5 New Year’s Resolutions for Family Caregivers
Try implementing these New Year’s resolutions for family caregivers and start the new year out on the right foot.
For many of us, a new year marks a time to turn over a new leaf. It’s a time of reflecting and goal setting. For family caregivers, it’s an ideal time to pause and consider how to make the new year even better for yourself and an older loved one. As we enter the final month of the calendar year, it’s an appropriate time to set priorities and get inspired for caregiving in the new year. If you’re in the mood to set some goals for 2023, consider these New Year’s resolutions for family caregivers.
- I resolve to see caregiving challenges as learning opportunities. It’s no secret that caring for an aging loved one is filled with some unique challenges. Navigating the changing relationship between child and parent, resistance to help, and coping with declining health are just a few of these challenges. However, as stressful as they can be, shifting your perspective and viewing challenges as learning opportunities as opposed to a source of stress can be life changing. For example, when Mom insists that she doesn’t need help getting dressed, when she clearly does, notice the emotions that trigger for you. Do you feel angry? Frustrated? Ready to yell back at her? How can you see your mother in a different light? Perhaps she’s not being difficult; she’s just having a difficult time adjusting to her own changing body and abilities. This can help you pause and reframe your own responses. Noticing these moments where caregiving is changing you for the better can help you better cope with its challenges.
- I resolve to notice more of the positives than the negatives. Because we want only the best for our loved ones, it can be easy to be hard on ourselves whenever we feel we haven’t measured up. It is easier, it seems, to criticize ourselves when we lose our temper than to recognize the good we do as caregivers on a daily basis. Yesterday, did you get short with Dad when he asked the same questions over and over again? That’s okay. You are human. The key thing to remember is that your dad was safe and well cared for. And that is all thanks to you. When your loved one smiles and is clearly enjoying themself, let yourself revel in those times and allow yourself to take some credit. If you can bring one mantra into the new year, let it be, “I am not perfect, but I do a lot of good.”
- I resolve to ask for help when I need it. This is a tough one for many family caregivers. We often feel as though we should be able to do it all — take care of the kids, be our best at work, cook dinner every night, be an affectionate spouse, be a good friend, and take care of our aging loved ones. The reality, though, is that no one can do everything on their own. In the new year, make it a point to ask for help when and where you need it. Whether it’s from a family member, your partner, or a professional in-home care provider like Jewish Family Home Care, an expert in elder care in Sunrise, FL and the surrounding areas, getting the help you need will benefit both you and your loved one.
- I resolve to make more time for myself. Hand in hand with asking for help should be making time to take care of yourself. Having help allows family caregivers the time to rest and ensure they have time for the things that bring them joy. Even if it is just an hour here and there for exercise, reading, or a coffee date with a friend, carving out time for yourself is crucial to your health.
- I resolve to find joy in everyday things. Joy doesn’t just make people happy; it makes them more resilient in the face of challenges and able to bounce back more quickly. When caregiving seems overwhelming, joy can feel difficult to find. In the new year, resolve to find joy in everyday things such as your loved one’s smile, a beautiful sunset, a good meal at your favorite restaurant, etc. Soon, you’ll find yourself feeling more joyful, even in tough times.
Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can be a challenge in itself, but with help from an expert in elder care in Sunrise, FL and the surrounding communities, like Jewish Family Home Care, you’ll have the support you need to see them through. Contact our home care experts at 954-908-5677 to learn more about our services and how we can help you and your loved ones.