…and WE CONTINUE TO BREATHE, My Follow-up Conversation For and About Caregivers and Self-Care with Loren Gelberg-Goff, LCSW, Author and Speaker
According to LCSW Loren Gelberg-Goff, while stress is a given in any caregiver’s life, suffering is optional! In this second of my two-part series on caregiving and aging, Loren and I discuss her book, Take Back Your Life: A Caregiver’s Guide to Finding Freedom in the Midst of Overwhelm. We also explore in some detail how caregivers frequently take on an assumption that their loved one must ALWAYS be viewed as the priority, at all times and in all situations.
In our first conversation, Loren shared strategies caregivers can utilize to “manage” their own emotions when caring for a demanding loved one. As a follow up to that discussion, we explore in detail how I ablely employed Loren’s advice while caring for my 95-year-old mother. (While I love my mom dearly, she knows how to push my buttons!) In fact, I found Loren’s advice helpful when dealing with any demanding person. You’ll want to learn more about this valuable practice.
As it turns out, better communication between the one giving care and the one receiving it can lead to healthier relations all around according to Loren. Her clients report improvement in their marriages, greater compassion for their aging parents and improvement in their overall health.
“You really can be relaxed, compassionate, resilient and loving - and embrace each day without stress or regret,” Loren offers. “As a caregiver,” she continues, “you just need the tools and practices for creating empowering new habits that lead to a life more like the one you’ve been wishing for.”
In this episode we discuss:
- How caregivers can make more time for themselves
- The process for setting compassionate boundaries and effective communication
- What to do when you feel angry that it’s all up to you--and just the “same stuff, different day”
- Help to focus on your needs to change, to get clearer about what you really want, and how to master effective new strategies for having more of that in your life
- The one crucial sentence that caregivers should use to receive support from others and change their life forever
- Why caregivers need to consistently make themselves a priority, clear in the knowledge that YES, they really do matter
- Why is it so important to just BREATHE
And so much more…
“Whether or not you choose to make a change in your attitude or behavior,” says Loren, “you will feel stress.” “Which stress will you choose,” she asks, “the same old, same old stress you know?” “Or the stress of doing something new and different?” “My goal in working with my clients,” she says, “is to increase their awareness of their needs and then encourage the desire to do something different.” “While change is inevitable,” says Loren, “you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be the best-cared-for, happiest version of yourself possible.”
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