When Starting Over Seems Like a Daily Duty, 10 Steps to a New Beginning

When you hit the pillow at 10 p.m. last night, you thought: I hope tomorrow will be better.

But, tonight, at 12:30 a.m., you think: This starting over every day is just killing me.

The constant of caregiving is change. With change, comes its sister: Starting Over. Every day, you may feel like you're starting over. You start over with different services as your care recipients health declines, as help burns-out and disappears, as your care recipients abilities lessen, as your patience wears thin, as funding for the programs you use dries up. Just when you feel like you've made progress, a change causes you to start over. Its like yesterdays accomplishments and successes were simply a dream.

So, how can you stay positive when starting over drains you faster than a family members insensitivity? We've got 10 suggestions:

  1. Start your day with a routine that refreshes. Several of the family caregivers who visit Caregiving.com say they start days with time for reflection.Other family caregivers start their day with a few moments to journal. Others start their day with prayer or meditation or devotion. Create a ritual that's just right for you, that helps you find and keep your perspective.
  2. Live in the present. Fretting about the past and worrying about the future takes you out of what you can control: Today. Take one day at time, focusing onto days needs, planting seeds for tomorrow.
  3. Express frustrations to a comforting support system. Caregiving can be so lonely, but its awful when you feel you must go it alone. Vent to a comforting support system that neither judges or shoulds you. Let it out so you let it go.
  4. Really and truly embrace forgiveness. We know it as the best gift we can give ourselves. Sounds cliché, but it's true. Most important, forgive yourself.
  5. Take a daily temperature of your situation by asking these two questions: Do I have what I need? Does my care recipient have what he or she needs? Then,take action.
  6. End the day by listing three gratitudes. Count your blessings because that's how your blessings count. And, when you keep track, you keep building the blessings.
  7. Practice your faith, whatever your faith may be. Faith in a Higher Power who has called you to a Greater Good adds meaning to an experience that spurs more questions than answers.
  8. Enjoy the humor in the day. Its funny. When it is, laugh. When you laugh, you show appreciation for an incredible gift were given: A sense of humor.Exercise it.
  9. Keep in mind: This too shall pass. Oh, boy, it can seem like loss and darkness has settled in your home permanently. They may overstay their welcome, but they will be replaced by growth and light. They will.
  10. Believe in yourself. It keeps everyone else believing. And, on those days when you just cant believe all that's happened or believe in your ability to manage it, keep the faith. It keeps you.