Our facial expressions display so much to those around us, and when you’re experiencing an abnormal degree of stress, well-meaning friends and family will certainly notice it, perhaps encouraging you to simply, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it will take so much more than a couple of words to turn our mood around.
Yet recent research does support the idea of positive thinking as a method to minimize levels of depression and anxiety that could possibly occur when we’re overloaded with stress – something critical for those experiencing caregiver fatigue to take to heart to reduce the potential for burnout.
Judith Moskowitz, lead psychologist in the study who consequently created a course to overcome the unpredictable manner of emotions so typical in individuals providing care for a senior, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”
The primary techniques in her program include the following:
- Maintain a journal of things for which you’re thankful – including the little things.
- Recognize a minimum of one uplifting occurrence each day.
- Talk about that event with friends on social websites.
- Set one new goal every day, and keep an eye on your progress in achieving it.
- Identify one of your strengths and contemplate how you’re applying that skill.
- Undertake one daily small act of kindness for another person.
- Remember a negative event, and then find a way to see it in an optimistic light.
- Engage in focused breathing and mindfulness to revive a sense of peace.
For people providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, the necessity to focus on positives can be much more crucial to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent 5-week study in which the effectiveness of these coping skills were examined documented a decrease in depression scores of 16%, and a decrease in anxiety of 14%.
In addition to the ideas above, it is necessary for family caregivers to stop isolating themselves and trying to manage their caregiving duties alone, which can swiftly lead to caregiver burnout as well as other significant health problems. Working with a knowledgeable in-home care agency, like Midnight Sun Home Care, is the perfect approach to obtaining a much healthier life balance – both for family caregivers as well as the seniors in their care.
Life is stressful, however, we’re able to help! Contact the Matanuska-Susitna, AK elder caregiver team at Midnight Sun Home Care for the dependable home care services that enable you some time to concentrate on self-care and good quality time with those you love.