One Minute Caregiver Clips
Caregivers Performance vs. Attendance Record
All too often, Caregivers judge themselves mercilessly over their performance. With a supremely critical eye, we berate ourselves, while also allowing others to do the same. If we choose to judge ourselves, however, let’s at least be fair and judge ourselves on the whole. Part of that is to fairly look at our attendance record—which is nearly perfect. We keep showing up! What is that worth to our loved ones? It is certainly worth taking a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary commitment and resolve of caregivers.
Caregiver Stewardship instead Obligation
“I’ve Got To,” “I need to,” “I have to.” These are all statements made by all caregivers at some point, and, sadly, all too frequently. The feeling of obligation drives us to push ourselves to dangerous stress levels for our health, finances, and emotional stability. The way we can push back is to recognize that we don’t own the problem. We didn’t cause it, and we can’t fix it. We are stewards. Stewardship frees us to accept we are doing the best we can with what we have. Feeling obligated can quickly takes us into resentment, which will only compromise our ability to live healthy lives and serve as healthy caregivers. Adopting an attitude of stewardship, however, helps us breathe easier and treat ourselves with mercy—all of which equips us to be a better caregiver.
The DELTA DOCTRINE For Caregivers
While flying Delta Airlines to Atlanta one day, I discovered that flight attendants state the best advice for caregivers – all day long:
“In the unlikely event of the loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Securely place your mask on first, before helping anyone next to you who may need assistance.”
That small directive, what I call “The Delta Doctrine,” contains applicable wisdom for so many life circumstances – but probably none as poignant as for those of us serving as a caregiver for a chronically ill/disabled loved one.
Compassion and love often mistakenly lead us to hold our own breath – while trying to help someone else breath, but once we make that decision, it is only a matter of time before we find ourselves gasping for air. If we are unable to breathe, how can we help anyone else?
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
“My Mind Is A Dangerous Neighborhood to Walk In Unaccompanied!”
Isolation is one of the most challenging issues Caregivers face, and our thoughts become isolated, as well. In those lonely moments, our minds can play tricks on us, and take us down dark roads. Like a pilot flying through clouds without looking at instruments, we can quickly disoriented. In those moments, we need external input …an emotional GPS, if you will …to help us regain our heading and proceed safely. We don’t need to believe everything we think!