Let’s Have a “Heart to Heart”

Are you up for a “heart to heart?”

If you are reading this, you’re a caregiver, a caregiver-to-be, or just interested in the caregiving topic for various reasons. It’s not a secret that caregiving can be frustrating, challenging, and sometimes downright demanding.

And there are many books and articles that provide great suggestions and resources for how to get through the difficulties and also to provide encouragement.

Caregiving is done in so many ways and at so many levels. It has its positives and negatives, but I also think that caregiving can be full of ‘heartful’ moments: a smile here, a tear there, a laugh, a story or two.

But enough talk!

I want to have a “heart to heart” with you, no matter whether you’re a caregiver or not.

•  Do you wonder sometimes about how your life is? You may still have kids at home; you and your husband both work;
•  Or, you may be single; you may have just moved to a new city, started a new job, feeling alone because you haven’t had time to make new friends.
•  Do you take time for you?
•  Do you even know what you would do for fun and relaxation if you had an hour or two all to yourself? …………….I ask myself that question.

So why not take an hour…..

Find a quiet place, and bring a paper and pencil. I remember in the past when I was looking to make a job change, a friend suggested that I list the pluses and the minuses of the job change. Maybe you’ve done that as well. I always learned a lot and it usually helped me to make the right decision, although praying about it too, was key.  Let’s try it for where we are now.

Let’s make a List:

At any rate, why don’t we (you noticed I said we) make a list of the positives and negatives about our life at the moment? Most of the time when I do this, I find more positive than negative. It’s just that I let the few negatives weigh me down. How about you? So, if we do come up with some negatives, we have to find a solution to turn them into positives.

Examples of turning negatives into positives:

1. IF we’re not happy, that’s no one’s fault but our own. Remember what Peter Pan said.. “find that happy thought so you can fly.” Well, we won’t literally fly…. but we just may ‘soar’ instead.

2. IF we’re bored, we should do some volunteering for a non-profit; help a neighbor, volunteer to do a work project for the church or at a mission. Giving to others reduces boredom and increases happiness at the same time.

3. IF circumstances are difficult, we must take time away from the situation. Go to coffee with a friend; take a walk; sit on a bench in the park; read a good book; get the camera or phone and take some photos of scenery. Doing something different – taking some time away can give us a “new lease on life.”

4. IF we feel lonely, find something positive to do around people: e.g., help a friend in need; call your church or synagogue to see what projects might need doing; take flowers to a senior who is ill; take a senior to the park. Doing for others will remove loneliness in a flash.

I hope you didn’t mind this “heart to heart” conversation.

I take it to heart myself. We just have to ‘get with it.’ We shouldn’t let life’s issues and problems take the joy out of our living.

If that happens, it doesn’t just affect us, right? It’s not selfish to take care of ourselves. And for me, prayer is a big key. I have to say that I often have “heart to heart” conversations with God, knowing that He hears what I have to say and will give me the direction I need through both the good and the difficult days. I couldn’t do it without Him.

From my heart to yours…… “don’t let ‘life’ take the joy out of your living.”