Monday Mojo for Caregivers – Being Fully Present While Caregiving
Hello and welcome to Monday Mojo for Caregivers. Mindfulness, in its most basic sense, is the art of being fully aware and in the present moment in the absence of judgment. Typically, this is opposite of a caregiver managing multiple tasks, often for more than one household. Mindfulness allows for the full experience of life as it is happens. This may seem impossible for a busy caregiver. However, the reward for even five minutes of mindfulness between you and your loved one is one for the memory books.
Caregivers have a very long list of tasks including: pay bills, do laundry, change bed sheets, wash and comb hair, drive to appointments, and pick up prescriptions. While the goal may be to accomplish as many tasks as possible in the shortest amount of time, the true goal is to maintain, even improve, the quality of life for our loved one. In truth, 3-5 minutes of just being engaged and present in the moment with our loved one is more precious, rewarding, and healing than a clean house.
There are many ways to engage in mindfulness. Here are three ways to incorporate mindfulness into a busy caregiving routine:
1. After changing the bed sheets with fresh linen, sit or lay with or next to your loved one. With soft music, or in silence, remark how fresh the linens smell, how nice they feel, and how nice it is to share this moment with him or her.
2. While in the waiting room, practice mindfulness together. Notice all the colors in the room, become aware of the fluctuations in sounds around you, count the number of smiles you can trade with others.
3. Your loved one may have limited verbal, attention, concentration or mobility. Mindfulness is about being in the moment. Take notice and engage in those moments of attention, awareness and coherence. Value that time with them being fully present in the moment with him or her by acknowledging their presence and you being there to experience it fully.
Mindfulness is sharing a moments of silence, laughter or tears fully, without worry of all the tasks to do. These moments are why we assume caregiver roles. These are the moments we will remember, not the business of caregiving. While all the tasks are worthy duties, time spent together is a better choice.