Do you live your day with a positive outlook? Do you do everything you can to keep your spirits up? Well if you do then we have good news for you – you may live a longer, healthier life as a result. Several recent studies have consistently found that being positive is good for your health. This becomes even more important for those dealing with difficult life challenges, in particular being a family caregiver.
While it may be challenging at times, here are six tips to help you stay positive when you are caring for a loved one.
6 Ways to Remain Positive as a Caregiver
- Keep a gratitude journal – Life is busy and we can easily forget about all of the good things in our lives, in favor of focusing on the bad. The best way to remind ourselves of the positives in each day is through a gratitude journal. How it works is you write down five things you are grateful for each day. It can be as small as someone holding the door open for you to something bigger, like being thankful for your family and friends. This will capture your daily positives for you to reflect on when needed.
- Act happy to feel happy– Have you ever heard the expression “fake it till you make it”? When you are stressed or having a hard time, put a smile on your face. Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, is scientifically proven to help improve your mood. Take it even further by using positive words to describe your day, week, and when talking about your life in general. If you say, act, and tell yourself happy thoughts, you can start to reframe your outlook on life.
- Surround yourself with good people – Who we spend time with will influence how we feel. Spend time with those people that are positive and supportive. Surround yourself with those loved ones who make you feel good and don’t deplete you of energy.
- Focus and find energy in your possibilities – Think about your future opportunities and possibilities. This is very important to prevent you from getting lost in the daily grind, or focusing on the past. Write down your goals and revisit them often. Keep your focus on the future.
- Let your body lead the way – Your body knows when to take a break. We can all muster up enough energy to get us through a long day, but you need to listen to your body and know when to stop. Rest will give you the energy you need to keep up the positive attitude.
- Do something kind – We often will feel better when we do something good for someone else. So try it out! There are plenty of ways to do something kind: lend a helping hand to someone in need, make a donation, volunteer, spend time with a loved one, and much more. This will help someone else and help you at the same time.
The steps above are some of the many ways to remain positive as a caregiver. We hope you try out at least one of the suggestions above to help you live a more positive life.