When the Universe hands us unexpected events that become permanent changes to our lives, it can be challenging to find the joy each day. In my journey to Finding the Joy in Caregiving, I learned many lessons along the way. In sharing my lessons learned I hope to inspire everyone with similar challenges. My desire is to help others look for the positive outcomes that lead to a new life of happiness.
Below are 5 Tips that I wish to share.
Tip #1: Accept the paradigm shift. Trying to live in the past is not only impossible, but counter productive. Looking at life “in the moment” will guide anyone to the preciousness that is there if one looks for it. Accepting that this new preciousness, this new shift, is merely a different way of approaching happiness is what brings the joy. Choose the happiness in the paradigm shift. Know that happiness is always a choice.
Tip#2: Organization of daily tasks makes adding all sorts of new skills to the routine seem less onerous. It’s about planning how and when to do the simple tasks that are always required. Choose to find creative ways to do more than one task simultaneously and take pride in the ability to shorten the time. Here’s the biggest secret: write down your schedule and daily ‘to-do’ list. Once the “always required” tasks like laundry, dish doing, bed making, and all household tasks are organized into a written routine, the brain is free from thinking about them. A “free” brain is a creative brain. Allow the creativity to inspire even more ways to accomplish more duties. Creativity becomes joyful and the days are much more fun.
Tip #3: Make sure their is some respite time each day for the Caregiver. I recommend any of the following respite opportunities:
- a 15 minute meditation– the silence in the brain is another “brain-freeing” opportunity
- a walk around the block, or a quick trip to the favored coffee-shop –just get OUT of the house
- get out for 20 minutes and re-discover the beauty of nature around the neighborhood
- call a friend with whom you’ve not spoken for a long time and ask them how THEY are doing. Avoid speaking about yourself
- head to your yoga class
Tip #4: Take a nap while the clothes are in the washer or dryer. You’ll feel as refreshed as the clean laundry and you’ll start to look forward to laundry day! (Oh boy, the washer is running…..nap time for ME!)
Tip #5: Know that the acceptance of the transition to your new life as Caregiver happens over time. Remind yourself often of this truth. Then forgive yourself for having days where the transition doesn’t happen for you emotionally or mentally. Self-forgiveness is the tool that releases one from the negative attitudes that are self created. Remember that everyone gets to choose their attitude and their reaction. Forgiving oneself for making a wrong choice one day doesn’t mean one has to repeat that same choice the next day.
For additional ideas, know that my book “Don’t Stop the Music: Finding the Joy in Caregiving” has an index in the back with the topic “Lessons Learned” that will take you quickly to each page where those lessons are written down and explained.