January 1 often signals a new beginning—a time to ask ourselves what we will change in the New Year. Some of us decide we are going to lose weight, exercise more, or stop smoking. Health related resolutions are almost always at the top of our resolution lists. Most caregivers are probably not pondering their New Year’s resolutions—but, maybe they should. What can you resolve to do in 2018 in an effort to take care of yourself?


Here are some tips for caregiver resolutions:


  1. Accept help. It’s difficult to not feel guilty when asking for and accepting help from others. However, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of accepting help so that you, too, can rest. The easiest way to accept help is to make a list of what you need help with. Anyone who is willing to help can look over the list and choose what they’re able and willing to do for you.


  1. Find caregiver support resources in your community. Find a support group in your local community. Studies have shown that the encouragement and empowerment, as well as the commonalities between those attending the support groups, is very helpful as a caregiver. Staying well connected with those who are going through similar things can be very mentally and emotionally beneficial to caregivers.


  1. Be realistic about what you can offer. Break larger goals into smaller tasks and keep realistic expectations for yourself. Learning to say no to certain things can feel impossible, but is important to set boundaries for yourself in order to recoup.


  1. Take care of your own health. Did you know that not getting enough sleep is the major cause of illness and stress in caregivers? Taking breaks is essential. Don’t be afraid to call on help so that you can get some rest. Acknowledging your grief is essential as it is the first chance you give yourself to take progressive steps forward.


  1. Learn how to effectively communicate with healthcare providers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take ten minutes before your appointment to write down a small list of questions to ask the doctor. You can also hire a health advocate. Severino Health Advisors is more than happy to help you communicate with all of your healthcare providers so that you can cross it off your long to-do list!


  1. Keep organized medical, financial, and legal documents. Trust us when we say that taking the time to organize all medical, financial, and legal documents will come in so much handy when you need it. This would be another great time to ask for help from someone who is willing to sit down and give you a hand! Having someone else with you in the most frustrating of times can make everything seem a little less stressful! You can read more about the importance of organizing your documents here.


  1. Give yourself credit that you are doing your best. You are doing the best you can. Give yourself some credit where credit is due! Reward yourself after reaching personal goals. And don’t forget to call Severino Health Advisors when times get tough. We are more than happy to help.