Can you believe it is already 2018? As a family caregiver, now is the perfect time to make resolutions to help you prepare for and get the most out of the year ahead. This is your opportunity to set small or big goals for yourself. This year, as always, we encourage you to make self-care a priority. A great way to do this is to adopt one or all of these resolutions in 2018: accept help more often, create a caregiving team, find time for humor, exercise regularly, take a vacation, and start meditating.
6 Caregiver Resolutions for 2018
Start out by saying, “In 2018, I will…” and finish it with one or multiple resolutions listed below. Not finding the right one for you? Think about what you want to do this year (for your health, education, relaxation, family, etc.) and create one that fits you best.
- Ask and Accept Help at least once a month: You need time for yourself in order to recharge and be the most helpful caregiver possible. This can be done in two ways:
- Learn how to accept help: Often times this can be a challenge because we want to do it all ourselves. To learn how and why you should accept help, click here.
- Utilize respite care: This is your opportunity to take a break for that ‘me’ time you need for errands, relaxation, work, or any other activity. Learn what respite is and how to find it here.
- Create Your Caregiving Team: As family caregivers ourselves, we know that you can’t do this alone. We all need assistance and it really does take a village to care for a loved one. This year, if you haven’t done so already, create your caregiving team. Now sure how? Click here for a step-by-step approach on how to build one for yourself.
- Find Ways to Include Humor and Laughter in your Day-to-Day: Find the motivation to see that the glass-is-half-full this year. One way to lighten the mood and improve your emotional state is by including humor when caring for your aging loved one and letting laughter be a type of medicine. To learn more about how humor can help caregivers, click here.
- Squeeze in 20 Minutes of Exercise a Day: Now this is a common goal we all attempt come January, but it is critically important that as a caregiver you get some form of exercise (i.e. walking, biking, or even taking an exercise class) The benefits include: stress reduction, better sleep, improved energy, and much more. To learn more about why caregivers should exercise, click here.
- Take At least One Vacation This Year: Did you know that at least 30% of Americans do not use all of their vacation days in a year? The thought of taking a vacation can often make caregivers feel guilty. However, vacations can actually have a positive impact on your health—and this is especially the case for caregivers. Find time for at least one vacation this year. To learn more about the importance of taking vacations as a caregiver, click here.
- Start Meditating and Focus on Your Mindfulness: Meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, can have a very powerful and positive impact on health — especially for aging adults. Setting aside five, ten, or even twenty minutes a day to meditate will help to give you energy and help you reduce your stress on a daily basis. To learn how to get started, click here.
Choose the resolution that fits you. You should feel inspired and motivated by your goal. If it adds stress or anxiety, consider choosing a different resolution. Remember, take small steps and set milestones. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!