January always seems to be a time of reflection. It’s the only month that we analyze the 365 days that just passed. We think about the memories, benchmarks, and accomplishments that were made in the last 12 months. We also think about what we could do better, or what we have been doing that we could do more of.
For caregivers, making a New Year’s resolution takes careful planning. It’s a lot tougher to make changes in your life, or set out goals to accomplish, when you are caring for a loved one. Their life depends on your care. How can you make changes in your life that may affect their life?
It’s time to think about resolutions in a new way. Often, they seem like this baggage we take on from day one of the new year. New Year’s resolutions should be attainable, something that you really can accomplish. They shouldn’t weigh you down.
Here are nine resolutions that are achievable, positive and perfect for caregivers:
Improve Your Concentration: Now more than ever there is a need for us to concentrate on concentration. With so many different distractions out there, it’s becoming harder and harder. This January could be the perfect time for you to focus on disconnecting from those distractions. Meditation is a great way to work on concentration, and while your phone may be a distraction at times, there are many apps that can help guide you through mediation (check some out in this article). Improving your concentration can increase your mental skills and help you learn faster and solve problems with more ease.
Become More Confident in Yourself: Being a confident person in life is important. It helps you to be a great leader and to have your opinions heard. If you are confident in yourself (and you should be, you’re basically a super hero), those around you will be at ease. Boosting your self confidence can be done in many different ways. You could start by tackling a project in your life that you have been putting off and completing it from start to finish. If you have been trying to squeeze in working out back in to your life, finally make it happen (even if it’s just one day a week). Self-confidence creates overall happiness in life, which is a perfect resolution to work on.
Catch More ZZZ’s: You’ve heard it before, “you need to be getting at least 8-hours of sleep a night to live a healthy life.” Everyone from doctors, to our parents, to probably some of our teachers along the way have preached the importance of a good night’s sleep. But, some days there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to possibly get 8 hours of sleep. Maybe you also have issues with falling asleep (and staying asleep) on top of that. Make this year the year you finally figure out how you can get the best sleep possible.
Let Go of the Past- It’s time to let go of the things that have been weighing you down. Sometimes life deals you a crappy hand. It’s hard to not get down when things are difficult, unfair and sad. Dragging around your issues from the past doesn’t allow you to make the best of your future. If you have had a falling out with someone, maybe it’s time to make amends. Or if you’ve been having a hard time dealing with your child’s diagnosis, possibly it’s time to seek therapy or support. Life isn’t always fair, but it’s how we choose to deal with it that helps shape our future.
Take Control of Your Health: Caregivers have a very important job. A big part of this job is monitoring the health of their loved one. They are the life line for that person, and sometimes their entire life depends on the care that they receive. As this is the case in so many caregiver’s lives, their health usually falls to the bottom of the priority list. Make 2018 the year that you start focusing on yourself too. If you are not healthy, how can you provide care to your loved one? It’s time to get that physical you’ve been putting off! Schedule regular appointments with your doctor and make yourself a priority.
Focus on Your Love Life: Has it been a while since you and your significant other have spent time alone? It probably feels impossible to squeeze in a date night when you’re a caregiver. There’s a million reasons why this happens. Who will babysit? Will they know how to provide special care to your loved one? What if something terrible happens while you are away? These are all valid thoughts, but they are also road blocks in your life.
Make plans this year to spend time with your significant other. Be more romantic. Go out on dates. Spend time together. It may take compromise, but it will be worth it.
Make Your Good Habits a Lifestyle: If 2017 was a year that you really made positive changes in your life, it’s time to make those habits a lifestyle. If you changed your diet, workout plan or outlook on life, make 2018 the year that those changes become permanent. Oh, and, keep up the good work!
Be Grateful: Some days may be harder than others when it comes to taking on this resolution. It’s difficult to feel grateful when you have been in the hospital for 23 days straight by your loved one’s side. Though this may be more challenging than other resolutions, it’s not impossible to accomplish.
You could be having the worst day, but try to find goodness in that. It could be a sunset, or maybe a nurse that is going above and beyond. Whatever your situation is, take time to find the goodness in each day and be grateful.
Reconnect with an Old Friend: Is there someone in your life that you’ve lost touch with that you’ve been thinking about a lot lately? Make this the year you reconnect with them. Sometimes friendships fall apart from long distance or life being super busy. Whatever the reason is, put that aside and reach out. Who knows, maybe you both are going through a similar challenge in life and it’s the perfect time for you to reconnect.