By Jamie Huysman, PsyD, LCSW
The year’s end is an excellent time to reflect and celebrate even the smallest of victories. We’ve made it through another year; we’ve done our best to meet its challenges. Life is the greatest of teachers when we allow ourselves to be open to its lessons.
Many of us will be glad to see this year go away and only in hindsight appreciate its value. That’s OK. Sometimes time and space are necessary to process and make sense of things. Take all the time you need.
For others, there is always great expectation around a new year. There is the anticipation of opening a new chapter. Out with the old; in with the new! And so, we embark on a new adventure with a clean canvas of days to come.
I like to set achievable goals instead of resolutions for a new year. Resolutions are many times a self-imposed limitation or setup—or both—for failure. I prefer to think re-solution! What if we all set a goal of taking better care of ourselves this year? There’s a lot of it going around! The self-care bandwagon has arrived!
Let’s make 2019 a year to really embrace self-care. To that end, here are some goals to work toward. Just do your best. That’s all anyone can ask of you!
Keys to Self-Care for Caregivers (and other human beings)
» If it feels wrong, don’t do it. Trust your instincts.
» Weigh your words before you speak; they have enormous power, so say what you need
to say without doing so at the expense of others.
» Never compromise yourself for the sake of others. There are people who will never be
pleased no matter what you do.
» Don’t believe your negative self-talk. You are so much more than you think.
» Make time for you! Pursue something that makes you happy.
» Learn to say NO without feeling guilty. Beware of succumbing to bullying and emotional
» Treat yourself the way you’d like to be treated.
» Let go of what you can’t control. You can’t change others, only yourself.
» Disengage as much as possible from drama and negativity. Every situation is not a crisis
that you need to fix.
» Do not be a slave to fear. In the words of the indomitable Eleanor Roosevelt, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." She also famously declared, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
» Remain teachable. It is your greatest asset in the long run.
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, and Self-Caring 2019!
Peace & Love,
Dr. Jamie is a popular keynote speaker, media expert, and author. He co-authored the acclaimed “Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health & Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss.” Dr. Huysman writes for Caregiver SOS, Connections, JoanLunden.com, Huddol.com, and blogs on PsychologyToday.com.