As a young caregiver, I originally often struggled mentally with the various challenges I faced. I often dug myself deeper and deeper into a hole of sadness when I made mistakes while taking care of my mom. If you are an overthinker and perfectionist like me, you might find it extra challenging to move past those negative moments and focus on the present situation at hand. The overthinking and negative thought circus often happened to me at different points during the day and could end up spiraling the day into a never-ending “all bad” mindset. I was starting to feel like nothing I did for my family, my relationship, or myself were good enough; the added pressure was difficult in addition to the already enormously full plate that I had. I couldn’t seem to crawl out.
One day, my friend, who happens to be a speech language pathologist, sent me a text:
So I just met with a patient and their family. Your mom is so lucky to have you as her advocate.– Lauren
I burst into tears. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear that. From that point forward, I have used a variety of affirmations to get through my rough days as a young caregiver.
What Is An Affirmation
Caregiving was never part of the plan, as I mention here. I use an affirmation as a personal mantra when caregiving or life challenges feel overwhelming. It is a quick and easy statement that I can say to myself to reset and reevaluate the situation. I use them when I start overthinking and fall into the negative thought rollercoaster.
Why You Should Have A Caregiving Affirmation
Since I began using affirmations on a regular basis, I have found that I have responded to my caregiving challenges with an increased positive approach. My stress levels have gone down when I use them and a feeling of relief follows. By interrupting my negative thoughts and saying something like “I am advocating for my mom; things could be so much worse if I wasn’t,” I am giving myself permission to not be perfect and to know that there are some situations that I will not respond to correctly and that is okay.
How to Create An Affirmation
To create an affirmation start by doing some self-reflection. Think about what you would like to hear from someone when things are feeling overwhelming. What would you tell a friend if they were in your shoes? Think about a saying that will disrupt your brain’s thought pattern. An affirmation should be used to interrupt your negative thoughts and help you move forward with positive purposes.
Once you have reflected, write down a couple of sentences or phrases you thought of that could improve your spirit and interrupt your negative thought pattern.
Here Are Some Examples That I Use
- Today was hard, but tomorrow will be better. If I am lucky, she won’t remember.
- I am advocating for my mom, things could be so much worse if I wasn’t
- I am the hero, not the villain.
- I am doing the best I can with the crappy hand I was dealt.
- I love my mom, and I hate Alzheimer’s
- My loved one is so lucky to have me
I Have My Affirmations–Now What?
Use them! I’m not going to lie it, is kind of a weird feeling at first, but start getting used to tooting that horn of yours. Set a goal for yourself to try and say one affirmation daily. Be proud of what you are doing as a caregiver. I am proud of what you are doing as a caregiver.
If you are feeling brave, write a comment or send me an email with your affirmations. I would love to hear what you come up with!
Until next time.