Surprising things can boost your outlook on life, and when you’re caregiving, lord knows you need some cheer.
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Scientists have found that more of us would rather get an ego boost than have sex. These confidence-builders get you your fix when you need it—so you can boldly move on in your role as caregiver, when the going gets tough. Here are 20 tips. Post this on your fridge. Start today!
1. Pay Yourself
Keep a jar in a handy place and pay yourself to pay attention to your words. When you hear yourself say the words, “I can’t,” “I’m tired,”“I’m a loser” or anything negative put in a quarter. You will break the habit of “negative self speak.”
2. Play Date
Giving yourself time to enjoy what tickles you and only you boosts your mood. Needlepoint, making Jell-O molds, playing an electric organ … get some in-home care from a friend or a personal support worker and spend a little time away from your charge.
3. Pleaser versus Teaser
Take one meal and go get yourself the food that makes your tongue tingle. Guilt free. Any time you give yourself what you love you become more familiar with the joy of what deeply pleases you.
4. Backwards Day
Get up on the opposite side of the bed. Brush your teeth with the other hand. Take a new way to work. By reversing the way you do things you become more aware. It is the first step to interrupt a pattern of self-sabotage.
5. Beauty Rest
Lack of self-esteem can be related to not getting enough rest. And caring for a charge with dementia can take a toll on your sleep. Set your alarm clock a half an hour early…to go to bed earlier. Or have someone come in once a week, so that you can sleep without having to keep an ear out for your restless charge.
6. Get Up to Get Up
The moment you start to feel shaky, sad or fearful, stand up. Moving will help you to disconnect from your negative thinking.
7. Crappy to Happy
Give yourself 2 minutes to vent what you feel crappy about. Your mom’s repetitive questions are driving you crazy. You can’t face trying to get her into the car for one more doc visit. Exaggerate it. Get it out. The more dramatic the better. Then stand up and spend 2 minutes about what makes you happy.
Giggling is good for you. One of my favorites is to wear a boa or Dr. Bukk’s Teef (these are heinously bad looking false teeth) for a minute or two. You can’t feel lousy and laugh at the same time. Maybe your mom will laugh too!
9. Rear View Mirror
How far would you get driving 75 mph looking in your rear view mirror? When you find yourself in self defeating thinking or feeling, say “stop.” Change your focus to something positive in your environment.