If you are one of the eight percent of Americans who actually achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, well done! But if you’re like most of us, you have given up well before even turning the calendar page to February. Although without a doubt it’s commendable to strive to improve ourselves by resolving to get rid of 10 pounds or eat healthier, for busy family caregivers, there are many truly meaningful, achievable goals that can improve life all through the year and prevent caregiver burnout.
- Find joy. Looking after another individual is a labor of love, but can result in challenges that make it difficult to focus on the daily positives that can stimulate joy. Take time every single day to pause and discover a reason to smile. Bring a sense of humor into your daily caregiving tasks to share laughter together with your family member. Enjoy the feeling of the sun shining through the window as you are organizing laundry. Phone someone who lifts your spirits for a quick chat.
- See the bigger picture. Strive to take a step back from the busyness of your to-do list, and look at the complete effect your caregiving is making. Because of you, a loved one can continue living in the comfort and familiarity of home. Thanks to you, life is the very best it can be for your parent. Your contribution is priceless and it is making a significant difference.
- Compartmentalize. It’s extremely important to make mental health a top priority, and one effective way to handle the numerous different responsibilities that are included in providing care is to be completely focused on the present. Picturing different rooms for different concerns is a good idea; so if you begin to worry about an upcoming medical procedure the senior is facing as you’re watching a show with your kids, contemplate setting that concern in its appropriate room until later, and being focused on the present.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s very easy to get caught in a pattern of wishing you could do more for a senior loved one, or thinking about mistakes you have made that you wish you could change. Emphasize to yourself that you are human, and that you’re doing essential work for the senior you love. Appreciate the sacrifices you are making, just like you would take note and appreciate them in another family caregiver.
- Seek – and accept – support and help. Attempting to be a superhero who deals with each and every thing independently can rapidly lead to burnout and depression. Working with others to help your parent is the best approach to ensure his / her needs are thoroughly met, while helping you realize the healthy life balance you need and deserve.
CareWorks Health Services is the ideal partner for family caregivers, offering highly skilled, professional, and compassionate in-home senior care in Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas can rely on. Let us help you avoid caregiver burnout! Call us at (949) 859-4700 and together we can establish a plan of care to help make 2020 the best year yet – both for the senior in your care, as well as for yourself.