By the time you read this, New Year’s will have come and gone, and statistically speaking, you’ll have made resolutions of your own. Unfortunately, those same statistics indicate that you probably won’t hold fast to your resolution; some stats even say 80% are broken by February. Part of the problem with many resolutions is that they hold you to hard numbers and certain dates. “I will exercise 3 times a week” seems like a good resolution, but if you’re at 0 times a week right now, you’ll almost certainly break it. A better way of phrasing it might be “I will exercise more often” because a broken resolution tends to be a disincentive to get back on the horse. A resolution shouldn’t be broken because you didn’t hit a goal; it should only be broken if you stop trying altogether.
Take time for yourself. As a caregiver, you’re looking out for not only your needs, but the needs of the person in your care. Caregiving is like the oxygen mask on the plane; you can give care to others, but only if you care for yourself first. When you are putting your all into caring for someone else, you might end up neglecting your own needs. You then run out of energy to care for your loved one; self-care is where our energy to do anything comes from, after all. Make time in your schedule for self-care; it might be a weekly bubble bath, nightly quiet reading time or a weekend outing with friends. Whatever you need, schedule it, do it, and feel great about yourself. You’ll be happier, and you’ll be more capable of caring for your loved one.
Practice saying no. This is linked to self-care; it means understanding your limitations, and not allowing yourself to go over them. When you feel overburdened, you may begin to resent others, or worse yet, to resent yourself. There are times you’ll be too tired to do everything others ask of you; it’s okay to tell people there’s too much on your plate. Better yet, start to practice telling other people that you need help; when there’s too much on your plate, try to find someone to share the burden with you. Your family might all feel overburdened, depending on how tasks have been delegated; if you need an extra helping hand, Winnipeg home health care is available to help with activities of daily living for your loved ones.
Spend quality time with loved ones. When caregiving, you may start to only spend time around your loved one to do work; this can lead to feelings of resentment. Schedule quality time with them, and with any loved ones who share in the caregiving; bond again as family, and take time to appreciate the qualities that make you love the person. Talk. Play games. Reminisce. Anything that makes you feel connected is worthwhile; it puts why you’re a caregiver back into perspective. It’s a choice you’ve made because you love and care for the person; it’s right there in the name.