Every year this time most of us make New Year’s resolutions. But, often by the middle of January, we slip back into old habits and unhealthy routines. Does that sound familiar?
Why not make this year different?
We’ve collected some really great resolutions for family caregivers from a variety of sources, including DailyCaring.com, The Alzheimer’s Association and from within our own communities.
Here are five to put on your list:
- Use your resources. Yes, you are already aware of all the articles, books, tips and informative websites available to caregivers. But are you really using these resources? Create a list and make it a point to stay tuned-in to local or streaming seminars, events and other ways of educating yourself about your loved one’s condition as well as your own role as caregiver. Knowledge is power as they say. Make this the year you become even more informed.
- Make peace with what you can’t control. And there is more you can’t control than you think. Every time you find yourself trying to change someone or some situation, ask yourself (and be honest), “Can I really control this?” If not, as hard as it is, it’s time to let it go. Save your energy for things that you know will make a difference.
- Become your own best friend. It starts by surrounding yourself with positive people who build you up and recognize the true value you have. And practice engaging in positive “self-talk”. This is that ongoing narrative we have in our heads all day long. It is a narrative that can quickly turn very negative. But there are ways to transform it from negative into a positive inner dialog that helps you get through those tough days.
- Reach out for help. Make it a point this year to join a support group. And make the effort to overcome your hesitancy to enlist the help of relatives and trusted friends. So many caregivers don’t believe others can or want to really help them. They do and they can! But first you much reach out and ask.
- Carve out “me” time. What is it you love to do? What do you find relaxing? Invigorating? Make this the year you reclaim your “me time”. If you can’t find a relative or friend to watch your loved one, check into respite care with your local memory care community. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests setting aside Monday as your “me” day for self-love and caring. It will kick off your week in a positive way.
Which of these resonates with you? Which would be helpful to you in the new year? Why not explore one or two of them. Stick with your efforts. And don’t expect perfection. Be sure to surround yourself with positive people who will support your new regimen of self-love and care.
By doing so, you will find it easier to handle those tough days. And you will also find more joy in the good days.