Finding Resiliency as a Family Caregiver in a Time of Crisis

senior woman making a heart with her hands
During a time of crisis, it’s important to prioritize self-care.

Times of crisis may bring out both the very best and the worst in us. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have heard stories of people hoarding products and selling them to generate an excessive profit, together with stories of wonderful people who selflessly met the needs of others despite their particular fears.

The key to weathering the storms that are certain to come up in our lives in an appropriate way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works closely with families of individuals serving in the military, and provides tips which can help build resilience through any time of crisis.

  1. Express your reactions. It’s normal to have a wide range of responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other overwhelming situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, issues with sleeping, irritability, difficulties with focus and concentration, and hypervigilance. What is crucial is to make certain these reactions are short-lived, and do not progress into long-term psychological problems. Accept your feelings, and share them with a friend, or write them in a diary.
  2. Maintain social connections. While your reaction may be to pull away from friends and family during a crisis, keeping in touch on a normal basis with people you care about is vital. Locating a support group, whether in person or online, is another great way to guarantee you are building and preserving social ties, making it possible to speak with others in an identical situation.
  3. Take some time for self-care. This means different things to every individual, but it should include enjoyable activities, engaging hobbies and interests, healthy meals, lots of sleep, and physical exercise. If you discover it is hard to carve out time for yourself because of family caregiver duties, JFS Care is always available to partner with you to provide dependable respite care. Taking care of yourself allows you to take better care of those you love.
  4. Understand what you are able to control – and what you cannot. Letting go of what is beyond 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 when your responses to stressful circumstances are impeding your ability to maintain a sense of calm and to tend to the necessary day-to-day activities of living. And, watch out for signs that senior family members are experiencing undue degrees of stress so that you can obtain the help that they need also.

Know that whatever life may bring, you can rely on JFS Care, the Los Angeles, CA senior care experts, to walk beside you with reliable, professional caregivers for the elderly in the Los Angeles metro area. Our top-rated home care services help encourage senior loved ones to remain resilient and independent. Contact us online or at 213-383-2273 for more information on how we can help you as a family caregiver.

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