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Resolutions for Caregivers

By December 26, 2014Healthy Aging

In a previous post, we asked caregivers to help their senior loved ones come up with their resolutions for the New Year. It’s also a good idea for caregivers themselves to curate a list of ways to improve in 2015. Unfortunately, being a full-time caregiver doesn’t provide you with a whole lot of time for reflecting or discovering how to be a better you. Chances are, after all the holiday bustle, the idea of creating your own resolutions didn’t even make it on your to-do list. Luckily, we have some good ideas on ways to make your New Year better than the last!

Prioritize Your Health
Caregivers spend so much time making sure medications are taken at the right time with the right dosages, that their loved ones are eating properly, and that they’re getting the right amount of exercise that it’s often hard for caregivers to prioritize their own health. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to sit down in the evening and make a nice home cooked meal. However, eating healthy is not the only way to prioritize your health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so it’s always best to avoid caregiver burnout when possible.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to realize when you’ve reached that point of mental exhaustion. It’s best to spend some time reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. Reflect upon your life. Go back in time and pinpoint the times you were strongest and when you were weakest. Remember those moments. Remember what it felt like to be on top and what it felt like to be at your lowest point. This will allow you to realize how strong you are, and it’ll help you recognize when you need to ask for help. It’s important to remain physically healthy, but it’s just as important to be mentally tough. You must work to achieve both if you truly want to prioritize your health.

Join a Support Group
It can be very difficult having a conversation with a friend who is not a caregiver, especially if it’s about feeling mentally tired after all the long hours of care. Some people have a hard time being able to relate to the life of a caregiver, so they may be unable to feel sympathetic to those who provide care all day long. That’s why it’s wise to join a support group. It may seem extreme or unnecessary, but really it’s surrounding yourself with a community that knows exactly how you feel. It’s an open and safe environment for you to express yourself just the way you feel. Instantly, you’ll be connected to the people in the support group, and it’ll be a wonderful opportunity to find some really close friends who can help solve problems. It’s always easiest to hold a conversation when the other person can relate to everything you’re saying. There is no disconnect.

Take a Vacation
This might seem like a selfish resolution to make. However, most people don’t up and leave on a whim. A vacation is something that is properly planned out. It requires saving money, managing your time, and properly executing a well established plan in order to make sure your vacation relieves stress as opposed to creating more of it. Managing money, managing tasks, and managing a schedule are all important life skills that can help you be a better person, which is the ultimate goal of your New Year’s resolutions. A vacation is more than an opportunity to relax your mind. It helps show you the necessary steps to take in order to achieve specific goals.

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