Times of crisis can bring out the best as well as the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve heard stories of people hoarding items and selling them to generate an outrageous profit, together with stories of people who selflessly met the needs of others despite their own fears.
The secret to weathering the storms, which are certain to show up within our lives, is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and offers suggestions which will help build caregiver resilience through any time of crisis.
- Express your reactions. It’s common to experience various responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other very difficult situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, trouble with sleeping, irritability, issues with concentration and focus, and hypervigilance. What’s crucial is to make sure these reactions are temporary, and do not advance into longer-term psychological problems. Acknowledge your feelings, and share them with a trusted confidante, or write them in a journal.
- Maintain social connections. While your instinct might be to pull away from friends and relatives during a crisis, keeping in touch on a frequent basis with individuals you care about is vital. Finding a support group, whether in person or online, is yet another good way to ensure you’re building and preserving social ties, allowing you to speak with other individuals in the same circumstances.
- Take a moment for self-care. This means something different to each individual, but should include enjoyable activities, engaging interests and hobbies, nutritious meals, lots of sleep, and exercise. If you find it is hard to carve out time for yourself as a result of caregiving duties, Responsive Home Care is always available to partner with you to provide trustworthy respite care. Caring for yourself lets you take better care of those you love.
- Realize what you are able to control – and that which you cannot. Letting go of what’s out of your control and concentrating instead on what you CAN control is one of the foundations of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”
It’s always best to seek professional counseling in the event your reactions to stressful circumstances are impeding your ability to maintain a feeling of calm and to tend to the necessary day to day activities of living. And, watch for signs that senior family members are going through undue levels of stress so that you can obtain the help they need also.
Understand that regardless of what life may bring, you can rely on Responsive Home Care to walk beside you with trustworthy, professional aging care services that empower older adults to remain resilient and independent. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to learn more about home care assistance in Plantation, FL and throughout the surrounding areas.