The statistics of the emotional and mental toll caregivers experience are well-documented. Theoretically, the importance of caregivers attending to their own health is a salient fact. Yet many caregivers undergo physical problems, fatigue, isolation, financial difficulties, and many other concerns that crowd into their lives. Many have gone into survival mode. And consequently, thankfulness seems far down on your to-do list, even though it has been proven to be beneficial for health.
In an article from Harvard Medical School, psychology researchers asked individuals to keep a gratitude journal or write thank you notes to people who have blessed them. These studies have shown that an individual’s happiness measures have gone up when they do this. Active expression of gratitude can thus improve physical health and mental well-being–and it is easy to implement in your daily life.
Instead of adding another chore to your caregiver list, take a moment to incorporate gratitude into your day. When you wake up in the morning think of three things you are thankful for. Maybe you got an appointment with your doctor, or Mom took a shower that morning, or a friend called. Learn to thank those who work for you—your doctors, the nurses from the home health agency, your private duty caregivers. Managers, spouses, parents have learned that often, a simple thank you and appreciation of someone’s strength can help build a more positive relationship.