Balancing Caregiver Guilt

You can’t do it all. It’s not your fault!

 

So often, it’s coulda/shoulda with caregivers. No matter how much they do, they seem to feel as though it’s never enough– perhaps because our loving inclination is to try to heal or solve the problems our loved one is having. Even though we know that we can’t do it, there is always that nagging feeling that you might be able to if only you’d try harder, give up more of yourself, your life, found something — anything — that could do it. What we know in our mind is often at war with what we struggle with in our gut. It’s not healthy for either us or our loved one, and is, ultimately, not helpful to the situation. But even if you can’t completely dominate that nagging guilt, you can, with logic, persistence and support of those who have been there done that, assuage it.

Talking with others who’ve been there done that helps.

2016 Friendly Caregiver Awarded book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing)  offers suggestions for balancing guilt with reality.

Available Amazon

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Resolutions and Daily Life

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I’ve never been a believer in  thinking up New Year’s resolutions because for one thing, they’re usually the stuff I’ve been trying to accomplish or delete all year long, and stressing over it during the last few days of every year, when life is stressful enough, just seems counterproductive to me. Having said that, some of my friends make them, and find the annual deadline helpful. Some even achieve them! Today’s Caregiver Magazine (who gave us an award for our book — thanks thanks!) has the same kind of suggestions that we, and virtually every other person who has done/seen or been recruited into caregiving subscribes to. If you’re a January 1-resolution-person, AND are a caregiver (though many of them work just as well for those who are simply trying to improve our own lives and live the best way we can day by day), they’re spot-on.

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National Family Caregiver Month Day 30

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Sue Collins

Gratitude

 We are grateful to everyone for taking time to read our daily post during the month of November for National Family Caregiver Month. We hope you found the posts inspirational and have learned not to sweat the small stuff and to realize you cannot fix everything. When you begin to feel stress, STOP and take 3 deep breaths to center yourself.

As we approach the Holiday Season we would like to share an old post: Sue’s Favorite Smoothie to give your immune system a boost.

Sue’s Favorite Smoothie11401584_951767381512252_8341760167575151887_n

I have never been a fan of taking multi vitamins for several reasons: cost; the neon colored urine, which seems unnatural; and honestly, I forget to take the darn pills. For me making a smoothie is easy, plus I can control what I put into the smoothie (and my urine does not change colors — unless you add beets, which I don’t, I prefer to eat them!).

Recipe:

Greens: A handful. I use lacinato kale or spinach or a    combination

Banana: ½

Blueberries: 6-10 berries. I use frozen unless in season…

Fresh fruit in season

Flax seed oil: one tablespoon

Cinnamon: one teaspoon

Tumeric powder: one teaspoon

Protein powder: I use 2 Tablespoons of plant-based protein

Almond milk: between ½ to one cup depending on the fresh fruit used and

the desired consistency.

Blend together and enjoy

Greens: I prefer Lucinato Kale because I find it to be less bitter tasting then curly kale. Greens help detoxify the body, give you energy, helps with digestion and strengthens the immune system.

Banana: Rich in Potassium and vitamin B6, helps support heart function.

Blueberry: An antioxidant and some Vitamin C

Flax seed oil: Omega 3 thus it helps lower cholesterol

Cinnamon: Supports heart health, known to lower cholesterol

What Matters Most? Making care of yourself a priority.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

National Family Caregiver Month Day 25

splash-ttam-2015-1-1Its Black Friday!

If you enjoy rushing through an open store door after standing in line all night (perhaps in the cold) to get ‘the big bargain’ more power to you! Different strokes for different folks makes the world go round. Before you get lost in traffic jams and frustrated crowds, consider this: While you are out doing holiday shopping for loved ones, don’t forget the family member who is a 24/7 caregiver!   Grab a gift and drop it off after shopping to show your appreciation for the good care they are providing a loved one. Do you have a loved one living in a long term care facility?   Pick up some of their favorite food and drop by for a visit. Have a meal delivered to the home of the caregiver and loved one. If you are visiting from out of town offer a respite to the caregiver or have someone provide respite and take the caregiver out to dinner and a movie.

What matters most? Remembering those family members making it possible for you to participate in Black Friday

National Family Caregiver Month Day 24

Happy Thanksgiving

getfileattachment The 1994 edition of the Webster’s Dictionary defines thanksgiving as follows: 1.the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, esp to God. 2. an expression of thanks, esp to God. 3. A public celebration in acknowledgement of divine favor or kindness.

Thanksgiving is a good day to reflect on gratitude, not forced but offered. Today roll it back to the basics, go back to the adage: it’s the little things that matter most.

Consider the five senses.

  1. Nose. Start with being grateful for the breath; so obvious and yet taken for granted. Smells wafting from the kitchen, flowers, perfume and COFFEE!
  2. Eyes that see colors, brightness, sunsets, faces, smiles and reflection in the mirror
  3. Ears that hear sounds, voices, music, laughter and silence
  4. Mouth that tastes, speaks, sings and kisses
  5. Hands hold, touch, pet, lift and applaud

Expanding from the five senses, consider health, focusing on the positive. Thanks for family, friends and extended family. For a new day, a pet to cuddle with,  for a warm bed, for shelter (thinking about those with none), for being a caregiver. Make a list in your journal at the end of the day. When you are having a difficult time, referring back to what you wrote can be beneficial.

What matters most? Being thankful for the small thingsimages-3
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

 

 

 

What matters most? Being connected!

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

 

National Family Caregiver Month Day 23

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Just stopping to talk sometimes helps

Connection

There are days when you feel like a hamster on a wheel, spinning and going nowhere. Wandering in the house from room to room forgetting your intention, which becomes clear when you return to where you started. By the end of the day all the back and forth can leave you feeling both exhausted and unproductive. Providing service to a loved one can also leave a feeling of anxiety and insecurity. How do yo have fewer struggles and  find ease?

  1. Explore where you are.
  2. Ask yourself where you want to be.
  3. Find a goal that is uplifting and feels good.
  4. Seek understanding and compassion.
  5. Reconnect with yourself and loved one through meditation or prayer

What matters most? Being connected!

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Sit outside with a friend

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

 

National Family Caregiver Month Day 22

th-5Finding Peace!

Here we are on day 22 with the Holidays approaching. Is drama the family’s normal state of being during the holidays? Are they restless? Do they flame childhood squabbles to create attention focused on them? Do you feel completely drained after the day is over?

Finding peace within yourself is one solution. Taking a vacation from the crazy family holiday is another. Being a 24/7 caregiver can be challenging enough, so don’t invite discord into your life. If the family insists on visiting, this could be a good time for you to take a well-deserved break. Leave. Take a drive or a long walk.th-1

Remember…. You cannot control them (and you will NEVER fix them). You CAN take care of yourself, which is what you need to do to take care of your loved one once the holidays are over. You can choose do to what feels better for you!

What Matters Most? Finding your peace in the chaos.

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Love this image. Conjure it mentally to soothe your spirit in the midst of chaos