A New Year’s Resolution for Caregivers

Happy 2020!

Typically, at the start of a new year, people reflect on becoming all they can be. Many of us make promises to ourselves. Are you one of them?

The start of a new year can feel like a fresh new box of crayons or a clean slate. A new year can be whatever we make it. So, what are you going to make this year? What are YOUR resolutions for 2020?

If you’re caring for elderly loved ones, try these ideas.

Practice More Self Care

If you are a caregiver, you’re probably accustomed to putting yourself last. Will this be the year that you make time for yourself? Will this be the year to invest in activities that will make you refreshed and more interesting? Will this be the year that you accept the help of others and let people know what you need? Cultivating “me” time is considered essential to wellbeing. It is not selfish to take an hour out of each day to read, walk, continue or start a hobby, treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure, or to reengage with things you find meaningful. Consider seeking out resources that will increase the time you have available for self-care, such as a chore service or a personal assistant to help with errands. Finding a caregiver support group is another excellent way to invest in yourself.

Cultivate a Positive Attitude

What is your outlook? Do you try to inspire laughter and interest in others? The way you look at life can help others. Smiles are contagious. Look for ways to laugh or find humor in the day, even in the midst of discouragement. This can be healing.

Jettison Bad Habits

Do you have a health plan you are actively “working”? Are you setting aside time to make nutritious meals or are you relying on drive-through meals from fast food joints? Have you made time for physical activity even if it’s simply doing exercises from a chair? Have you seen your doctor and made your own health needs a priority? Are you sleeping well? How about your thinking? Is worry dragging you down? This year choose one self-care habit and commit to making a change.

Tend to Your Spirit

When is the last time you nurtured your spirituality or cultivated your faith? Are you a part of a faith community that could be rewarding to you? It could provide ways to interact with others, give you an opportunity to maintain a positive perspective, and keep your mental health in check. Could this year be the year you will make a new commitment to spirituality?

Share with Others

A burden carried alone is doubled. A burden shared is halved. Consider talking about your journey with others. Who is the bright spot in your lift that makes you feel you uplifted when you are together? Do you remember how pleasant that was? Find a positive person (or rekindle an old relationship) that you can talk to about your feelings and challenges.

Practice Gratitude

A cup half full is more gratifying than a cup half empty. What things are you grateful for in your life? Will this be the year that you begin writing down your blessings?

What is YOUR plan? During a season of life with many challenges, it’s easy to put yourself last. Resist the temptation. Your self-care is like an insurance policy.

So, what will your resolutions be? How will you finish this sentence: “In this New Year, I will [fill in the blank].”? Make a promise to yourself right now to be the CEO of YOU.

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