Put a Filter on Negativity to Improve Caregiver Attitude
Maintaining a positive mental attitude as a caregiver doesn’t just happen. It takes conscious effort and a willingness to filter out the negativity in your life.
I used to be a news junkie. A few years ago I realized I was getting really angry and upset about events over which I had no control. Watching the late news and hearing about the most recent political bumblings, bombings, natural disasters, murders, rapes, drug busts and child abuse cases was sending me to bed with feelings of sadness and despair. I finally realized I couldn’t emotionally afford to end my day with a huge dose of negativity, so I turned off the TV.
Recently I had lunch with my friend Mary who brought up (once again) the troubled friendship she has with another woman. She’s been talking about this toxic relationship for at least four years.
I finally got exasperated with this ongoing saga and I said, “Mary, for crying out loud, you get no joy from this relationship. That woman sucks all of the oxygen out of any room she enters! She says mean things to you. She makes you feel bad about yourself. You get nothing positive out of spending time with her. END IT!”
Mary looked like I had slapped her, and I inwardly winced hoping I hadn’t hurt her feelings. But here’s the bottom line – it takes a lot of energy to stay positive when we live in a world that constantly bombards us with negativity.
I believe we can make choices about the people and information we allow into our homes, our hearts, and our minds. Being informed is important. Being kind, even to toxic people, may be necessary, but putting limits on how much negativity we are willing to absorb may help us maintain a positive attitude while we’re doing the difficult and generous work of caring for those who cannot care for themselves.
Caring for yourself and staying healthy mentally, physically and emotionally doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. For additional tips on how you can do that, check out this link: CaregiverHelp Self-Care Module