National Caregiving Month – Harvesting Your Me Time

Harvesting Your Me Time Happy Healthy Caregiver Blog Post

How does your list of tasks and to-dos look?

November is National Family Caregivers Month and this year the theme according to the Caregiver Action Network is “Caregiving Around the Clock”

Common phrases you may hear from yourself or another family caregiver are “I’m so tired” or “I wish I had time for myself”. Sometimes there are no words, just tears symbolizing overwhelm and potentially a sign of caregiver burnout.

To compliment this year’s National Family Caregivers Month theme, this post will focus on how to harvest more time for yourself and specifically how to tackle the never ending list of tasks.

Whether your to-do list is neatly organized in a digital tool or on the back of a receipt, a napkin, or taking up space in your head the premise is the same…these things require attention from us.

For each task, we can either delete, delegate, combine, or schedule it. Let’s explore each of these four task actions. (more…)

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Enjoy Your Life While Caregiving – Yes You Can.

Family caregiver enjoys life while caring for others

Resentment is an evil emotion that arrives with some buddies including guilt and sometimes anger. When you feel resentment creeping into your life, it’s a sign. It’s a sign that you need more me time in your life to energize your body and your spirit. A sign to find ways to integrate the activities you enjoy into your life…even while caring for others.

Much of the content on my site focuses on the little ways you can be happier and healthier while caregiving. The small, doable, and practical ways to savor daily life. But…there is also much enjoyment in planning, living, and remembering BIG events.

For my family, our big events in the past couple of years while caregiving have focused on traveling. (more…)

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6 Fall-Inspired Meal Ideas for Family Caregivers

A guest post written by Jess McLean

I am huge into cooking, and as a caregiver for my mom who has dysphagia (trouble swallowing), cooking and coming up with interesting new meals she can eat and enjoy has become a big part of my caregiving life.

One thing that seems to translate from caregiver to caregiver no matter your situation or caree condition is simply finding enough time to do it all – provide care, work, cook for modified diets, manage a family, etc. When it comes to eating well and taking care of yourself, you simply don’t have an hour to spend whipping up a fancy meal every day, and you certainly don’t have time to succinctly measure out perfect portions and measurements for a long, complicated recipe. (more…)

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National Caregiving Conference 2017- You Don’t Want to Miss It!

national caregiving conference 2017

Registration for the 2017 National Caregiving Conference is now open. Are you committed to going or considering watching it virtually?

I’ll be at the event in Chicago (with my sister!!) and we’d love to connect with you in on Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11th.

Last year, I wasn’t sure I could go. I was wondering how I would getaway. Who would take care of everyone? Did I have enough days available to take off from work? Could we afford the expense?

Thankfully, my husband talked me in to attending and I’m so glad he did! Now, I’m going to pay it forward and encourage you to attend by sharing five main reasons. (more…)

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The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

A manifesto is a published or public declaration of intentions, core beliefs, motives or views. If you ever shop at lululemon, they put their corporate manifesto on their shopping bags.

I  was inspired to write the Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto after listening to Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft’s podcast Happier. Here’s a link to Gretchen Rubin’s manifesto and core beliefs. Here’s a link to her Happiness Manifesto.

Once I started writing my core intentions and beliefs…I almost couldn’t stop!

The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

I believe every individual’s lifestyle choices impact everyone who loves them.

I know I won’t find the time for my own self-care. I have to create my me time. (more…)

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Planning Summer Fun – Even for You!

Summer activities for family caregivers

A calendar year can be like a book with the seasons being different sections.

As family caregivers, one season can easily roll into another, sometimes without an intentional thought. Or perhaps we do think ‘I’d like to do that this summer’ but find when fall arrives we feel we squandered our summer and wonder what we did.

Imagine yourself sitting at your desk in September saying farewell to summer with not feelings of regret but feelings of gratitude.

Let’s make this summer different. Let’s design our summer with good intentions…and a big dose of FUN! (more…)

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My Favorite Podcasts for Family Caregivers

In the past few years, I have discovered the wide wonderful world of podcasts!

From news junkies to entertainment seekers to those looking for personal growth and business training…there is certainly something for everyone!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file available on the Internet or as a download to your computer or phone. It’s like a radio show on a topic you care about or love. You choose when you want to listen and you can skip through the advertisements.

For me, my podcast smartphone application is like my TV’s DVR. Once I either hear or read about a podcast, I search for the name on my phone’s Podcast app and listen to one of the recent episodes. If I like the program, I will ‘subscribe’ to it. Then my app knows that I want new episodes automatically downloaded to my device. (more…)

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10 Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Seniors

Gift ideas for moms

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

After years of buying for the women in your life and limited time to shop, you may be challenged to find a Mother’s Day gift.

Never fear, ideas are here!

Below you’ll find a list of unique and thoughtful gift ideas you can present to the important women in your life this Mother’s Day. (more…)

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Signs of Caregiver Burnout & Resources that Will Help

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is real.

According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”

Family Caregivers can tend to burnout when they take on too much, put everyone’s needs before their own and have optimistic expectations over what is in their control. Consider for a moment what would happen if all the responsibilities you are juggling no longer happen because you are no longer physically or mentally able to do them. This is probably a scary thought considering all that you do. (more…)

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Teepa Snow Entertains While Teaching About Dementia

Elizabeth Happy Healthy Caregiver and Teepa Snow

Teepa Snow engaged hundreds of Cobb County family Caregivers and further expanded their understanding of dementia. I had the privilege to hear Teepa – one of America’s leading dementia educators on dementia – at an event called ‘A Day with Teepa Snow: Today’s Voice for Dementia’ on Friday, March 31st at the Due West United Methodist Church.

I had no idea what to expect from this event since I have never even seen or heard Teepa speak. Her training is highly praised and I wanted to learn more about dementia.

Only Teepa Snow can make learning about dementia entertaining. She’s witty, spunky, and she swears (in a church!). She drives home the importance of visual cues by using her hands while she instructs. (more…)

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