You have to be brave as a group leader, as a parent, and even as an adult daughter or son. Wanting to make the world go away and crawl into your parent’s lap is a nice idea, but in the real world, we all have to face real-life problems. You can either make it easier or fight it every step of the way. At Woodland Ridge, we want everyone to have the easiest passage on their life journey and as a caregiver, if you are not careful it can be easy to arrive at caregiver burnout and let life get you down. That is why we have created Woodland Ridge’s Guide to Staying Positive in Caregiving.
Step 1 – Fake It Until You Make It
The first step to being happy is to act happy! Put a smile on your face and brave the day. Even when you do not feel like smiling if you force one onto your face you will physically feel happier. Scientific research shows that smiling tells your brain to release endorphins, lowering pain tolerance, blood pressure and makes you feel good all over. Another great way to being positive is to force positive trigger words into your vocabulary to describe parts of your day or life. Including this optimistic grammar will, over time, become less forced giving you a better outlook on life.
Step 2 – Write it Down
At Woodland Ridge, life is good – if you are having trouble remembering that, then keep a smile journal. Every time something good happens throughout the day that makes you smile, write it down. Later that day or when you are feeling low, reflect on your journal and find that smile again. An excellent example of this with caregiving is if your loved one tells you a joke or shows gratitude towards you, jot it down.
Step 3 – Focus on Happiness
When you are in a moment that is typically not very enjoyable, put yourself in a happy place. You can focus on plans you have later that day or imagine you’re walking in a field of wildflowers enjoying a warm sunny breeze with a hummingbird whizzing by. A good example of focusing on happiness is when you are helping your loved one with a hygiene routine, be mindful of the task, but pretend you are on a beach as the sun is rising and the waves creep up to your toes.
Step 4 – Surround Yourself with Positivity
Through the Woodland Ridge hiring process we always take into consideration the way the person acts towards caregiving and helping others. We want people to come to work happy and enjoy their workday. If someone comes in a bad mood, it could sour everyone else’s mood. If you are an in-home caregiver, seek our friends or online chat groups that are optimistic about life and have positive feedback on caregiving tips.
Step 5 – Be Nice
The universe is always listening – you have to send out positivity for it to circle back to you. If you take the time to be kind to others, they will be more likely to return the favor. This circles back to Step 4 – being friendly and helpful will most likely bring friendly, helpful people around you. Also, when you spend your energy volunteering or going out of your way to pay a compliment, you will feel better doing a good deed.
Step 6 – Take a Break
When you are a caregiver, it takes a lot of energy, and you are basically forced to lead two lives. It can be exhausting, and after all the hard work you do you deserve to take a break. Everyone should take a break every now and then, go on vacation, go for a walk, utilize an external care service. At Woodland Ridge, we offer various forms of care to help alleviate the pressure of caregiving. If you are looking for something more permanent, we provide assisted living and memory care services. If you are seeking a shorter break, we have respite care, our bridges program, physician services, and therapy services.
It can be challenging to be a full-time caregiver, but there are resources at your disposal. Be sure to follow our guide to staying positive in caregiving to have the best experience for everyone involved. If you are seeking more help with caregiving, take our free assessment and find the best solution for you!