Choices. We all like choices, don’t we?
Chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies? A long soaking bath or a steamy warm shower? Now, if that were the most significant decision you have to make, wouldn’t life be easier?
I never kept track of how many decisions I made throughout my caregiving days. Some days relatively easy, others like a blur.
One of our support group participants has been a stellar example of just how much one person can do, but the weight becomes too much, as it often happens. She realized it was time to bring in home health to help ease the day-to-day, which can be a gut-wrenching decision.
We want to/think we can do it all, don’t we?
The truth is that the root core of us weakens, it does, and the more we deny the inevitable, the weaker we become at effective decision making. I admire this woman tremendously but have been worried about how much longer she would sustain the pace.
Before giving her a referral, I loaded her with questions and thoughts to be sure she would make an informed decision. I also encouraged her to speak with more than one provider to feel comfortable in her choice.
Becoming self-aware of emotions and thresholds is essential for any of us, but surely as caregivers.
Finding ways to pull yourself back just a bit before the tipping point can make a difference. One of the reasons I love our virtual caregiver support retreats is that people can talk to each other, and the outcomes are always uplifting. There is power in connections.
You can create a shift within yourself effortlessly.
Try this short, effective exercise that can shift your life energy, and ultimately for those around you as well:
If you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, stop.
Take a minute to walk outside if you can or even to another room.
Place your hand over your heart and take five or so deep breaths.
Focus your energy on the moment––your breathing, your heartbeat. Just BE in the moment.
You can create a similar exercise for the person you are caring for, too. Ask them what makes them happy.
Some ideas might be:
A drive through the neighborhood for a change of scenery?
A chat about one of their favorite memories?
A puzzle that might perk up their spirits.
You may not know until you ask, and it could be the smallest of things.
Today I took a pause and made myself a cup of ‘Inspiration and Joy’ tea. A delightful way to break up the day and enjoy a bit of wellness. A simple pleasure and form of self-care midstream.
Bottom line––it doesn’t have to be a significant event; everything you do can make a difference.