Times of crisis may bring out both the best together with the worst in us. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have heard stories of individuals hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, coupled with stories of people who selflessly met the needs of others despite their own fears.
The key to weathering the storms which are sure to come up during our lives in a healthy and balanced way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works together with the families of those serving in the armed forces, and offers help for family caregivers which can build resilience through any time of crisis.
- Convey your reactions. It’s normal to have many different responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other challenging situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, difficulty with sleeping, irritability, difficulties with concentration and focus, and hypervigilance. What’s critical is to ensure these reactions are short-term, and do not progress into long-term psychological problems. Recognize your feelings, and express them with a dependable confidante, or write them in a journal.
- Continue to keep social connections. While your instinct could be to pull away from close friends during a crisis, remaining in touch on a routine basis with people you care about is extremely important. Finding a support group, whether in person or online, is yet another great way to ensure you are building and maintaining social ties, helping you to speak with other individuals in the same circumstances.
- Take a moment for self-care. This means different things to every single person, but should include relaxing activities, engaging hobbies and interests, nutritious meals, a lot of sleep, and physical exercise. If you discover that it is hard to carve out time for yourself because of caregiving duties, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care is always here to partner with you to provide trustworthy respite care. Taking good care of yourself enables you to take better care of those you love.
- Realize what you can control – and that which you cannot. Letting go of what’s out of your control and concentrating instead on what you CAN control is one of the foundations of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”
It certainly is best to seek professional counseling in the event your responses to stressful circumstances are impeding your ability to maintain a feeling of calm and to tend to the essential daily activities of living. And, watch for signs that senior family members are feeling undue degrees of stress so that you can obtain the help which they need as well.
Know that no matter what life may bring, you can count on Home Sweet Home In-Home Care to walk beside you with trustworthy, knowledgeable St. Joseph, MI home health care services that empowers senior loved ones to remain resilient and independent. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page. Email or give us a call at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek to learn more.