Do you live each day having a positive outlook? Or at least try to stay positive throughout the day? If you do, there is good news. A study involving 106 participants and conducted by Mayo Clinic, showed that individuals who are able to self-talk themselves out of being stressed will live a longer and healthier life. Other benefits include lower blood-pressure, improved sleep patterns, and lower rates of depression. Here are a few tips to help you stay positive while caring for your loved one.
8 ways to stay positive as a caregiver
1. Don’t hold your emotions inside of you
This may seem like the best option at the time. Trust me, it isn’t. Keeping your feelings to yourself will only end up hurting you in the future. Don’t be afraid to talk about these frustrations or concerns with others. While everyone may not completely understand what you are going through, they will be able to see how much it affects you and be a compassionate listener. Be sure to try your best to not show these emotions in front of the person being cared for. They can already feel like a burden at times.
2. Take time to be grateful
Even when you may become overwhelmed, you need to take time to remember the things in life you are grateful for. Talk about the positive conversations you two share and the bonding that has created such a strong relationship. Recognizing the things you are grateful for, especially pertaining to caregiving, will help provide you with a positive mindset, even during the hard times.
3. Learn how to manage stress
Managing your stress level is crucial when it comes to maintaining positivity. Stress occurs when you believe the demands placed on you exceed your ability to cope. However, this does happen to everyone. So don’t feel like you are alone or singled out. For ways to manage stress click here.
4. Find time to relax and unwind
Caregiving for a family member can be a 24/7 job. So, finding time may not be the easiest thing to do. By the end of the day your are tired and ready for bed yourself. Try to schedule time once a week to do something for yourself. Wether that is going to get your nails done, taking a walk in the park, or visiting your friends. See if a family member is willing to help out, even if it is just for a few hours. I’m sure they would love to assist you. If you cannot find help, we can provide our services such as companion care or personal care.
5. find joy in exercising
Exercising releases endorphins in the brain and has been proven to help reduce stress and increase energy. Exercising will also encourage good eating habits. Many of our caregivers feel maintaining a healthy diet is a key factor to keeping their mind sharp. If you feel like you cannot find 30 minutes each day, break your exercises up into 10 minute blocks.
6. Keep things simple
Sometimes doing only what needs to be done is okay. That means as long as the dishes are done, laundry is clean, and meals are made then you have accomplished the day. Try not to set too many daily goals. This may make you feel rushed and frustrated if everything on your list isn’t completed.
7. Start writing in a journal
Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings will help relieve some of the pressure and stress you may be feeling. Journaling has also been proven to help the brain process issues that are currently active. Meaning, if something is bothering you, writing it down can help you resolve the issue.
8. Remember, you’re doing great!
Always remind yourself that you are doing a great job. If something doesn’t work out as planned it is okay. You did the best you could at that particular moment.
For more tips on caregiving please visit our learning center here.