As a caregiver, it is important to celebrate the little things and the small victories along the way. Caregiving can be challenging but it also brings beautiful rewards. It is time to enjoy your caregiver life, so let’s talk about how.
Being a caregiver has its ups and downs, that is for sure, and it is not always easy. That is why I find it important to celebrate the little things along the way of a caregiver’s journey.
We want to be there for our loved ones, provide for, nurture, and support them. But if we are not careful, depression and anxiety can creep in without us even realizing it.
Learning to live in the present moment and appreciate the small things is a great way to stay on track as a busy, healthy, caregiver.
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Why Is It Important To Celebrate The Little Things?
Celebrating the little things on a daily basis, and being mindful of all of those small moments, benefit you and your well-being in a greater way than the big things and big goals.
Keeping track of those everyday smaller achievements, rather than waiting for those big goal accomplishments that don’t happen as readily, keeps you engaged and motivated.
The simple things and small action items are what help you stay present, happy, and uplifted in your everyday life.
Check out this VIDEO and how I make time to celebrate the little things as a busy caregiver
Health Benefits Of Celebrating The Little Things
According to research, our brains are wired to remember negative experiences far more readily than positive ones. This is called the negativity bias.
The negativity bias is believed to be an old ancestral survival mechanism because one must be aware and learn from negative outcomes in order to survive.
That said when we acknowledge small milestones and wins our brain releases dopamine, among other feel-good hormones, which are linked to motivation and help us feel positive emotions.
When we consciously take the time to celebrate everyday moments, it is easier to feel like we matter. Little moments can make a big difference, and they are absolutely worth celebrating.
10 Simple Ways To Celebrate The Little Things Everyday
Here are some of my favorite ways to participate in little celebrations every single day. You can do them too!
1. Gratitude Journal
This is one of my favorite ways to keep track of small wins. Keeping a gratitude journal, or a gratitude list, is a great way to be thankful for the blessings you do have and to live with a grateful heart.
I have written several posts on journaling and morning routines. It is something I do almost every day, and I can honestly say, for me, this is one of the most powerful tools to help me stay positive as a caregiver.
2. Watch A Beautiful Sunset
We get beautiful sunsets here on Cape Cod so when we have good weather, heading down to the beach and watching the gorgeous sunset is the thing to do.
But even just sitting in the backyard, or on the porch or patio, looking up at a clear sky as the sun begins to set is a wonderful way to relax and be thankful for a not-so-little thing!
3. Physical Health
Taking care of one’s health is incredibly important as a caregiver. In fact, this is what the Parkinson’s and Us community is all about!
Reminding caregivers of the importance of caring for their own health even before caring for others. After all, if you do not feel good, then it will be that much more difficult to care for the ones you love.
Being physically healthy goes a long way, and if you are feeling well then I would definitely take some time out to be thankful for this blessing each and every day.
4. Spend Time In Nature
Spending time in nature can have a wonderful, peaceful calming effect on the body.
I really enjoy going on walks, looking at wild flowers, and exploring nature.
But frankly, I do not always have the time to look at all of the beautiful things Cape Cod has to offer.
On sunny days, when I know I will be too busy working and taking care of Doug, my guy with Parkinson’s, I really try to take some time to sit outside with a cup of coffee or an iced cold drink and soak up the sun. Even if it’s just for five minutes.
It doesn’t always happen but when I’ve accomplished that tiny step, I make a point to be grateful.
Smaller milestones matter just as much as the bigger ones if not more.
5. Include Others When Celebrating
When was the last time you did something unexpected for a family member or friend? Like buying them a coffee, sending them flowers or a card?
Celebrating the little things doesn’t always have to be done in isolation.
Sharing with a friend or family member, and letting them know how much you care for them can make a big impact.
And if friends or family are going through difficult situations, then even more reason to reach out to them and celebrate the little things together.
6. Making Simple Goals
I’m a goal-oriented person. I simply love setting goals and then working toward achieving them.
Goals don’t have to be lofty and huge, in fact, the more small goals you make and achieve, the more you can reward yourself and feel great.
So make those small goals, make them tiny, and enjoy the wins!
Here are examples of small goals I make on a day-to-day basis.
- Make my bed right when I get up and out of it.
- Read the Bible, even if it’s just for 5-minutes.
- Wash my hair – ha! It’s long so it takes foreverrrr.
- 50 lunges a day no matter how I do it, even if it’s done all throughout the day.
- Fold the laundry.
- Walk the dog.
- Make that nagging appointment.
7. Develop A New Skill
Sometimes it’s fun to challenge yourself and learn a new skill.
Again, it doesn’t have to be anything huge and you are not getting graded on it so you don’t have to worry about getting a good grade. 😉
As a simple example, I bought a battery-powered charger for my car just in case of an emergency. Being mechanically challenged I had no idea how to use it.
But my goal was to learn so I wouldn’t have to rely on Doug, or AAA, just in case.
I read the directions, and Doug wanted to show me but I told him no. I asked that he just watch, and IF I was going to blow up my car, only then could he intervene. 😉
Well, I did it. So now I know how to jump my own car with my brand new battery-powered jumper cables.
Success, small wins, and perfect happiness!
8. Little Things Quotes
I like to have little sayings and quotes hanging about the house.
I’ll have them written down in my journals, stuck onto my refrigerator, or even on my computer’s home screen.
I find they are helpful and inspiring.
There are so many ways to find beautiful quotes. Do one Google search and you will go down a quote-filled rabbit hole.
I’ve listed a few quotes throughout this post. I hope you find them inspiring.
9. Stay In The Present
In this day and age, when life seems to move so fast thanks to computer technology, the internet, and more, staying in the present moment isn’t always easy.
But I find when I do, I am that much more relaxed and content.
One of the worst things we can do to tear down our happiness is to compare ourselves to others.
Social media is no help in this regard so it is extremely important to focus on your own well-being, and just live life.
We all have our own paths, and that is what makes life so interesting.
So go do your own great things!
Let me start by saying that self-care is not selfish.
Taking care of yourself, on all levels, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, is valuable and important.
I liken self-care to an exercise in self-love, and how much you value yourself in this world.
It isn’t thinking only of yourself 24 hours a day, or indulging in expensive pampering treatments all day long.
Self-care can be valuable things like setting boundaries in an unhealthy relationship or stopping work at 6 pm so you can have dinner with your family.
Along with many others, these are important exercises in self-care and worth thinking about for overall health.
A Caregiver Lifestyle
Not everyone chooses to be a caregiver but rather they fall into it due to unforeseen circumstances.
This can make it even harder to adjust to, and I pray for those to whom this has happened, that they find their way and learn to cope healthfully.
Doug and I didn’t expect to be in the positions we are in, and he certainly wasn’t planning on getting Parkinson’s disease.
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, and a caregiver’s life can be beautiful, rewarding, and fulfilling.
Take the time to appreciate the small little things that occur throughout your day. Take the time to smell the roses as they say.
Life is short, and caring for your loved ones is probably the most important thing you will ever do.
And the Parkinson’s and Us community will be here to support you, the caregiver, as you carry on and support those whom you love.
FREE GUIDE FOR YOU
For more caregiver support, grab this FREE wellness guide to help you jumpstart your own healthy routine.
More Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Caregivers
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And if you wish to follow me and life on Cape Cod, you can follow me on my Instagram page @parkinsons_and_us.
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