The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on what’s important so that you can make the most of the year ahead. When you’re a caregiver, it’s easy to get caught up in your hectic schedule. This New Year, take a moment to pause, breathe and remember why you do what you do: love!
Get re-inspired with these three New Year’s resolutions for caregivers to help you live a more well-rounded life.
1. Accept Some Help
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Every caregiver needs a community of support that can step in and help ease the burden of your to-do list.
Asking for help is difficult, but you are not a failure for doing so. The people who love you will be happy to pitch in. They can help take care of your kids, grab your groceries or simply be a listening ear. With their help, you will have more time and brain-power to focus on your loved one.
2. Take Time for Yourself
Don’t let yourself get burned out! You aren’t doing yourself or your loved one any favors by not taking breaks. It’s perfectly okay to step back and take some time for yourself. Schedule some regular “me time” to recharge. It could be for just an hour or for an entire afternoon—just step away completely. Resist the urge to fill the time with errands. Spend time with your kids, get a massage or read a book. You will be a better caregiver if you remember to take care of yourself.
3. Do More Than What’s Necessary
Caregiving comes with a lot of “have-tos.” Doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, daily meds, physical therapy… it seems like the list never ends.
But caregiving is about so much more that your to-do list. It’s about spending time together. It’s reminiscing, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Those are the moments you will remember forever.
So make time for fun! Don’t just rely on spontaneity—plan get-togethers and activities so that they actually happen. And remember to find the humor in life, particularly when things don’t go quite according to plan.
Start the New Year Off Right
Caregiving is challenging, and a lot of hard work, but it is also tremendously rewarding. The key is to keep your life balanced, so that your caregiving doesn’t overwhelm you. This year, take a moment to step back and reflect on what you can do better. Start the year off right with resolutions that help you feel inspired, refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws your way.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.