In Part 1 of this series, we reviewed the difference between rituals, routines, and habits. (If you haven’t read Part 1 – “What is a Ritual – and How Can It Help Caregivers?”, you should read it first!) The main difference is that rituals involve mindfulness, allowing us to be in the moment and reflect on where we are, mind, body, and soul. This is also one of the five steps in the MOVE Method, an approach I developed to help reduce caregiver compassion fatigue.
In this post, we’ll explore how morning rituals can help you centre yourself so you can face the day and reach Balanced Success.
Attitude is everything, as they say. Although that’s too simplistic to be entirely true, getting yourself into the right mindset is important. Not only will it make you a better caregiver, it will help you be a calmer person – you don’t want to be so on edge that you...
Caregiver compassion fatigue is the flip side of another well-known occurrence: the Mother Teresa Effect. Recognized in the 1980s, the Mother Teresa Effect breaks down to this. When you do good for people around you – even people you don’t know – you feel better. Not only that, you actually, physically are better too. At least one study showed that people who went out of their way to help others boosted their immunity to colds and other infections.
But even Mother Teresa knew that caring for others could go too far. She understood about compassion fatigue long before the term existed. (Coincidentally, compassion fatigue was also first defined in the 1980s.) Mother Teresa mandated that her nuns take a year off every four or five years in order to essentially heal themselves.
And it makes sense. How often do you say that you wish you could take some of their pain and suffering away and put it on yourself?
Here’s the thing though: in many ways, we actually...
The irony for most caregivers is that we don’t give enough care to ourselves. Our focus is ensuring we’re meeting the needs of our parent or loved one. In fact the very thought of doing something for ourselves feels somehow... selfish.
Here’s the fact though: not taking care of yourself is more selfish!
Being a caregiver requires a lot of our time and energy. Most of us also have other priorities – our own families, work, and other obligations. We are stretched so thinly that any little tear threatens to drop the whole load like an over-stretched trampoline.
When it gets to that point, we are literally not as effective as we could be – or should be – for our parent or loved one we are taking care of.
That’s why taking care of ourselves is so important. It’s better for our mental health. It’s better for those around us. And, it ultimately makes us a better caregiver. One note: although we talk about family caregivers here, all the...
Previously we talked about the Top Five Signs It’s Time to Think about In-Home Care for Your Aging Parent. But one of the things people keep asking us is, why do these changes in behaviour happen in the first place?
Of course the easy answer is that they’re getting older. But there are actually several possible explanations, either working together or separately. If we can determine what’s behind your parent’s behavioural changes, you’ll be in a better position to help them.
Here are three common reasons why your parent’s behaviour may change to the point where they need in-home care:
This is not an exclusive list. There are other factors including depression and disease. Which brings up an important point – always involve your parent’s primary care provider...