It can be easy to neglect your own health when you provide in-home care for a loved one. When you overexert yourself caring for another, you will most likely encounter caregiver burnout which can lead to more severe outcomes, such as depression or physical ailment. You can avoid the detrimental effects of caregiving by remembering to take care of your own health and stay positive with in-home care. However, preventing pessimistic thoughts can be easier said than done. At CaraVita, we know it can be challenging to stay positive but it is essential, so here are three tips to aid in optimism!
The easiest way to stay positive is simply to smile, even when you do not feel like it. Go ahead and try it right now, just allow a smile to spread across your mouth. No seriously, I’ll wait...
Do you feel a little increase in your mood? Well, scientific research has proven that when you smile and those specific muscles contract, it signals neurons to your brain, stimulating endorphins to be released - a chemical hormone that induces happy feelings. So the number one way to stay positive, is to smile. Another significant fact about smiles is that they are contagious! Not only can you induce happiness, but you can spread happiness as well!
Focus on the Big Picture
It can be easy to get wrapped up in a not-so-serious issue and let it sour into a negative mood. Your boss didn’t thank you for the hours you stayed up late researching for his sales pitch, you get home and spill your tea on the floor, and then you have to help mom. You’re upset from other conflicts which fills you with unkempt anger and spills over to your in-home care efforts. When you are irritable, you can take it out on the people closest to you and create a negative avalanche that impacts everyone around you. Instead of falling down into a dark well of turmoil and despair, try focusing on the bigger picture.
You stayed up late for your boss, to increase the company revenue, growing your own income. You are taking care of your elderly parent because you are making their life more comfortable and making memories to cherish with a loved one. If they are not around much longer, you need to know that you showed them love and gave them warmth for the rest of their days. There is always a bigger picture to focus on. You are doing what you do, to show love, do the right thing, and lead the best life you possibly can.
Know Your Resources
It is important to know what resources you have at your disposal. There are support groups for care, specifically in-home and other support groups for Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc. Additional resources for in-home care consist of informational services, free care guides, legal services, funds assistance, as well as others. We are proud to be an educational resource for families in need of caregiving. We foster a culture conducive to learning for family and community training. Caregiving does not have to be one person’s sole responsibility. Let us help you share the responsibility.Take our free assessment to see what level of care your loved one may need.