Acting as a caregiver of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s can be a real challenge. In addition to your loved one’s declining health, your workload is always increasing, and the long list of responsibilities and duties can begin to feel overwhelming.
Finding gratitude in the midst of the stress is crucial to a caregiver’s overall health and wellbeing. Here are four tips to help caregivers find gratitude.
- Build gratitude into your daily routine. Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine is one of the most effective ways to practice gratitude. Set aside a specific time in your day to reflect on your reasons to be thankful. Anchor this time to something you already do every day, like after brushing your teeth or before getting into bed.
- Start a gratitude journal. Journaling is a proven method for practicing gratitude. Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to jot down a positive thing from your day can be helpful. In times of stress, or to jump-start your day, take a few minutes to go back and read previous entries.
- Notice the little things. Noticing the little things to be grateful for can be hard, but they are important. Think about a meal you had with a friend or a sweet moment with a loved one. Appreciating these seemingly small moments can make all the difference.
- Share gratitude among friends and family. Let the people in your life know you’re thankful for them. Sending a thoughtful text, handwritten thank you note or making a phone call are some simple ways of letting others know you’re grateful for them. If you’re feeling extra generous, treat them to a meal or special gift.
Remember, in times of stress that there are always reasons to be thankful. Gratitude doesn’t amount to feeling thankful or happy all the time. It is a way to lessen the effects of stress on your life. It may take a little bit more effort to find it some days, but the results are worth it. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it becomes, and the more you will be able to stay positive.