To All Seniors & Caregivers
In our lifetime, the times we touch the world most deeply and really let our light shine are when we give. And we all do in amazing ways. From the smiles we offer, the small votes of confidence to someone who may need a little reassurance, and even the kind "Good Morning" or "Thank You" that acknowledges another's presence. We all give, even when we don't realize it, and it's ultimately what makes the world go round!
Me, Ask for Help?
But being able to recognize all that we have done through our lives is just as important as the deed itself. It allows us to smile and be proud, accept gratitude, and appreciate others when they wish to do the same of us. There are points in life for all of us, no matter our age or position, where we have had to make adjustments. Sometimes those changes have been in the roles we've played among our friends and family or in our personal capabilities and physical limitations. Sometimes we need a little more help than we're used to, whether it be a friend to talk to, help with daily chores like grocery shopping, or transportation to and from the doctor's office. Asking for help and receiving it can make all the difference in easing our own load and give others the chance to feel good about what they can do for us because even those we help want to give back to us.
So whether you're entering a new phase of your life as a senior citizen or taking on the role of a caregiver to someone you love, there are changes that we all need to adjust to. We may be facing new challenges and even feel a little overwhelmed with how to handle transitions into a new home, worry about financial changes, the loss of a loved one, even a sense of our ability to balance our lives. It's during these times that we need to make sure we're taking care of ourselves and receiving support when we need it, whether we're used to accepting it or not.
It's important that we work on staying mentally and emotionally fit so we can find our way through these times. We can do so by making new friends and maintaining old connections, keeping up with favorite hobbies or finding new ones. Taking out time for ourselves, even small amounts like going to the mall or coffee shop, enjoying a movie or concert keeps us grounded. So it's important that we do frivolous things, especially when we feel overwhelmed with life - we have to step away and take little breaks to reset our clocks.
Be patient with yourself.
It's important to be able to say, "Hey, this is tough to get through". Give yourself permission to feel anxious, overwhelmed, sad, or even angry. For those of us you who are caregivers, listen to your body instead of ignoring the symptoms or getting anxious over them. Remember that you have to stay physically and mentally fit for the long haul so eating healthy, taking time for restful sleep, and exercising even just a little a day, like an evening walk around the block, or a simple stroll through the mall will help you feel more replenished and able to find balance between your family and commitments. It will also provide you with a tempo so you have a focus and routine that encourages you to move forward one step after the next.
And when you need it the most, remember to take a break, plan for a small vacation or long weekend every few months, even if it's not far away. You can stay with friends, go camping, or rent a small cottage to take a breather and regroup. It's well deserved and will help you care for yourself so you can keep giving back to those you love. At GoVa Counseling we know more than anyone how important it is to invest back into yourself. When you give everyday you have to take time to replenish yourself too. If you don't there won't be anything left of you to go around or to give to the people you care about!
To help you stay on track, or help someone you care about identify signs of Depression we've listed some common ones below. If you feel you may have depression, it's a normal response to stress and change and can easily be treated with the right care. Give us a call or talk to your doctor and we'll help you get the support you need so you can keep doing what you love and giving back to make the world a happy, shiny place!
Some Common Signs of Depression:
Wanting to be alone
Finding no joy in life
No interest in activities or maintaining priorities such as paying bills, laundry, eating
Neglecting appearance and/or hygiene
Feeling Hopeless or Helpless
Distrust in others, resentment
Regular thoughts of death/dying
Difficulty making decisions
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Agitation or anger