Taking care of an elderly loved one can be an emotional roller coaster ride of highs and lows depending upon the day. Negative emotions that family caregivers oftentimes experience include anger, resentment, guilt, anxiety and frustration. As an informal caregiver, staying positive can help you get through those challenging and stressful times when nothing seems to be going right. Fortunately, it is possible to keep your mood more positive while caring for an aging in place senior by taking these steps.
Remember Why You Became a Caregiver
When you’re having a rough day remind yourself why you became a caregiver in the first place. For example, it may have been to keep mom from having to move into a nursing home. Or, maybe it was so dad could spend more time around his grandchildren. Constantly focusing on the mission at hand will help keep your mood more positive.
Find Healthy Ways to Decompress
Pent-up caregiver stress can cause you to have a negative attitude, so find some healthy ways to decompress. Take a hot bath at the end of the day, pamper yourself with a massage or go for a long walk at your favorite park. After all, you’ve earned it!
Focus on Happy Thoughts
As a caregiver it’s important to realize that you can control your thoughts. Cast negativity aside when it tries to enter your mind and replace it with happy thoughts instead. One way to have a more positive mental attitude is by using an approach called cognitive defusion. By whatever means necessary get into the habit of redirecting bad thoughts by concentrating on things in life that bring you joy.
Do Things You Enjoy
Spend some quality time every day doing something that you really enjoy, like reading a book, watching your favorite TV show or doing a hobby. Set aside one weekend per month so that you can go on a well-deserved getaway with your spouse or friends. Enjoying a healthier balance in your life will help you have a more positive attitude.
Avoid Negative People
Have you ever noticed how negativity is contagious? Try to avoid negative people as much as possible, and instead surround yourself with those who are upbeat and positive. If you’re forced to be around someone who’s negative don’t let their bad attitude rub off on you.
Take Care of Yourself
Many informal caregivers spend so much time helping others that they neglect their own health. Be sure to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, exercising for 30 minutes every day and getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t self-medicate with drugs or alcohol and get a complete physical at least once a year.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Start a gratitude journal and then record every day something that you’re thankful for, like the fact your kids are healthy or that you were able to get mom outside for a walk. When you’re having a bad day, go back and review what’s written in your journal. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to constantly remind yourself how blessed you truly are.
Find Someone to Fill In
Sometimes it’s best to step back from your caregiving responsibilities for a while so you can clear your head and recharge. Ask another family member to fill in or seek assistance from a trusted friend, community volunteer or adult daycare. You can also hire a professional respite caregiver from a licensed home care agency in your area.
Reliable In-Home Respite Care for Independent Seniors
Caring for an aging in place loved one is a labor of love, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times. When you need to take a break, contact Adultcare Assistance Homecare. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home our well-trained respite caregivers will provide your loved one with the support that’s needed so they can keep aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
With an emphasis on maintaining your loved one’s quality of life and dignity, our carefully screened aides can perform in-home duties like personal care, companionship care, home making and transportation. For your added convenience all our home care services can be individually combined into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about Adultcare Assistance Homecare now, or to schedule a FREE in-home assessment for your senior, please visit us at: www.adultcareassistance.com.