Happy November, Glue-girls!

I can’t believe it is ALREADY November! October was so busy, the time flew by. I’m hoping now that the Halloween season is over, things will slow down, (haha YEAH RIGHT)! It’s wishful thinking. Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, and with that in mind, here is my monthly mantra: gratitude.

A caregiver’s life is very challenging, and it is easy to fall into a negative thinking pattern. That’s where gratitude comes in. First, a question to answer. (Get out a notebook and write down your thoughts!)

What changes have you experienced since beginning your caregiver journey? Here are some areas to consider:

  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Physical: sleeping, eating, exercise, and your energy level
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Relationship changes
  • Family changes
  • Friendships

Let’s find a way to turn this around…

  1. First, scan what you wrote down. Can you identify any changes that you should share with a doctor? Before you do anything else, check in with your health care provider. You want to be sure that what is going on in your life is a part of natural change, not a sign of something more serious.
  2. Now that you know you’re in good health, you can create some positive thoughts. Go through your list and challenge yourself to write down how each change is for the better. For example, you may have had to change your career plans, but have you found a passion, hobby, or future job idea that you love even more? That is something wonderful to be grateful for! Maybe you stopped working out and starting eating more junk. This is a great opportunity to find a new workout and new recipes. Your relationship may have changed, but can you incorporate a “date night” again? It’s harder to visit with friends, but can you commit to sending them a pretty card in the mail each month? Adults still love to get “fun mail,” and your friends will know that you still are thinking of them even when your life is busy with caregiving tasks.
  3. Glue-girls are realists. Writing a “happy, fluffy” positive sentence down on a piece of paper is not going to magically solve any of your problems. The goal of this exercise is to find gratitude for where you are in your life RIGHT NOW. Change your perspective and start seeing possibilities where you used to see roadblocks.
  4. Here’s an example of mine: My plan was to attend graduate school and work in Rehabilitation Therapy. I had an undergraduate degree, took pre-requisite classes, and rounded out my experience with employment. I worked to pay off my undergraduate student loans and to be sure that I was choosing the right career. I consider that a well-thought out plan. Then, my husband’s very serious health decline changed our plans. To my surprise, I realized that it wasn’t the best career fit for me. I’m so much happier using my time to encourage caregivers. I’m grateful for the course that my life is on.

Let’s spend November appreciating where we are in our caregiver journeys, and our lives! Much love to you, glue-girls!

Katie