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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, MSN

Stop the cycle!

Caring for a loved one is never an easy or predictable experience. Everyday is a new adventure and sometimes not in a good way. Caregivers as a result become stressed out, overwhelmed, and develop problems in coping day to day.

If you are feeling this way try your best to follow the step below to assist in keeping things on track and finding your perspective.

- Work the problem! So many people let problems pile up or go in a constant circle when having challenges. Focus on one issue at a time and work the problem. If you need assistance reach out to others for assistance before frustration sets in.

- Take each day as it comes! I hear many people say, "well that may work today, but how do we plan for________." Planning and being prepared is always a good thing, however sometimes we cannot plan out everything or anticipate all needs in advance. Try to take things one step at a time and deal with the immediate challenges only. Realize that there is always a way to resolve each issue.

- Be compassionate to yourself. We are frequently understanding of others in terms of limitations, but hard on ourselves. Do not constantly reevaluate your choices and actions. Realize that you are making the best choices and acting in the best manner always. Could things be done differently? Could you have gone another path? Perhaps so, but show yourself compassion and do not second guess yourself! Each day you do your very best and that needs to be enough! Each day is a new day filled with possibilities!

- Take a moment for you. When feeling overwhelmed or letting problems pile up, take a time out. Some of us do not have time for a massage, a spa day, or even a walk in the park, but this is not the only way to decompress! Take time daily! Take a moment to close your eyes and slowly breath in and out. Imagine the problems as balloons that you are holding onto. With each breath out, release a balloon and picture it floating away and out into the distance... until it disappears.

No matter how busy we are we can all take 5 minutes to do this...and believe it or not it works and you will feel better...

- Share your feelings with others. Even if it is through a journal each pm, express yourself, as getting the thoughts off of your chest can do a great deal to help. The emotional release and daily approach to problems is more important than you may realize. You will never eliminate anger or frustration completely from your life, however how you move past it is important and what will keep you in a positive place long term!

The path is not easy, but can be better with help and guidance along the way!

#caregivers #seniorcare #seniors #alzheimerscare #dementiacare

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