Wish you could go through your days always feeling spry and happy? Up to any challenge ahead? Perhaps you get up with that mindset, but something goes awry, and you feel like the rest of your day attracts similar circumstances, and before you know it…..the entire day is chaos.
The next day you set your intention, and again, the wheels start falling off. There is a crucial factor that you may be overlooking, the part you play in your day. I am not suggesting those days are your fault, contrary to that. Crises and mistakes happen. It is easy and understandable to get caught up in the swirl of it all and be overwhelmed.
The simple truth – the more you prepare, the better you can address situations that arise. As caregivers, you can do that, but still, there are times that you think about it and get busy saving things for ‘another day.’ Then the inevitable situations that arise unexpectedly happen.
Be realistic about what you can do:
Focus on things that you have some control over, such as meal planning and grocery shopping
Keep a list or journal of ongoing ailments/events that happen with your loved one so that you are not trying to remember everything
Practice mindfulness. I am not talking hour-long meditations here – a simple breathing technique will snap you back on track with ease. The Today Show had a great article recently, including one of my favorite methods, ‘Boxed Breathing.’
Stress significantly impacts our health, so how you manage it is key. Talking with friends and family or a counselor can be a tremendous support. The most powerful connection can be with other caregivers who often are experiencing similar feelings. A caregiver’s ability to discuss what they are going through with others who understand, and without the concern of being judged, can be lifesaving. We cannot overlook those connections.
We started our online support groups in response to those stressors. Sponsored in part by our partner Bay Area Cancer Connections, the ‘Virtual Retreats’ give caregivers the ability to connect. Amid times like we have never experienced before, a try sigh of relief.
Don’t do this alone.
Connections are powerful. Self-care is life-saving, for caregivers and for their loved ones.