Five tips for emotional wellness for caregivers
1) Realize that you don't have to be all things to all people. You can say no and set limits without putting your loved one out of your heart. Realize that asking for help is a sign of courage and caring, not of weakness and inability.
2) Remember that you have a right to your own life. Giving your all doesn't mean giving up your own health and well-being. Take care of yourself with proper exercise and nutrition and some semblance of a social life.
3) Don't worry about what society, or even other family members and friends, think of you or how you are doing. Only you know in your heart that you are doing everything you can. Your best is good enough and you need to take heart in knowing that no one else has the right to judge you or make you feel guilty.
4) Keep a positive attitude; don't worry about "getting your life back." This is your life now, and it is important to stay in the present time. When you can focus on the good you are doing, then you can remember that caregiving is about giving care. It is not about fear, but the mandates of the heart.
5) Remember that you have a choice whether to see yourself as a victim or as taking responsibility for difficult decisions and situations. Caregiving is not always easy, but through your acts of love you will develop courage, compassion, patience and a strong sense of moral and spiritual values. These are your new inner strengths as caregiving becomes a midlife rite of passage, part of a natural cycle of life, rather than a midlife crisis.
Beth Witrogen McLeod's Recommended Reading
McLeod, Beth Witrogen. "Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love,
Loss, and Renewal"
McLeod, Beth Witrogen. "The
Warner, Mark. "The Complete Guide to Alzheimer's-Proofing Your
Administration on Aging
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Resource Center Library on Aging
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