With the new year just around the corner, now is a fantastic time to consider new strategies that can help you be a more effective caregiver and also provide benefits to your loved one. Journaling can not only help minimize caregiver stress, but can be utilized as an outlet to problem-solve and keep a record of caregiving related tasks. In addition, the benefits of journaling daily can include:
- Making you healthier. Writing about challenging emotions and situations for as little as 20 minutes per day for three to four days each week has been shown to increase immune system functioning, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, enhance mobility for those with arthritis, and more.
- Sharpening your caregiving skills. Reading back over the things you’ve written at the conclusion of every week allows you to pick up on any patterns, triggers that upset your loved one, certain times of day which are typically better or worse for the senior, etc. You can then take measures to proactively address these issues before they become problems.
- Helping you understand yourself better. Caregiving normally requires so much of your energy and attention, it is possible to lose sight of who you are and what’s crucial to you as a person. Journaling helps bring your personal feelings, thoughts, and emotions to the surface.
- Helping you understand others better. Along those lines, describing disagreements and misunderstandings in your journal will help you see things more clearly from the other person’s perspective, and supply insight into how to resolve (and steer clear of) conflicts.
Just like implementing any other new routine, it may take a while to get accustomed to the idea of journaling and to make it a priority. One of the keys is to reserve a designated time each day, in a quiet, private place, and to tell yourself that it’s ok to write about anything and everything that comes to mind.
One good technique for journaling is to utilize a “stream of consciousness” approach – not putting a lot of thought into what you are going to write and how to write it, but merely to begin writing and to keep writing continuously – whether or not it’s relevant to your caregiving duties or not. Remember, your writing will not be seen by anyone else (unless you decide to share it), or graded. Forget about perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation, and simply let your feelings spill out onto the paper.
If finding opportunities to devote to journaling is a challenge, turn to Absolute Companion Care, a provider of top-rated senior in-home care in Baltimore any time. We are always available to provide regular, ongoing respite care services that enable family caregivers the time they need for themselves. Let us partner with you to make sure your senior loved one receives the best possible quality of care, while you discover the healthy life balance you need and deserve.
If you are in the Baltimore area and asking, “Where are home health agencies near me?” reach out to us at 410-357-9640 for more helpful caregiving tips or for more information on our senior in-home care in Baltimore and the surrounding communities.