One of the best tools that you can add to your arsenal as a family caregiver is a journal and pen. Try this journaling prompt about balance and see how it helps you to create more balance in your own life.
Reflect a Bit
Set a timer and start writing about balance and what that might mean for you. If balance means that you’d get a little more sleep and take time to be more mindful about what you eat, write about that. Whatever balance means for you, start writing. What would change in your life if it were more balanced? What would you do or what might be better? The key at this stage is not to judge what you’re writing but to get some words on the page.
Re-read What You Wrote
When the timer goes off, take a couple of minutes to read back over what you wrote. You’re still not looking for ways to judge what you wrote. What you’re looking for instead is insight into anything that you might have missed while you were writing. Start a new sentence at the end of what you wrote about what you realized while you re-read your journal entry. This gives you even more insight into what you wrote.
Make a List
Now it’s time to use your journal entry for something practical. Start making a list of what it might take for you to regain some balance as a caregiver. Maybe it means letting your senior do more for herself when she’s able to do so. Perhaps it means hiring elder care providers so that you don’t feel guilty when you have to be elsewhere. Even if your list doesn’t seem feasible right now, write down your ideas. You can figure out the how later.
Revisit This Prompt Regularly
Balance means different things at different times in your own life and your own journey as a caregiver. Take the time every few weeks or months to try this prompt again. You might be surprised what you learn from one journaling session to another about just this particular topic. And you might be ready for different solutions at a different stage of your journey.
When you journal regularly, you start to become more honest with yourself. Try writing about a variety of different topics so that you can dig deeper into all sorts of issues. It only takes a few minutes but can do so very much for you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in West Trenton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.