Sometimes you just have to laugh at your caregiving situation. A little caregiver humor can go a long way! When my sisters and I were packing my mom and moving her from her assisted living in Georgia to my sister’s home in Pennsylvannia, we created a group text called ‘It’s a Great day to give care’ (this is Susie’s mantra that she adapted from Grey’s Anatomy mantra ‘it’s a beautiful day to save lives’) and in this group text there are tons of random little texts that start with ‘You know you are a caregiver when…’.
A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles. – Mignon McLaughlin
Each time I read one of the texts or added my own, I knew that smiles where occurring and the day was looking a little brighter. It’s a fun game to play when you are in a thick of some crazy, can’t make this s&%t up caregiver situation, and you are challenged to flip it on its side or upside down to discover the humor. As caregivers we can’t change what happens to us but we can change and own how we react to situations. Choosing to find the caregiver humor in situations will help you stay sane.
Ready for some caregiver humor?
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ‘You know You are a Caregiver’ texts that were exchanged between me and my sisters:
What do you give a caregiver to show them you care and are thinking about them? What they really want is more time and available hands to call when they are needed . But in our society where the demand of our time far surpasses the supply, it’s a struggle to be that helper we want to be to those caregivers we love. Often times, I have heard the phrase, ‘Please let me know how I can help.’ I never even knew how to reply to that statement. It may be well meaning but it’s not actionable. Being a caregiver is tough stuff. Often times caregiving is emotional draining and physically straining. There are usually no warning signs when a caregiving crisis is approaching. It’s reactive, urgent, and stressful. We don’t know when or if things will improve and often times we know that our situation will probably get worse before it gets better . When a loved one has a disease or a chronic illness, the whole family is impacted in some way. As caregivers, we all have those days, weeks, or even months when we feel like we are on a treadmill and no matter how hard we try to stay on top of it, the plates and pieces we are juggling fall and it feels like no matter how much we give it’s never enough.
I think a gift that continues to remind an overwhelmed caregiver that they are enough is a great gift.
My Spotify workout playlist is constantly a work in progress. I know for my music to continue to motivate me and keep me moving, I need to keep my workout playlist fresh and fun. Music is a must for me during a workout because:
It offers a distraction – I forget how hard I’m working or how long I’ve been exercising
It makes me exercise to the beat! I try to add songs to my workout playlist that have between 120 and 140 beats per minute.
It speaks to my soul! I love songs about getting stronger, achieving greatness, and being happy.
Since we are all caregivers interested in achieving greater health and happiness, I am sharing ten of my favorite songs in each of these areas – happiness and health.
‘We’re out of tricks.’ This is the phrase I used when talking to my two out-of-town sisters about the need to find a better living situation for mom…again. Mom has been in two different assisted living communities in the past year and half, since my dad has passed. Neither place has been a fit and frankly I don’t think any of them will.
In the last post, I shared that this was my third time following the Whole 30 program – in a raw nutshell it’s a nutrition program that you follow for 30 days to ‘reset’ your body and let it heal and recover from the effects certain foods may be causing. The only way to really know how certain foods impact you is to eliminate the groups that can have a negative impact on health and fitness. Essentially, this meant for 30 days earlier this year, I had no sugar of any kind, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, and no alcohol. (more…)
I feel like my life is one big resolution so I don’t stress over making New Year’s resolutions anymore. I’m a work in progress and constantly looking for ways to improve my health and my family’s lifestyle. However, it is easier to tighten up some of my systems and focus more on my goals, especially the healthy ones, when the WHOLE WORLD is doing the same thing at the start of a new year. (more…)
Profound, right? I thought so. This simple statement slapped me upside the head when I heard this from Dawn, the owner and creator of a nonprofit organization called ALOHA (A Life Of Healthy Aging). Dawn’s organization visits my mom’s new assisted living community monthly to offer support to resident’s families.
Dawn followed this statement with a question: ‘who is your mom?’ and challenged me to find out. I definitely know who I want her to be – I want her to be me! But, even though she has been my mom for 44 years, I still have some detective work to do in order to answer this question. (more…)
I don’t have the kind of metabolism that I can say ‘what the heck’ and eat and drink whatever I want over the holiday season. After all, it’s a season…not a day, not a week or even a month – it’s a whole season. I can do a lot of damage in a season.. If I let all my healthy routines and habits go, I’d literally be erasing all the progress I’ve made and be faced with starting over. But, going face first into every delicious temptation I see will only move me further away from my 18-20% total body fat goal.
I’m also not the kind of person that is going to be able to have the willpower to not indulge a bit over the next month. In other words, I don’t want to crawl up and hibernate under a rock…alone. I have holiday parties, pot luck lunches, bowl game get togethers, and festive new year celebrations to attend. (more…)
For many of us, ‘the holidays’ can simply mean we have even more to do than normal and the last thing any family caregiver needs is one more item on their to do list. As the holidays grow near, I find myself reminiscing about my childhood holidays, reflecting on those simpler days when we mainly just got to show up and enjoy the fun. I am very grateful for the wonderful family holiday memories I have. As an adult, I realize that it was primarily my mom that worked so hard to make holidays special for us. She trimmed every corner of the house, planned and prepared every meal, and shopped and wrapped for every gift (including Santa gifts and stocking stuffers!). We would have ‘stacks’ of presents beautifully tied with ribbons and all six of us would have the same amount of gifts to open. I have just two kids and it’s difficult to ensure that everything is fair and equal. I’m sure my mom and dad collaborated on the budget but I’m also fairly certain that my mom went over budget every year. Let’s just say I also have some memories of my dad paying the bills in January.