Our facial expressions expose so much to individuals around us, and if you’re encountering an abnormal degree of stress, well-meaning family members and friends will surely pick up on it, perhaps encouraging you to simply, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it will require much more than a couple of words to turn our mood around.
However, recent research does support the idea of positive thinking as a method to reduce degrees of anxiety and depression which might arise when we are bombarded with caregiver stress – something important for busy family caregivers to take to heart to decrease the possibility for burnout.
Judith Moskowitz, lead psychologist in the research project who subsequently launched a course to overcome the roller coaster of emotions so common in people providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.”
The primary techniques in her program include the following:
- Keep a journal of things for which you are thankful – even the little things.
- Identify at least one uplifting occurrence on a daily basis.
- Share about this event with friends on social websites.
- Establish one new goal each day, and keep track of your progress in reaching it.
- Identify one of your strengths and consider how you’re applying that talent.
- Perform one daily small act of kindness for another.
- Think about a negative occurrence, and then discover a way to view it in a positive light.
- Practice focused breathing and mindfulness to bring back a sense of peace.
For those providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, the necessity to focus on positives can be much more imperative to overall wellbeing. Family caregivers who participated in a recent 5-week study in which the effectiveness of these coping skills were evaluated reported a reduction in depression scores of 16%, and a decrease in anxiety of 14%.
In addition to the strategies above, it is essential for family caregivers to stop isolating themselves and attempting to manage their caregiving duties solo, which can quickly bring on caregiver burnout and other significant health problems. Partnering with Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, providers of senior home care Kalamazoo, MI and the surrounding Michigan communities trust, is the ideal approach to acquiring a healthier life balance – both for family caregivers and seniors.
Life is stressful, but nevertheless we are able to help! Get in touch with Home Sweet Home In-Home Care for the dependable in-home care services that enable you a chance to focus on self-care and quality time with those you love. Call us at (269) 373-5444 (Kalamazoo, MI), (269) 763-5350 (Paw Paw, MI) or (269) 963-9888 (Battle Creek, MI), or (269) 849-9252 (St. Joseph, MI). For a full list of the communities we serve, please visits our Locations page.