All of us are human beings who have experienced both good days and bad. It is no different for family caregivers. However, keeping in mind the demanding role they play, it might be helpful to look at the world from a positive point of view. It will not only prevent the caregiver from heading towards burnout, but also have a positive impact on the health of their loved ones around them. So, it is now time to be an optimist and realise that the glass was half full all along!
Here is how you can become a more optimistic caregiver in 5 easy steps-
Identify The Causes Of Negative Energy
First and foremost, it is important to identify and eradicate everything that triggers negativity in your mind. So the next time you feel pessimistic, pause for a second right there and take a moment to carefully analyse what caused it. It is even better if you can write all of it down so as to come up with a solution to each of the triggers. Likewise, do not forget about the positive moments and do more of what makes you happy.
Set Realistic Goals
It is a well known fact that caregivers are often burdened with a lot on their plate. Their to-do list never seems to end. By getting caught up in the moment and under pressure of so many errands, they tend to set targets which are quite impractical. As a result of not being able to complete it in due course, they end up feeling low and depressed. Therefore, it is best to set realistic targets as per your capabilities because nobody knows you better than you. This way you will be able to finish the task in time and be full of new confidence, energy and optimism!
A Healthy Life Is A Happy Life
Did you know that neglecting eating habits and physical activity might just be the cause of your negative mindset? Research shows that eating three healthy meals a day and exercising for just 10 minutes can reduce stress and increase energy levels in the body. Pair that with some good sleep and you will be fresh every single day; beaming with life and positivity! It is understandable that as a caregiver you might not be able to spare 8 hours at a stretch for a good night’s sleep or even half an hour for exercising. No worries. You can easily break it up into smaller parts by exercising for 10 minutes at a time and taking power naps during the day.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
A saying as old as time itself, “Laughter is the best medicine” holds so true in today’s world. People have become so busy, that they seem to have forgotten how to smile and laugh. We are all aware that laughing reduces stress hormones, eases anxiety and uplifts one’s mood to a great extent. For a caregiver, humour can also help you keep pushing through in difficult situations. You may try watching some popular sitcoms that might tickle the funny bones. All in all, laugh a little more, it will be contagious to those around you as well!
Never Neglect Self-Care
Taking a break from caregiving duties once in a while is quite important for the well being of your health. Many caregivers cannot maintain their social life owing to the huge responsibility on their shoulders. However, at least once a month, a change of surrounding, socializing with friends, catching a movie, doing any of these related activities could be worth so much more than just a break. They go a long way in keeping the positive spirit alive in you. It assures that you have a personal life beyond your caregiving duties as well.
Of course it’s not possible to turn a pessimist into an optimist in one night. It is a gradual process which will require some efforts from your end such as practicing the above tips and self pep talks. Slowly, you will start to notice a change in the very way you look at the world and perceive things. As a caregiver, this optimism will boost your presence of mind and the ability to deal with tricky situations more prudently. If you still feel like you are having trouble thinking optimistically, you can take professional help from an experienced caregiver coach.