It’s the beginning of a new year! During this time we like to reflect on the passing year and make resolutions for a better year to come in caregiving. Here are five New Year’s resolutions that you should consider when caring for a loved one.
1. Take care of yourself
Make your health and well-being a priority this year. It is important that you take care of yourself, not only so you are better able to care for others but also so that you are able to live a life with less stress. Allow yourself some time each day to be alone, do something during this time that is beneficial for your happiness and health.
2. Ask for help when needed
Sometimes we feel that we should be able to do everything, all the time, all on our own. We can begin to feel that by asking for help we are showing weakness and we are placing a burden on our friends and family. This is not the case. Don’t feel like you have to take on that role alone.
3. Accept help when needed
Sometimes help is offered, and we are not willing to take it. Often times the reason being, that we feel we are the only ones who can do it correctly, or something will go wrong if you are not in control of all aspects. Allow others to help you, although they might not do things exactly the way you would have, having that help alleviates some of your stress and responsibilities.
4. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarifications. You are not expected to know or figure out everything on your own. Ask for ideas and guidance from those who are in similar situations, or professionals.
5. Use respite care when you need a break
Understand that it is normal to want and need a break. Allow yourself that time to step away from caregiving and recuperate.
This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published January 8, 2016.