3 things dementia caregivers should do every day

Uncategorized Jan 19, 2021

Welcome back Careblazer. Today, I want to share 3 simple things every Careblazer (and human for that matter) can start doing today to feel better without needing any extra time money or hired help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and life doesn’t seem to be getting any better over time, PLEASE take note and promise yourself to start doing these 3 things. Literally, you have nothing to lose but so much greater potential to gain. about something that relates more to you in your caregiving journey. If you can practice these 3 things intentionally and consistently in 2021, you will be amazed at how you can feel and how you can approach the world in this coming year. 


 And you won’t want to miss me tell you my response to the common excuses of “it won’t work” or “it’s too hard.” I’ll share that at the very end. 

If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here.

Okay, the 1st thing to start doing right every day, starting today, is practicing gratitude. 

Now I know you’ve heard this one before. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ve heard it and if you do anything on social media or have talked to a mental health professional in the last decade, you’ve probably heard about practicing gratitude. And there’ good reason for this, the evidence for gratitude is undeniable on all the benefits of improved health such as mood, sleep and so on. But I want to make a point that sometimes when something seems so cliche, like the idea of gratitude, it’s because it’s risen to such a level that it’s mainstream. Almost everyone has heard it and the reason is because it truly is that important and can be life changing. Here’s what you do, Every day just take a moment to name what you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be big, just something you appreciated, enjoyed, find beauty in, or would miss if it were all of a sudden gone. I track things I’m grateful for daily. I actually write down 3 things I”m grateful for daily. Some of my recent things included: walks with Niko, warm coffee, a nice text from a friend, a visit from  my brother, fresh fruit, and chapstick. Really, there are no shortage of things. 

So number 1 is gratitude. Practice this every day. 



Equal air time. This is where you practice being balanced in your thinking. The human brain is hardwired to see all the threats and negativity without much work. It is NOT wired to see the just as equally likely alternatives that are not so  negative. So, if you’re going to spend time worried about the future, thinking about losing all your money, thinking of never getting to hug your loved one again, never getting to travel...whatever it is your mind is feeding you, be sure to also spend time on the the just as likely possibilities of being able to travel again, being able to hug your loved one again. Equal air time. If you are thinking of something in the future, that means it hasn’t happened yet. Yet, this is what most of us are doing and its robbing us of our peace now. We are worried and stressing over futuree things that have not yet happened meaning we don’t know what will happen, meaning it’s just as possible that something else can happen and that something else can be something decent. 


You aren’t lying to yourself. You aren’t living in a fantasy land. You are just noticing, "Hey, my brain just offered me all of these scary horrible scenarios for what the future holds, let me also spend some time thinking of the great, lovely possible scenarios as well". After all, we are all just talking about a future that hasn’t happened yet. 


And finally, #3. 

Notice the good. This is to combat the thing all humans have called the negativity bias. Our brains are hard wired to notice the negative. So, here, I want to challenge you every day to notice the good. It’s similar to gratitude and being grateful for things. It’s noticing that you made it to the appointment on time, it’s noticing your loved one smile. It’s noticing your loved one slept in a little extra giving you some extra time to rest. Notice all the good that happens every day. For those of your who are super burned out right now, you’re likely surviving, but nothing good happens. I promise there are moments. Notice them. Make it a goal to notice them. 


Now, if you just focused on ONE of these 3 things you would start to notice significant changes in your life. It’s not that challenges go away or that things won’t be hard...they will. But it gives you back some of your power, it puts you more in an active role, and it gets you to see the full picture of life that gets overshadowed when your daily life is consumed with caregiving. 


Now, for the 2 excuses that will stop you from doing one or all 3 of these things. 

First, “But, it’s hard...or it’s easier said than done.” Yes, there was no announcement that change is easy or that this is easy. BUT, do you know what’s even harder than trying these 3 behaviors? Not trying them and continuing your journey just as you are. The research is pretty clear on that. So here you have 3 free things to do to start to turn things around, yeah it may be hard to do something different, but for many of you, life as you are living it right now is hard so don’t use that excuse. 


And then the excuse of “it won’t work.” How do you know that? So many people try something and say it doesn’t work yet they haven’t been living it. Trying this once or twice or for a week isn’t going to bring miraculous change. But living this...consistently making this a part of your life day after day will. I like to use the example of someone who is hungry and they eat. Hours go by and they get hungry again. Never ever does that person question that eating works. They recognize it as a sign that it’s time to eat again. Don’t doubt these 3 simple ideas because they don’t work as fast as you would like. But not doing them guarantees they won’t work. 


Let’s do all we can to make 2021 a healthier and happier new year. And we can’t wait on anyone else to do that for us. It starts right now with you. So choose one of the things above and tell me below in the comment which one you are going to implement. 




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