How Gratitude Gives Back (to you!)

In the middle of your caregiving days, practicing gratitude may sound like the last thing you want to do. You’re tired, you haven’t been able to finish projects you started weeks ago, and one more thing has gone awry in the house. How can you possibly make it through another day? 

Hopefully, not all of your days are like that, but there are times it may seem like it’s all imploding on you. So how do you keep going? What’s the magic button to press to make it through yet another day? Gratitude.

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This past week I’ve had conversations with caregivers that have lost their partner, Mother, and others fighting their own physical ailments. I’ve had my moments when I spoke with my Mom’s best friend who just lost her sister that touched off nerves of losing Mom, and quite literally wanted to have an emotional nuclear meltdown—tears flowing. 

I pulled away from the computer, put down my phone, took three deep breaths then went for a walk while giving gratitude for all of the good in my life. I’m not talking about material goods, but the ability to walk, to breathe, for people dear to me, and the clothes on my back. It was just enough to shift the energy. 

So many stories that I hear in our closed Facebook group, emails, or calls that I receive are so moving. Your days as caregivers have so many emotions that are tied to issues that affect your mental and physical health. These are all intertwined, so the more you can give back to yourself, even in the smallest way, can make a difference. 

Think about trying something new. When you wake up, start your day like this:

  • While sitting on your bed, before you rise, take several deep breaths in and out

  • Give thanks for the day ahead

  • Forgive yourself for any mistakes from yesterday

  • Find a mantra that you can say that fills you up, something like: “Today I will do my best, and know that is good enough.”

In a study published by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found in this article “The Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being,” research shows that people who practice forest bathing have optimum nervous system functions, well-balanced heart conditions. So even a short walk, can make a significant difference on your mental and physical health. 

While no ‘one thing’ will make everything in your life perfect, or at peace, you have the power inside yourself to lay the groundwork for positive waves that will support you: one moment, one breath at a time. 



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