6 Ways to Improve Care-giving and Find Peace

Do you know there are ways to improve care-giving and find peace in what you do?  Knowing this helps when it’s not your choice to be the care-giver!

Caretaking is stressful, how can you improve it and find a little peace along the way?  When caretaking has been put upon you by need not want, how do you cope?

If you have been forced into caretaking like I was, knowing how to handle it and still come out smiling can be a little tricky. In other words, I do it by compassion and need, it is not a profession that I would choose on my own.

There are a few things to keep in mind that will help you cope a little better and make it through the day.  No matter who you are dealing with, your spouse, your parents or your aunts and uncles.  I should know, I deal with them all.

First way to find peace:   Being honest

Be honest with the party you are helping.  Settle any differences and find a common ground.  When all parties understand each other, you know what to expect.  Know that it is normal to feel confused, angry or resentful.  Bring others in who can be supporting and not judge, a counselor or Pastor may be a great choice.

Get everyone involved, that way you are not feeling alone.   My children have been great support, and when others offer, take them up on it. 

Know what is needed to improve care-giving:  Anticipate

There can be many things involved and things will come up all the time. For instance, the paperwork, appointments, medications, and other medical needs to help them feel comfortable.  When you have this in place you can relax a little more, believe me.

I know what it is like to juggle a career, children, schedules, appointments, phone calls and housework and still find time for me.   Search out ways to stay organized.  Find that little place that is just for you and take that five or ten minutes to claim your sanity.

Check the level of need:  Back away to keep the peace

There is a limit to what people can take.  I know, if you are like me, you leave no rock unturned.  But I will tell you right now, back away.  Step back and let things ride every now and then.  Be honest with yourself and others about the amount of time and energy you must devote to the care they need.  Make your limitations clear to all parties involved.    

Sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do.  In other words, test the waters especially if you start to feel the pressure.  Staying calm when the hard times come, helps resolve the issues that arise.

An example I have is a very stubborn, bull headed, selfish father; who still wants to do everything himself yet doesn’t understand he can’t.  However, I have tested that waters many times and know how to build his trust in me.  What I learned is that there is a time when your kids will take care of you, so let them. 

Decision Time:  Care-giving should never be done alone

When you are forced into something that you do not want to do, what is your first reaction.  You just want to get it over with, right?  I was the same way, but that didn’t happen.  I had to figure out a way to cope and learn. 

You need to find time away from the care-giving.  Whether it is simply an hour to read a chapter in a book, take a walk, or something else you like to do.  I started a blog (some call it a journal), which has become my happy place.

If you can’t seem to get away, ask for help.  There are many resources available and willing to give you that needed time.  The additional stress you feel will likely affect you and the one you are caring for in negative ways.  Learn to know your signs and keep yourself healthy.

Pay Attention:  Know the signs to improve care-giving

Recognize that the emergency may not be with the one you are caring for, but with you.  So, plan as best you can for all likely urgent care matters.

Pay attention to your feelings and levels of stress.  In other words, know the signs of when you need a break and take it.  You have the right to say, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Stress is one thing you do not want to deal with, it can be the number one cause for so many things.  But, for now, I want you to take a deep breath, get up and stretch, talk to someone else, meditate for 5 minutes, clearing your mind and relaxing your body.  Then see where you are at.   I have written many things on this.  If you want to chat, look below.

Improve your Care-giving by being Mindful

Mindfulness is experiencing everything about the moment.  In other words, experiencing everything that moment has to offer. 

What do you notice?

What is in front of you!

Your feelings!

The surroundings!

When you learn to accept those without judgement, being ok with how you feel and what you choose.  This is when you know you have found peace!

Even when your efforts at caregiving are going reasonably well, know that previously established patterns of behavior will surface on occasion and be prepared.  Whether you find an acceptable way to respond or need that time to step away.  When you can control your responses and behaviors, all things just might change.  Or at least you can come about things differently, better and cause less stress for you. 

Care is not constant, it is ever changing.  In addition to knowing how you respond will make the process, and in my case years, seem a little easier.

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