Practicing resilience is a key component of being happy as a home caregiver. Looking after loved ones is mentally and physically exhausting if you don’t have the tools for helping loved ones through once simple tasks they performed themselves. Daily routines can become tedious for home caregivers if they allow themselves to become overwhelmed.
Many people who find themselves offering senior assistance to people who once took care of them as children will find their new circumstances difficult to adapt to. A positive outlook can transform once seemingly insurmountable obstacles into challenges that can be faced.
If you are caring for a loved one, then take a moment or two to step back from your daily grind to practice resilience. You’ll find that you feel less stressed and less overwhelmed, enabling you to do your job as a caregiver. Follow these 5 simple steps:
- Refocus your mind. Too often it is easy to see only the sadness and struggle of keeping up with taking care of your loved one. You can’t control the progression of aging and disease, but you must try to find another focus. Focus on the importance of your role as a caregiver as being meaningful and having worth.
- Learn to accept your role, even if you didn’t choose it. As you learn to understand and accept your role, you’ll find that your job becomes easier and you’ll be a better caregiver. Caregiving has a learning curve, and no one is perfect right out of the gate—or ever. Praise yourself for the things that go well, like getting to a doctor’s appointment on time. Learn from and let go of things that don’t go well, like forgetting to make a bed one day.
- Maintain and form other relationships. Although being a caregiver is time-consuming, it shouldn’t consume your entire sense of being. Be sure to stay in contact with friends and family members. Talking out your frustrations and having sounding boards as support can help you.
- Don’t forget about yourself. Too often, caregivers feel a sense of guilt for needing a break or time to care for themselves. Finding time to yourself, to relax and destress, is key and will help you maintain your perspective. Although caregiving is an important part of your life, it is not your entire life.
- Think happy thoughts. The power of positive thinking is real and if you learn to focus on the humor in situations, you’ll find yourself in a better mood and better able to tackle whatever caregiving throws at you.
Appreciate the moments you are able to share with your loved one, despite all the rough patches. You will find that having a positive outlook makes your difficult job a little easier.
Find out how a home care professional can help you take care of your loved one and help you to balance your personal life with your caregiving responsibilities by giving us a call at 210-495-6300.