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How To Bring All Your Caregiver Rituals Together

Jun 30, 2021

Originally, this was going to be a three-part series about how rituals can help caregivers keep their sanity and achieve balanced success. But I thought I’d tie it all together in this fourth bonus post. (If you haven’t read any of the series, you can start with Part 1 here.)

And I do mean bonus. Keep reading – I have a couple of little bonuses for you below!

Have You Chosen Your Caregiver Rituals?

But first – how have your rituals been going so far? Are you finding them helpful? Or are you having some trouble getting into the swing of them?

If you’ve hit some speed bumps, you’re not alone! Rituals can be extremely helpful, but they can take a lot of energy in the beginning – energy we may not always feel we have. That’s part of the reason I wanted to add this fourth post in the series, because I have a way for you to overcome that...

In Part 1, we talked about how rituals are different than habits. However, there is some overlap. Repetition of any new activity to the point where it becomes a habit can make it easier in the long run. And that includes rituals. When you “get into the habit” of anything, it takes much less energy to get them done.

First, there is the energy it takes to try something new. Take tango lessons, for example. Those same things that make it new and exciting also cause a certain amount of stress and perhaps anxiety. The amount and the impact of that stress will affect different people differently of course. (For some, that nervousness is part of the thrill!)

Sometimes too, there is a lot of wasted energy trying to motivate ourselves to just do it. That’s amplified by the amount of stress you’re already carrying. For caregivers, that can be quite a lot. It’s easy to understand how people can become overwhelmed. Sometimes learning a new thing just doesn’t seem possible.

But I promise you, it’s worth it.

How to Choose Your Caregiver Rituals

How to choose your caregiver rituals.

Over the last two blog posts, I’ve given you many different ideas for your Marvelous Mornings rituals and your Empowering Evenings. As I mentioned throughout, these are all suggestions. There isn’t a hard-and-fast path to take. That’s because rituals are so personal. For example, some people love yoga and meditation while others have no interest in it.

So the key really is to find what works for you. And how exactly do you do that? A good start is to choose one or two morning rituals and one evening ritual to work on. It’s easy enough to go through the list and pick out the ones that interest you the most. To make it more convenient for you, I’ve listed them all here. (If you need a refresher, feel free to go back to those blog posts to get more details.)

My Marvelous Mornings Rituals

  1. When My Alarm Rings, I Get Up!
  2. I Make My Bed
  3. I Choose Who I Want to Be That Day
  4. I Experience Gratitude
  5. I Move My Body

(Read all of Part 2 on morning caregiver rituals here.)

My Empowering Evening Rituals

  1. I Reflect on My Achievements
  2. I Prepare for Tomorrow
  3. I Clean My Messes
  4. I Get My Morning Prepared
  5. I Clear My Mind
  6. I Stick to a Regular Bedtime

(Read all of Part 3 on evening caregiver rituals here.)

Remember, it may take some experimenting to find the right mix for you. That’s okay! I’ve devised a way to make that experimenting easier...

The 90-Day Caregiver Ritual Challenge

The 90-Day Caregiver Ritual Challenge will help you turn rituals into habits.

The 90-Day Caregiver Ritual Challenge is a way to help you turn your rituals into habits. Depending on which rituals you choose, they can take as little as five minutes per day to complete. You’ll spend a bit more time as you add more rituals. But these additions should be manageable and eventually seem effortless as you get into the swing of things. The idea is to ease into the rituals to reduce the amount of stress and energy it takes to start something new.

The 90-Day Caregiver Ritual Challenge is pretty straightforward:

  1. Right now, choose one or two Marvelous Morning rituals and one or two Empowering Evening rituals. If you feel you can take on more, by all means do so!
  2. For the next week, concentrate on doing those rituals without fail. Even if you find you don’t like it, commit to doing them for a week.
  3. After a week, re-evaluate. Did you like them? Great! Keep going! If you didn’t, go back to the list and swap out the one(s) you didn’t like for something else to try. Repeat this for the next week and then the week after until you find a combination that works for you.
  4. Also after that first week, evaluate how you felt about the number of rituals you are doing. If you are comfortable with the number you are doing, great! Keep going! If you feel you could take on more, choose others from the list above.
  5. Re-evaluate after 30 days from the start to see where you’re at. If you feel you can take on more rituals, do so then.
  6. Also take note about how you’re feeling. Do you feel the rituals helping? You should in general feel more organized, less scattered, and more centred. (Of course, it’s all relative! Being a caregiver is difficult at the best of times.) Even if you don’t notice any discernible difference, keep going! It’s probably working without you even knowing it. But by all means, change up your rituals at this point too if you want/need to.
  7. Re-evaluate at 60 days asking the same questions as Steps 5 and 6.
  8. Do your final evaluation at 90 days.

Congratulations! You’ve made it!

There are a lot of different ideas about when a habit becomes a habit. One source says anywhere between 18 and 254 days. That’s quite the range! So I’m not going to tell you that you’re going to successfully form a habit in 90 days.

However, what I can tell you is that for me and my coaching clients, performing Marvelous Mornings rituals and Empower Evenings rituals become very easy to follow very quickly. Whether you want to call that a habit or not, I’ll leave that up to you!

The bottom line is that if you follow the 90-Day Caregiver Ritual Challenge, by the end you will be well on the way to effortlessly following – and getting the benefit of – your daily rituals.

Here are a few other tips for you:

  • Add your re-evaluation days (7, 30, 60, 90) to your calendar right now so you don’t have to do the math later!
  • It’s important to try each ritual you choose for 7 days at least. Don’t give up too early! It does take some energy, but sometimes you might feel challenged or stressed at first, and then after a week learn it’s exactly the ritual you need.
  • My daily rituals above are a starting point only. There are many other possible rituals you can follow, so do a Google search to find the rituals that work best for you. Try any that appeal to you for at least a week.

Have any questions? I’m happy to help you get on the right track to Balanced Success! Simply email me through my contact form and let’s talk!

One More Bonus: My Gratitude Journal

Download my Think Aging Gratitude Journal.

One of the key rituals for me is my Gratitude Journal. This allows me to start my day on a positive note in the morning, and record the positive things that happened in my day in the evening. As with all of these tips, your Gratitude Journal can be anything you like. But hopefully, just like all these tips, my Gratitude Journal will get you off on the right track! Then, over time, you can adapt it to the style and use that suits you best.

You can print the PDF, use the ideas in the template for your own handwritten journal, or even use the template in your own Word document (or some other wordprocessor). And once again, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I also encourage you to reach out to me and let me know how it goes!

Until next time, good luck with starting out with your rituals!

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