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Caregivers New Year's Resolution
by Kristine Dwyer, LSW

In this new year, I will……….

Learn to take one hour out of each day just for myself to read, enjoy a hot bath, journal my thoughts or call a friend.

Attend at least one caregiver support group to realize that I am not alone and that I can learn from others.

See my doctor for a physical exam and give my own health needs more priority.
Use respite care at least once a month so that I may get a break and be refreshed. I will consider using the time I have to discover the benefits of massage therapy, the joy of a musical concert, self expression in a painting class or a day at the spa to find stress relief.

Eat a balanced diet and exercise at least 20 minutes three times a week even if all I can do is walk around the house, up and down the stairs or exercise from a chair.

Seek out one new resource to support my caregiver role such as chore services, housekeeping, home care programs or delivered meals.

Try to find a way to laugh or find humor in the day amidst the sadness or discouragement I may feel.

Reach out to my family and friends to help with my loved one so that the weight of my responsibility can be lifted and shared. One way I can do this is to keep a list of needs handy so that when help is offered, I can be ready with an answer.
Seek spiritual support or personal counseling to gain perspective of my life, clarity of my role and keep my mental health in check.

Finally, by focusing on these resolutions, I will be able to reap the rewards of caregiving, maintain balance in my life and provide care longer for my loved one.
 


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