with friends and family with whom you may not always get to spend time. If you’re a caregiver, it can be stressful to keep up with your regular schedule and prepare for the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be.

Michael Friedberg, an experienced caregiver and owner of Always Best Care of Mainline, PA, has some great tips for caregivers to help avoid the stress of the holiday season, and enjoy the festivities with loved ones.

Cook Simple Meals

Keep the holiday season stress free by preparing simple meals. If you plan to have guests, ask them to bring the sophisticated dishes. Caring for a loved one requires a lot of time every day, and preparing a seven-course meal can definitely cut into the time that could be spent caring for your loved one. One-pot meals are ideal for special occasions.

Plan Ahead

Make the season run smoothly by planning your meals and activities ahead of time. Decide what dishes you want to make, and start preparing them a day or so before the holiday. This will allow you time to spread the extra cooking out over a few days, and decrease the stress that you experience on the holiday. Your loved one may even want to join in and help!

Stick to Your Caregiving Schedule

Always stick to your caregiving schedule, especially during the holidays. Try to plan socializing, cooking, and other activities around your normal schedule to keep things familiar for your loved one during special occasions. This is also important in order to ensure that things remain normal after the festivities are over.

Ask for Help

Always ask for help when you need it. Whether you’re in need of someone to provide senior care in Mainline PA while you do the cooking and shopping, or you just need an extra hand with the cleaning and decorating, ask for assistance. Family members and friends are usually more than willing to chip in and lend their time.

Allow Yourself to Have Fun

The most important thing to remember is to allow yourself to have some fun, too. The holidays can be a stressful time, but they don’t have to be. In addition to making sure your loved one has an enjoyable time, do the same for yourself. Set aside part of the day to laugh and socialize with friends and family, and to have quiet time alone.