Are you the serious responsible one?
As a caregiver, you probably are. After all you became a caregiver taking on the responsibility of caring for someone else. And at times that can take a very serious person.
Juggling medications, treatments, appointments and diets is not easy. Nor is dealing with chronic illness. Helping someone with chronic pain can be one of the most challenging parts of caregiving. And it’s not always chronic physical pain. Sometimes the pain is emotional or spiritual.
Sherry has always been “the serious one.”
She takes her work and now her caregiving very seriously. To the point where her family and even her doctor are concerned. And doctors can be among the most serious of serious people!
Taking her work seriously always helped Sherry. It’s how she got into a prestigious graduate school and rose rapidly in her field. It’s also how she’s managed to juggle her career while caring for her elderly parents.
Lately though she feels tired, dragging herself through the day. She falls into bed exhausted and doesn’t want to get up with the alarm. Instead of facing each challenge with the enthusiasm she once had for finding a solution, now she views them as problems.
The last vacation Sherry took was years ago. She’s become too busy to exercise, and even following a healthy eating plan seems too stressful.
And at her last check up, her doctor said she’s at risk for diabetes and has elevated blood pressure. When asked what she does for fun Sherry couldn’t remember the last time she’d taken time to have fun.
Is fun missing in your caregiving?
With all the serious issues of caregiving, the state of world event and just everyday challenges it’s no wonder.
Maybe that’s a major part of the problem.
Laughter is one of the fastest stress reducers. It immediately counteracts the stress hormones.
Everyone has stress. It’s not only a part of modern life, it’s also a necessary part.
Stress is necessary?
Yes, stress can help you survive.
Stress causes you to produce stress hormones which in the short term can be helpful. Like in avoiding an accident while driving your car.
Long term or chronically, though stress hormones can damage your body. And caregiving is full of stresses. Both ones you can clearly see and the hidden stresses that are more subtle.
How can seriousness make your signs of stress worse?
- Taking yourself too seriously can lead to taking on too much responsibility…
- Too much seriousness increases your stress…
- When you’re too serious you may find yourself motivated not by positive factors but by fear.
Think you’re taking on too much responsibility?
You’re a caregiver the answer is probably “Yes.”
Maybe even if you don’t think so. Too much responsibility means taking responsibility for things you have no control over.
Like your parents’ chronic illnesses.
Or an accident that occurred when you weren’t in the room.
Or the unhappiness of the one you’re caring for.
Maybe you need to step back and look more closely at how serious you are and what you can realistically take responsibility for.
How does too much seriousness increase your stress?
Maybe it’s more a question of not enough fun leading to too much stress.
Laughter and fun are two ways to immediately reduce your stress.
Laugh out loud.
If you have to, start with a smile. Make it the biggest grin you’ve ever had. Yes you can do it in private.
After you smile, then laugh.
A deep belly laugh is best. Start where you can. Practice does make perfect!
What is motivating your actions?
Are you caring for someone because you love and respect them?
Or are you afraid what people will say if you don’t?
See the difference?
Be honest with yourself and check out the underlying reasons you do things. And then choose to do them for positive reasons, not out of fear.
While “The Fear Factor” may make good television ratings, it’s not a great way to live. Or a way to live a long healthy life.
Want more suggestions and even ways to practice fun in your life?
Recently I found a book that will help you immediately to reduce your stress by adding fun into your life.
You don’t have to be funny to add fun. And Dr. Cliff Kuhn has spent a lifetime learning the secrets to the natural medicine of humor. He’s compiled them in a book that is a quick read, filled with specific instructions on how to reconnect with the fun you knew as a kid. And—most importantly—rediscover the power of fun.
Just go to www.askdrina.com/addfun.
And start now to increase your fun while reducing your signs of stress.
To your healthy caregiving,
P.S. Have you become a very serious person? Don’t think of yourself as funny? Having fun and being funny have nothing to do with each other! Find out more at www.askdrina.com/addfun.
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. Full disclaimer and disclosure at http://theknittingdr.wpengine.com/policies/.