Caregiving can be a mind-numbing experience. Every day brings more of the same, until you’re sure you’re going to crack under the pressure.
While routine may be a good thing for the person you are caring for, it doesn’t mean that you should accept more of the same every day. Small changes can do wondrous things for your attitude. Simple joys can give you a new lease on life.
Turn off the news, television, and computer
Television has become a full time babysitter, especially for those that stay close to home. But how many more cooking shows can you truly watch? Why not put what you’ve learned into practice instead? Pick up a cookbook and give a new recipe a try. Experiment with different recipes to find the best in a category – the best eggplant parmesan recipe, for example. Give the person you are caring for a chore or two. Whether it’s mixing and chopping, or simply enjoying the food, you’ll both enjoy a few hours doing something new.
Take a class
Everyone has a hobby or something they are interested in. When was the last time you picked up your knitting needles? Or tried your hand at scrapbooking? Now is the time to actually do it. Take the plunge and take a class. In some cases, you won’t even have to leave home. A quick search can bring up a wealth of information on any subject you can imagine. You can also search sites like Udemy to learn a new skill online.
Have lunch with an old friend
The Internet has made it easier than ever to get in touch with people from your past. This includes the person you are caring for. Is there someone you would both enjoy visiting and having lunch with? Even if you live far away, try having lunch through technology – Skype, Facetime or Google makes it easy to chat from anywhere in the world.
Start a garden
Whether you live on a few acres of land, or have a balcony several stories up in the sky, there are many plants and herbs you can grow indoors and out. Experiment with different plants. Learn how to mix and match and not only create beautiful landscapes, but enjoy the fruits of your labor too.
Get busy in arts and crafts
There are many different activities that can allow you to get your hands dirty. Take a trip down your local craft store and get some ideas. Visit your local library and check out a few books to help get you started.
Go for a walk
If your loved one is able, you can walk together. Don’t stick to your neighborhood, find new places to explore. Parks are everywhere, most with paved pathways that make it easy to walk and hike. The fresh air and exercise will do you both good.
Start a hobby night
Book clubs, wine clubs, supper clubs – there are always people in your community with similar interests. Put a notice in your community paper or neighborhood news and start up a club you can all benefit from.
Start bird watching. Or star gazing
You don’t have to go far to enjoy this big, beautiful world. Right outside your door may be dozens of birds chirping away. What are they? How about heading outside on a peaceful night and enjoy the stars? Pick up a guide and learn to identify everything around you.