Mindfulness 101: How It Can Help Caregivers
Mindfulness is defined as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.
Since you work so closely, day to day, minute to minute, with your client, you are so invested in their feelings and emotions that you may oftentimes forget about your own.
One thing you can do to practice mindfulness as a caregiver is to put yourself in your client’s shoes to cope with your current state of mind.
Mindfulness usually leads to greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and inner peace by separating yourself from any emotion you may be feeling, whether it’s anger or stress, excitement, or anxiety.
Here are some ways you can practice mindfulness when it comes to managing your career and passion for caregiving!
1) What do you have in common?
While there may be a significant age gap between you and your client, try to remember what you both enjoy doing. If two people share the same hobby, like taking long road trips on a random weekend or singing and performing skits, it means that you are very similar to the people at your core. The next time you feel stressed, invite them to play some chess or solve a crossword puzzle together. This will help you both separate any negative feelings or emotions you have and instead, focus on something you genuinely love to do.
2) What are some things your client regrets?
Despite the fact that there is no deadline for achieving your dreams, there are plenty of life lessons and “what ifs” your client might be able to tell you about – so if you haven’t engaged in any deep conversations lately – do it! Everyone regrets one thing as they age. Whether it be losing the love of one’s life, or giving up on a career path, we all have and will have these same disappointments down the road. But there is another saying that you should consider when speaking to someone older about their regrets – it’s never too late. Try separating your dreams and goals from whatever concerns or negative hypothetical situations that have been stopping you from achieving them. Next, use your client’s insight as an external motivator to avoid the feelings of regret they feel now and go for whatever dream your heart desires!
3) What does your client do with their family and friends?
Besides yourself, your client may have amazing family and friends that come over and visit from time to time. Since this is a luxury not everyone enjoys, make sure you notice this and are more aware of the people who love you every day. You yourself are a blessing to your client, especially since you spend almost every day together and help facilitate what their children or family would like to do, but can’t. Remember to think of yourself as part of that family, and in turn, remember your own and realize how much they admire you. Having a great support system is key, but like your client, you need to make sure you are always appreciative of the individuals trying to make your life better – because you deserve it!