You can’t always be there. But we can.
Being a caregiver has its share of emotional ups and downs. One minute you may be enjoying the time spent with an elderly loved one and the next you could be extremely frustrated at the behaviors of the elder. It is normal to be stressed from time to time, but it is important that you learn how to control those feelings for your aging parent’s sake. Not only will transforming your mood from frustrated to joyful relieve much of the stress you feel as a caregiver, but it will also improve your quality of life.
Here are a few tips to becoming more optimistic, even in the most stressful times.
Make the choice to be happy. We have the choice each day on how we are going to feel. Even if your day is an especially frustrating one, your mood can change if you think about the good parts of your day instead of focusing on the bad ones.
Think about all you do for the senior. Another way to become less stressed is to focus on the wonderful things that you have to give. Depending on the health of your loved one, there may be more responsibilities on your plate than you think you can handle. Just taking a moment to realize how valuable you are to your loved one will help change your attitude towards your caregiving role.
Remember to breathe. You may have heard how effective taking deep breaths can be at helping to calm your nerves and improve your mood. What you may not realize is how true this fact is. When in the middle of a tense situation, inhale deeply into the belly through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
Think optimistically. Positive thinking is a powerful tool. It has the ability of flipping any bad or stressful situation into a good one. On the extremely bad days, try to think about the good attributes that your loved one has to offer in order to change your perspective.
Acknowledge your feelings. Acknowledging how you feel at that very moment may be necessary in order to let them go and move on with your day.
Call a friend. Venting is a great way to release any pent up stress or frustrations you are feeling over your elderly parent. If you have someone in your life who would allow you to pour your heart out and vent your frustrations, then talk to them.
Being a full-time caregiver has its days where you would rather be doing anything else but caring for the elder. Use these tips to try to turn your mood from resentful into content and satisfied.