5 Ways to Find Strength in Care-giving

Finding strength in care-giving can take practice, especially if that is not the career that you chose.

Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes and many different kinds of people.  Those who are there for you when you see the Doctor, and then the family members who need to take care of you when you are not at your best.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I knew I was in this for the long haul, but the lessons I have learn were far more than I expected.

Here are 5 ways that you can find strength in doing something you wouldn’t choose to do on your own.

First:   Finding out who you are and what you can do.  You are stronger than you think.

Let’s examine this:

Whatever seems to be on your mind that you thought could have gone differently. It bothered you, so you keep talking about it. When this happens you need to stop, become aware and write it down. When you learn to do this and practice it often, you’d be amazed at what you discover about yourself and how your thoughts run your life and control your actions.

They make up the components of who the real you can be all about; but you really are just an observer of the things around you, and how you play them out.

“We cannot be who we want to be if we continue to think we are who we’ve always thought we were and who we’ve always been”

Second:  Finding out how far you can stretch your courage.

Take my word for it; things get easier after you have done them a few times.

Strength is ingrained in your brain as you grow, from your experiences to the struggles your loved ones have gone through. If you step back and look around, you will see it in all areas of your life.

If you want to see a strong person with courage, look at a cancer patient and put yourself in their shoes.  It is amazing watching my husband never give up no matter what.  Everyday is a struggle, but he looks to the future and finds strength.

Think of things that you went after without thinking about it, and then the things you needed to find the courage to make it through. The different forms it takes can be amazing. You might just take it for granted and say that’s just how it is, but for the struggling they really must work at making it happen.

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection” Thomas Paine

Third:  Learning from others.

Put your listening skills to work and be observant.

Has anyone ever told you, that you are the strongest person they have ever met? I have, and I had to think long and hard on this for I was just living, I didn’t think I was strong. Life happens, and I just deal with it. I have a tough shell that others see, but I am soft on the inside.

Life crumbles and things happen, and you don’t always see things the way they really are, until… that one person you have grown to trust and through working with them, shows you the way which included a mirror.

You see things in a different light, a different angle and it hits you like a brick. Where do you take that and what you do with that, is totally up to you?

Learning to get comfortable with your Doctors, knowing them will help them communicate with you better.  Get to know the nurses by name and they will remember you.

My husband was always a jokester and would be greeted at the door when he walked in.  That became a blessing when we needed answers or help down the road.   When others know you they see things you don’t.

Fourth:  It’s not just you, there are others involved.

When care-giving for a loved one you are not alone especially if you have children.

How many things can you juggle at once?  Your care-giving, your career, your family, your finances and your future.

Find your support team and use them.  Being successful is a personal choice, you might not want it, you might want it to stop, but it isn’t, so making a choice to embrace it makes things so much easier.

I felt forced into care-giving, but when I realized that is wasn’t going away and fighting it tooth and nail was only setting me up for failure and my own sickness.  I decided to reach out and embrace it.  Learn what I could to get through.

Fifth:  Getting things organized.

Angle your energy and focus on the things needing your strength and care-giving will become easier.

This is where you need to accept, become aware, be accountable and put it into action.  I invite you to work with me.  I help those who need to “Smile Through Adversity”.

“Focus on the things you can control, and release the things you cannot”

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