New Year’s Resolutions for Caregivers

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Happy New Year! Sure, some people think January 1 is the day to start their resolutions, but this is the first official work week of the new year. It’s not too late to set your goals.

Here at Working Daughter, our resolution is to help you focus on and achieve all that is good about caregiving. That doesn’t mean we’re going to downplay the stress and challenges that come with being a working daughter. The struggle is real! But we also know there is something called the caregiver’s gain – physical and emotional strength that comes from caring for someone else at a time when they need it most. And we want to help you access that gain. And so to get started down that path, here are some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that will help you focus on what’s good about caregiving, while managing all that is not so easy.

  1. Lower your standards. You do a lot, every day. So stop killing yourself trying to do it all perfectly. Good enough is just that – good enough. When you’re a caregiver, done is better than perfect. Perfect is the enemy. #workingdaughter Click To Tweet
  2. Ask for help. Stop being a martyr. Accept that you cannot do everything and delegate. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. And if you think you are the only one who can do things the right way, see resolution number one.
  3. Say yes more. No, really, say yes more often. Not to the things you don’t want to do. Not to more requests for your time that you can’t handle. Say yes to what keeps you going – time alone, time with your kids, time to sit and sip coffee or go for a walk or see a movie. Try it. It feels good and you deserve it.
  4. Pace yourself. Nothing screams hopeless like unrealistic expectations. When you are in the throes of caregiving, you may not find the time to start a business or train for a marathon. That’s okay. There will be time later.
  5. Be prepared. Caregiving is a lot easier to manage when you are organized. Take a day, a weekend, or a month and set yourself up for success in 2016. Make sure you have medication lists. Load doctor and caregiver phone numbers into your phone. Talk to your parents about their end of life desires. Make sure you have and can locate power of attorney, medical directives and important financial documents. Get your house in order – literally and figuratively.
  6. Just be. If you do nothing else, take some time to just be with the person you care for. Forget the health issues. Forget the to do lists. Forget past and current grievances. Just sit and be with someone. You’ll be surprised how restorative that can be.

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