It’s a brand new year! For 2015, please consider making even just one of the following resolutions. It is imperative that you take the necessary steps to care for yourself, so you are able to successfully care for your loved one.
#1. Set aside at least 15 minutes (or longer) each day to do something just for you. Enjoy a nice cup of tea, meditate, quietly read a devotional, browse through a magazine, call a friend or journal. Select a time of day when you can enjoy the activity with limited or no interruptions. You might have to get up early, stay up late, or schedule a time when the person you provide care for is gone or busy. Maybe once a month or so, you could even take some extra time to go have a massage, take a relaxing bubble bath, have a long lunch with friends or go to a movie that you want to see (and eat all of the popcorn!)
#2. Take time each day to find something for which you are thankful. A sign hangs in my home that says, “There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for.” When overwhelmed by the stress of caregiving, it can be easy to forget this simple saying. You might be thankful that you still have your health or woke up with an abundance of patience. Perhaps you both laughed together during breakfast, or that he/she expressed gratitude or love. You might be thankful for your faith, family or friends that get you through from one day to the next.
#3. Arrange for some help on a regular basis. Maybe this resolution is exactly what you need to enable you to make – and keep – Resolution #1. What chore would you most enjoy giving up? Arrange for assistance with cleaning, organizing, meals, other household chores, or caregiving tasks. Hire or arrange for a family member or friend to “share the care” for a few hours at least once a month to give you a little free week-end time.
#4. Laugh each and every day about something. Daily laughter is just plain healthy–for both of you! You might find comedic relief in your situation at hand, together with your partner, from a funny book, joking with a friend or while enjoying a favorite TV show. If humor has not been part of your everyday routine, start now and find it
#5. Each day express generous praises & gratitude… for yourself. Make it a habit to give yourself credit for all the things you do well. You get credit for good intentions and for trying. You are a giving, loving, devoted caregiver or you wouldn’t be reading this. Each of us can only do the best job possible at any given moment, on any given day. Some days we might do better than others, but every day we step up with love and determination to give our loved one the best possible care.
These might be the most important resolutions that you’ve ever made…for you BOTH.