Eating healthy. Exercising regularly. Getting enough sleep. Keeping up with our wellness appointments. All of these are important healthy habits that we as family caregivers intend to do.
We know how to provide excellent care for others health but when it comes to our own healthy habits…we may not give ourselves a passing grade. Why? Because staying on top of our own healthy habits feels like a part-time job and adds to the feelings of overwhelm.
Self-care is important so we have the emotional and physical energy to care for others but HOW do we prioritize our health when there are just so many hours in the day?
Adopting or adjusting healthy habits may not be the 100% answer but each small idea will help us make progress and create momentum. Something is better than nothing. Little moves add up.
You get the idea. We are striving for baby steps in the right direction.
Let’s break down some of these small healthy practical ideas into the following areas:
Habits that we can ADD or start doing
Habits to avoid or SUBTRACT
Habits that we can slightly tweak by making some SWAPS
Habits we can bundle or BATCH together (more…)
Before we wrap up 2017 and put a bow on it, I like to reflect back on what worked in 2017. Last year was the first year I wrote a wrap-up post. Two years in a row makes it a tradition, right?
Reflecting on 2017 helps me focus on what is good with Happy Healthy Caregiver and savor the journey. My natural tendency is to just keep taking action but I’m forcing myself to…
Recognize the consistent work.
Savor the memories.
So let’s get to it! (more…)
Can you feel the holiday hustle and bustle?
The busyness of the holidays can swallow us up and before we know it we find ourselves speedskating from task to task. Then, when we come up for air we find we are three days late in changing the wall calendar over to the new year.
Instead, my hope for all family caregivers is that we enjoy a few moments here and there to be merry & bright this holiday season. (more…)
a guest post written by June Duncan
One of the worst things you can do as a caregiver is forget to take care of yourself. Not only do you suffer mentally and physically, but the quality of care you provide may decline. And while your loved one is your priority right now, you have to learn to take the time to focus on you. This is especially important during the holidays, when stress tends to trim the tree more than tinsel. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)