Caregiving involves relationship building. And, a healthy relationship involves trust. Trust is defined as, "the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something."
Trusting another person or them trusting you is something precious that is earned. When someone allows you or asks you to care for them, they are entrusting you with their being.
A fundamental building block of trust is "walking the talk" or doing what you say you will to the best of your abilities. You tell your family member you will do something for them or you will be home to take care of them at a certain time. Even if you don't say, "I promise" each time you speak, make your words to that person just as important as if you made a promise.
Sometimes in order to accomplish what we need to for ourselves, as well as our caregiving responsibilities for another, keeping life as simple as possible allows for better time management and priority setting.
When you put off doing something that you know you need to do, without even realizing it, you are spending time and energy in delay. When you spend time and energy unproductively, it takes away from the time you need to enjoy for yourself and to be productive.
Some tips for managing your time and along with that, keeping things simple include:
- Make a list of the things that are especially important
- Create a list of things that you need to do and haven't done them yet
- Do what you say you will do
- Do the hard things from your list first
- Get rid of items you no longer need - this makes room for new things
- Seek extra support and help - remember caregiving is not well done alone
- Take time off even for fifteen minutes - we all need a break and make your break a time just for you to enjoy
- Learn and practice saying "No" to requests that fill you time with activities that are unimportant to you
We know only too well that life is short. Be, enjoy, and live in the moment. Let go of any regrets or guilt. A coach once said, "Leave the accident scene" or in other words forget about the bad shot and focus on getting the next one right. At the same time, learn from your mistakes so you avoid repeating them...know we are all human and all make mistakes!
As you build the two-way trust with your care receiver - or even with a friend - both you and that person may disappoint each other from time to time. When this happens, it's healthy to talk about what happened. Learn from each other and grow together in your relationship of trust.
Finally, always know that you are free to call the AACY/CYP office (561.391.7401) to speak with a member of the "A-Team" to discuss any concerns you have as you care for your family member(s).