I think most Primary Caregivers can relate to feeling like they are "stuck in a rut," and struggling to "stay sane," or keep up with everything, while often having to dismiss things they need to do for themselves.
I thought I would start this topic for caregivers who are interested, to just do a little brainstorming, on ideas to remedy what Ill call "care-givers syndrome." I like to think I have learned a few helpful "tricks of the trade;" but Ill also confess that it doesn't always work out the way i would hope.
I cannot remember who said it, but they said:
The title of this topic says it all. Its one of my main strategies for caregiver "survival."
"the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step..."
The process of goal-setting, planning, and making it happen so that we can make something special out of each day is a good way to hit your "reset button" and inject a little bit of meaning and hope into what are often hopeless days.
Each day I try to come up with one way to make it special. Sometimes it can be something special for my wife, sometimes, it can be for me. Making something special, every day, no matter how small, or for who, is bound to hit your "reset button" too.
Recognition is one thing that can build something special into your day. Keep a journal, jot down each day, one thing that deserves recognition. Call it a Gratitude Journal. It can be about yourself, or the person you are caring for. Or about spiritual things.
For example, it is really hard to get my wife to eat these days. Ill give her a plate of her favorite things, and she may only eat a quarter of it. I always give her some kind of recognition and congratulate her for eating what she could manage. I can actually see some lights go on when I do that, and her eyes light up, and she expresses appreciation for being recognized and affirmed. Her little bit is a lot for her, and she deserves the kind of recognition that will give more meaning to her days, and her efforts; and even for those days when she cant make any effort. There is always something special in every day that we can "unlock" when we put ourselves in their shoes.
Yesterday, the special thing I did was to put up some really cool little LED lights to add a little light and holiday atmosphere. I sat with her for a few minutes, and we admired the display together. There is actually a verse that says "despise not the day of small beginnings."
I am learning to expect that opportunity will often be seen/experienced in the little things of life; I might think that possibility is impossibility; and that there is always potential where I only see disasters and failures.
Today's special thing is going to be for me. I am waiting for a chance to go out and fiddle with my wood working. When she sleeps, I play. 😀 (or sometimes I sleep too) But today, I have a "play-date" for myself.
When it comes to doing something special; it actually IS about you.
Have you got any ideas about how to make it special?