Caring for a family member is emotionally taxing, especially in the case of memory loss. You can reduce your distress by concentrating on the present moment, the here and now, and by thinking of your relationship with a loved one as the glass half full.
Seize the Day!
Try to observe yourself while in your caretaking role. Identify your thoughts. Remember that “should haves” and “if onlys” are based on trying to rewrite the past, while “wants” and “what ifs” focus on the future. Both prompt anxiety and depression. Be here now, for the day!
Life Is a Series of Precious Moments.
It is important to acknowledge your negative feelings without judging yourself. Accept what is. What’s happening now is a done deal. Simply allow it, don’t fight it in your mind, and you’ll be less stressed. Focus on the present. Stay out of the past and future in your thinking. Take a few deep breaths. Shift your attention to create room for something positive right now. Think of something that engages one of your senses; the taste of your coffee, the color of the sky, or the music on the radio.
Refresh and Be Refreshed.
Repeat as needed to refresh your outlook!
Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Elder Connections