as a Caregiver
As the holiday season starts to unfold and the chaos of planning begins, I’d like to hope especially in the uncertainty of this year that we can start this season with the core thought of gratitude.
For many caregivers, gratitude can be hard to not only define but to practice daily. Caregivers often look back reminiscing and finding comfort in memories and past experiences because planning the future can be uncertain. Often, at the core of caregiving, the emotion of fear dominates. So much of caregiving for me was centered in fear. Fear of what was next and how we as a family would handle a new challenge, situation or progression of disease.
"Experts say that the brain cannot hold fear and gratitude at the same time."
Experts say that the brain cannot hold fear and gratitude at the same time.
Practicing gratitude while caregiving starts with being deliberate. You have to put the fear aside even if it’s just for a few moments a day. It’s helpful to take stock and measure both joy and pain in your life. It’s a time when we say this is who we are, what we have become and acknowledge what we cherish most of all.
New traditions and thoughts can start now. I encourage you to try to add the ritual of the gratitude mindset by trying to practice self-care and having a thankful spirit. Whether it’s being grateful for a day’s end, a moment where you took a deep breath, a full night’s sleep, help you had, a friend who checked in or a good meal, acknowledge it.
Deep gratitude starts with thoughts plus action, and only when you combine the two can they be truly powerful. Take the moment to write, reflect, and/or share. See and acknowledge the good. You will be grateful you did.