We're approaching the start of a new year, and we all know what that means: it's time to make some new resolutions and get inspired for the coming year!
Being a family caregiver is a full-time job that keeps you busy all year. It can be daunting to handle the plethora of responsibilities, which range from medical visits and personal care to weekly food shopping and meal preparation.
Caregivers' New Year's resolutions can be chances for growth, but they can also feel like punishments. The majority of individuals start a new year with new goals in mind. However, as time passes and a variety of activities come your way, your desire may wane to the point where you lose all motivation to achieve your goals.
Making New Year's resolutions doesn't have to be a fruitless exercise of trying to lose weight and then consuming chocolate cake afterwards for family caregivers. It can be a serenity prayer, a plea for bravery to alter what they can—their thoughts, for example, when they have to accept loved ones' physical problems that they can't change. Caregivers should spend time in December thinking about how they can improve their approach to their responsibilities in order to be motivated in the coming year. Here are some ideas for 2022 resolutions to consider.
Reach out for Support
Make a detailed plan for taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Caregivers are so focused on taking care of the person that they neglect to take care of themselves. Caregivers should surround themselves with a strong circle of support, which can include professional help, joining support groups, or seeking counseling. Also, make sure you're keeping up with your own doctor's appointments and exercising, because you won't be able to care for that individual if your body and mind aren't in good shape. Any assistance you can acquire to aid you with your day-to-day responsibilities is usually beneficial. People are not always in a financial position to seek expert assistance, but if it is available to you, make use of it.
At least once every six weeks or so, get away for a few days to disconnect from the surroundings and all of the emotions that come with them. Allow yourself at least a couple of days to distance yourself from the situation and absorb and explore your own feelings about what's going on. When you're a caregiver, this can differ depending on whether you're working on a short-term or long-term basis. Is this a cancer patient or someone suffering from dementia? Details can make a big difference. A vacation or a homestay are both options. Stay somewhere and do nothing for a few days. A weekend getaway is usually nice if you want to take a mini-vacation and get out of town. When you return from a break, you usually feel more energized.
Practice Stress Management
Engage in mindfulness exercises or meditation. Writing things down is an effective stress management practice. You can utilize that time to express your emotions as well as document the journey of what's going on during this procedure.
Get help Processing your Feelings
Be aware that your behaviors and actions will not result in regrets, especially if the individual is in a fatal circumstance. Therapy is beneficial to everyone, so caregivers should seek it out. Individual counseling can assist you with your specific needs. In many circumstances, carers experience grief and loss because they are caring for someone who used to care for them. So there's a sense of loss since the roles have shifted and the person is no longer the same person they were years ago, in some way–whether physical or mental. Support groups are also beneficial because they make you realize you're all going through the same thing, which can be extremely reassuring as a caretaker.
Caregivers do so much for others, but they are often harsh on themselves. They set unrealistic objectives for themselves, such as being perfect caregivers, and then blame themselves when they don’t achieve their goals. Self-criticism is rarely necessary, and it only adds to an already stressful situation.
Take Stock of Your Hard Work
Caregivers should note a few things that they put effort into. This is not a list of things they did perfectly or that went perfectly. It’s a list of things they put effort into. It’s not fair to judge yourself by your outcomes. Learn to appreciate yourself! You will feel better if you recognize and appreciate the hard work and effort you put into your loved one’s care and remember that even good caregivers are imperfect.