Infusing moments of joy and laughter back into your life can improve your ability to cope with caregiving stress, strengthen your immune system, and release “feel good” endorphins that help your overall mood.
4 Ways to Add Joy to Your Day:
- Create a “joy list.” Make a list of things that make you laugh or smile. The joy list can include joyful moments, like a beautiful bird you saw outside or a flower you noticed in the yard. It can also include favorite memories, the name of a T.V. show that makes you laugh, or the title of a song that makes you smile. When you are looking for a quick pick-me-up, look back at this list to refocus your mind on things that encourage you!
- Eat joyously. Caregivers tend to eat rushed meals and skip needed meals. Be sure to eat multiple meals and snacks each day. If possible, try to focus on eating (instead of your to-do list) as you take bites. During the springtime, as ripe fruits and veggies are becoming more abundant, add one or more colorful items to your plate. The variety of colors will stimulate your mind and provide much needed nutrients.
- Be joyous around your loved one. Having a positive, lighthearted, or even a playful tone of voice can be as uplifting to your mood as it is for the care recipient. If your loved one isn’t responsive, you can still talk joyously to him or her. Remember that your loved one is much more than the disease, and you are so much more than a caretaker.
- Make the most of springtime. The world around us is full of signs of new life. Take a moment to open a window or crack a door to hear the birds singing during the morning. Trim a few blooms off of a beautiful plant and sit them in a glass on your counter for you to enjoy each time you walk by. Enjoying nature and bringing the outdoors inside can be a refreshing, stress reducing experience!
Inspired by a Today’s Caregiver article titled “Eight Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life.”