There's nothing quite like trying to do something yourself and someone barging in to do it for you. Still, I offered in a gentle voice, “Would you like some help?” Her reaction could not have been greater had I offered her a pot of gold. Wide-eyed, and so very grateful (if also a touch embarrassed) she replied, “Oh, you don’t mind?"
There are three stages of transitions: Letting Go of the Old Way, the In-Between, and Accepting the New Way. These stages are not linear and logical. We move back and forth, they overlap, are fluid and sometimes we have several transitions going on at one time.
Are Your Emotions Spinning? It's Okay to Reach Out for Help Some days are more challenging than others, but we can find bright spots if we open ourselves to them. When we focus on events that bring us down, we tend to perpetuate a negative spiral, while stepping away can give way to light.
As caregivers, we must be aware that the people we support often react to the change of seasons with heightened emotions. When my grandmother was first sliding into dementia, the simple act of packing away her summer clothes and bringing out her warmer winter wardrobe would make her anxious. Where were her belongings going, and would she get them back?
When you've piled so many things on your plate and those days happen, defeat can be brutal. We've all experienced it, which can rock us off our feet. Creating resilience is essential. So too, are compassion and acceptance — both with yourself and with others.
We can't close our eyes or ears to what is happening in the world around us, but changing our reactions is possible. What you give yourself is a crucial ingredient in creating change and making a positive impact both in your life and the world at large.
Whether you are a family caregiver or a healthcare professional, you give so much of yourself in the care of others. When did you take your last deep breath? The impact of not doing so affects both you and those you are caring for, so in truth, no one wins.
In the United States, more than nine million people – about one in five - fall into the category of 'caregiver,' yet many neglect to raise their hands and acknowledge that they are. As roles change in our lives, whether temporarily helping a loved one or going in for the long haul, the guidebooks are unclear and far too long.
Kindness is one of the simplest gifts you can give to others and yourself. Showing that you care, especially in this fast-paced world, is important, but requires mindfulness. Small acts of kindness, like looking into someone's eyes, saying hello, or saying thank you, can make a dramatic difference in mood and attitude. When you notice someone upset or angry, pausing to ask, "Is there something that I can do for you?" creates a shift in energy and fosters connections.
Communication, the language that we choose, and the energy our bodies emit, is essential in what we speak, what we hear, and what our posture implies. A harsh reaction may be coming from someone's pain or fear, and your response to it can be a powerful hit or a supportive landing place.