When you’re a family caregiver, you probably had a lot to worry about in the beginning. When this aging senior in your life first needed help, it might have been after a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. It could have been following injuries or another mishap. It could also have been building over time – the natural process of aging, as it were.
Whatever led you to become this primary caregiver, you took on the role without question. After all, this was your mother or father, spouse, sibling, or someone else you would never turn your back on. To you, this was important. This was your job.
Yet, despite your love and affection, devotion to this aging senior, life as a primary caregiver has been, in a word, tough. You’ve been doing this far longer than you ever thought you would, and it is becoming harder and harder to remain positive.
If you want to stay positive while working as a caregiver for a family member, there are some things you can do. Below are three great tips that will set you on the path toward a more positive outlook on life, and in your interactions with this aging senior, which becomes more important the longer you’re caring for him or her.
Positive Tip #1: Get exercise.
Now, this may seem like a ‘no brainer’ to you, but exercise actually does something physical in the brain that helps you feel good. It releases valuable endorphins in the brain, which allow you to feel better -about yourself, your situation, and life in general.
Sadly, in our society, it appears that more people than ever are avoiding exercise, for the most part. When you’re a caregiver, now is the time to get working out and exercising (whatever that means and looks like to you, that is).
Positive Tip #2: Eat healthier.
Going right along with more exercise should be a healthier diet. Unfortunately, when you’re constantly on the go, running to visit your aging parent or whomever you’re a caregiver for, after work, early in morning, or whenever you can scrape together the time to do so, likely you’re not eating as healthy as you could, or should.
Make time to sit down and enjoy a healthy meal. Of course, a lot of family caregivers just assume they won’t have time to do this, so they keep grabbing fast food and processed frozen meals, always eating on the go. That’s not going to help you feel better, or more positive.
Positive Tip #3: Get help from a professional caregiver.
If you had someone helping you care for the aging senior in your life, you’d have the time to do the first two tips listed, and you’ll end up with a more positive approach and outlook on life. You can hire professional caregivers through an agency.
An agency will provide you with the home care support you need on your schedule, whether it’s a couple days a week, five or more, for a few hours at a time or longer.
Follow these tips and you’ll start feeling more positive in life once again.