As a caregiver, don’t you have some days where you just want to give up? You’re tired, run down and “on the brink” so to speak. Well, I have recently finished reading a book by Dr. Nanette Davis, entitled: The ABC’s of Caregiving: Words to Inspire You. I loved the alphabetical format the author used to provide her insights and one of the best parts, in addition to the inspiration and encouragement she provides, is that it’s easy to read and assimilate.
Each ‘letter’ of the alphabet represents a chapter. Sometimes the author lists and then describes more than one word for the specific ’letter,’ but the descriptions are just right in length so as not to overwhelm the reader with too much information. I mean who has time to read lengthy books at a time when we’re care giving and we don’t have any extra time to sit down and read anyway? I’m not an avid reader as some are, but this book kept my interest all the way through. This book will encourage you and give you several different ways of making sure that you take good care of yourself.
I appreciate Dr. Davis giving me permission to provide the following selections from the “G” section where it initially describes the gifts of caregiving; then the author moves into a different theme and writes: “No doubt about it. Caregiving can be bad for your health and morale. Experts agree: Whether caring for a chronically ill, elderly or dying spouse or parent, stress and anger can take hold and kill compassion. What can be done to cope? I recommend a give-up program.”
I love that name “give-up program” and I think you will too. In fact, you will enjoy the whole book, and I highly recommend it to you. So here goes… whether you’re a possible ‘caregiver-to-be,’ or you’re in the caregiving mode right now, consider a “Give-up Program” today:
1 “Give Up Your Need To Always Be Right. So who wants to be wrong? Next time you feel the urgent need to leap into a fight over being right with uncooperative family members, ask yourself as Wayne Dyer does: “Would I rather be right or would I rather be kind?”
2 Give Up On Blame. It’s easy to point the finger at others for our mistakes – that takes away the responsibility instantly. Or, sometimes we blame ourselves for everything. It must be your fault that something has gone wrong – again! Erase blame from your repertory. There’s no room for blame when you replace it with love.
3 Give Up Your Self-Defeating Self-Talk. If you hear yourself talk in negative or hurtful ways, stop immediately. Ask yourself: Where is that mindset coming from? How can I turn around that mental spoiler that threatens my diligent efforts to give care? I’m better than that.
4 Give Up Your Limiting Beliefs: Elly Roselle said it best, “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it’s an idea that holds the mind.”
5 Give Up Complaining. Caregivers have a lot to complain about; but nobody and no situation can make you miserable unless you allow it to.
6 Give Up On Your Fears. Fear can throttle the best intentions of any caregiver. Fear originates in the mind but it can cripple our spirit. As FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
7 Give Up Your Need For Approval From Others. When we depend on what others think or say about us, we’re lost – both to ourselves and others. The moment you accept and embrace the real you, you can meet people on your own terms, effortlessly.
8 Give Up Your Excuses. Give up justifying your existence by pleading that caregiving requires your full time attention on a 24/7 basis. Recognize that these are self-imposed limits, rather than real-world demands. With imagination, you can abandon the excuses and lead a real life that blends caregiving with your own needs for sociability, fun, and being alone.”
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go” Lao Tzu