The light of caregiving seems a natural progression from our last post highlighting the gifts of caregiving. To survive our roles, it is important we take time for ourselves and keep up a positive perspective. This positive perspective, this light is our focus.
What helps you stay positive?
Start each day (or as early in the day as you can) by writing out daily 10 things for which you are thankful. This sets a positive tone for the day. These can be from simple (the sun is shining) to something complexed (thanks for positive changes in a medical condition).
Laughter is good medicine. It helps us keep that light perspective. Watch comedies. Sing silly songs. Share a joke.
Sometimes we can share these light, laughter filled moments with those in our care. And, it is something we can do doing our times of self-care.
Sharing our journey with others makes the load lighter.
It can include moments of sharing with the person receiving the care. By being in this relationship with them, we are traveling our life journeys together.
There are times that empowering them in appropriate ways to help or to support you gives them a feeling of worth. Acknowledging our stress and asking for simple support need not cross professional ethical boundaries. Professional caregivers need to follow the ethics of your profession and your organization. For family caregivers, here ere are a couple examples:
- “These dark mornings make it challenging for me to feel as alert as I’d like to be. What’s a way you’ve found helpful to increase your energy?”
- “I could use a smile today if you have one to share.”
In honest, proper ways and places we need to communicate what we are experiencing, our needs and our own dreams. We can also encourage and support those in our care to do the same.
When we take time off it forces us to share the caregiving load. It gives us a chance to rest. It promotes communication. It makes time for laughter. It allows us to care for ourselves.