Conquering Fear – How To Fight Your Phobia

By Roz Jones

Being a caregiver can be a scary thing, especially when we are new to the field.  The guide shares a few ideas for conquering some of those fears and phobias when taking care of a loved one once and for all! Please note, the fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) is used as an example – though the steps are applicable to any fear. 

1. Expose yourself to fear. 

If you have a phobia, you probably go out of your way to avoid the thing that causes you to feel afraid. In the claustrophobia example, you may refuse to use lifts, as they make you feel uncomfortable.  

Unfortunately, by avoiding the scenario you fear – the lift – you are actually increasing your overall fear. Avoidance does nothing but make a situation worse, and you need to face the fear before you can conquer it. That means getting into a lift, even if just for one floor. Make yourself do it.  

2. Positive reinforcement. 

After you have forced yourself to confront your fear once, you need to make it a positive experience. This can be having a dessert you enjoy following your ordeal, or buying something nice from your favorite store. Do this as soon as possible following your first attempt to confront the fear – in the example, you should dive into a cupcake the second you step out of the lift. As a caregiver, you should always show your support to your loved one as much as possible. Let them know you understand their fear, and that you are there to help them conquer it. If you are the one experiencing fear, let your loved one know and ask them for their love and support while you conquer it.

3. Rinse, and repeat. 

The way to conquer a phobia is to do the above, over and over again. As you do so, you will learn to manage the fear, and you will also learn that there really is no danger in what panicked you. By continuing to deliberately expose yourself to your fear, and then allowing a congratulatory moment when you succeed, over time, you will rid yourself of the fear forever. Be a team! The caregiver and the loved one receiving care can help each other conquer their fears, together.

Overcoming fear can be intimidating. In order to be the best caregiver you can be, conquering your fears are a must! If you need guidance on how to do this, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step.

Are You Productive or Just Busy?

By Roz Jones

Have you ever observed someone who seems to be busy all the time, but doesn’t really get anything done?  Do you feel that sometimes you’re in the same boat?  How do you know if you’re productive or just busy? It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s important that we manage our time efficiently, not only to give proper care to our loved one, but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves.

Do you have goals?  People who are productive generally have goals and focus all of their work on achieving those goals. Of course there are always going to be distractions and obstacles when taking care of a loved one but those distractions don’t take priority over the big picture.

Do you focus or multi-task?  People who multi-task often seem very busy.  They’re always doing something, but they’re rarely doing any one thing very well. Tackle each obstacle you face as a caregiver directly, you’ll be more productive if you focus on doing one thing at a time.

Do you delegate?  Sometimes you may take on tasks that would really be better to delegate to someone else. It can be easy to want to say yes to every task because you want to provide for your loved one. But you might be able to delegate personal tasks while keeping the focus on business tasks. This will improve the quality of care given to your loved one, and minimize the personal burnout you feel as a caregiver.

Do you say no?  People who are productive know how to say no to something that is going to take them away from their own important work.  It’s okay to say no when you really don’t have time to fit in one more thing. Don’t feel guilty when saying no to certain tasks related to your loved one. Instead, feel reassured knowing that this will benefit both of you in the long run.

Do you let some things go?  It may sound counterproductive to erase some tasks from your to-do list.  But you may find that you have given yourself tasks that really won’t move your vision forward and will take up extra time.  It’s okay to scratch something off the list and go a different way.

Do you have a schedule?  People who are productive tend to have a schedule for each day of what needs to be done and when.  If you’re not planning ahead, chances are you’re staying busy but not productive.

Do you complete projects?  You can be busy doing something all day long, every day and never get a project completed.  If you find you’re starting a lot of things without finishing them, it’s time to look at your priorities and become more productive.

Do you feel peace?  When you spend your time very busy but not accomplishing much you might feel a sense of anxiety. You may worry about all the things you need to do that aren’t getting done. Try as best as you can to remain present in each moment. Rather than expressing a sense of anxiety, this will help you express gratitude appreciating the time you get to spend with your loved one.

But when you’re productive, you can actually feel peace when it comes to work.  You know what’s important and you have a plan to get it done on time. 

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s crucial that we manage our time efficiently. Not only to provide the utmost of quality care to our loved one but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves. If you are struggling with how to manage your time, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step!

Build Calluses In Your Mind And Withstand The Toughest Challenges

By Roz Jones

As a caregiver, you will face challenges, failures, setbacks, and disappointments. How you deal with these obstacles will determine the outcome. Mental toughness separates those who fail to meet challenges and quit from ones who don’t. If your mind is trained to withstand whatever test comes, nothing will be too hard to overcome. If you train your mind right, you will bounce back from every failure and withstand difficulties. Nothing will be strong enough to keep you down.

6 ways to build mental toughness and withstand the toughest challenges.

  1. Have a clearly defined life purpose.

   Knowing your purpose in life and staying true to it each day will help you to build mental toughness. It will give you the strength you need to withstand the toughest challenges because you know what you intend to accomplish. You know that problem you have, no matter how difficult, is just another bump on the road. 

When you work towards your main aim each day, you boost your self-confidence and renew your hope. You train your mind to remain focused because you know where you want to be. So, have a clearly defined life purpose and take action every day so you can build mental resilience and withstand every challenge.

  1. Continue to improve your skills.

  The best way to cultivate mental toughness is by improving your skills. When trials come and you feel there is no way out, don’t give up. Continue to live. Keep doing more of what you are good at. What you love. This will help your mind to focus more on the positive side of things and less on the negative. If you continue to work on your skills while going through challenges, you will be surprised how fast your mind heals, discovers solutions, and helps you to overcome. 

  1. Control your emotions and thoughts. 

   Get rid of “This is unbearable” “I don’t have enough strength to face this” and “I just don’t feel like fighting anymore” because entertaining such thoughts causes your brain to think there is no way out. You will not find the strength you need to endure because you believe and confess that you are not strong enough. So, control your emotions and thoughts. Have the right attitude amid your struggles. Say “This will pass” “I will win this fight” and “I have endured and overcome worse things in the past” because sometimes all you need to face your battles is the right attitude.

  1. Build meaningful relationships

   Building meaningful relationships and having a strong support system is the key to cultivating mental toughness. Therefore, surround yourself with the right people. Be around optimistic people and fighters. That way, you will have somewhere to lean on when you feel you can’t go on. You will view your situation differently and sooner or later realize that you can bear with anything. 

  1. Remain optimistic despite your present situation.

   One of the main things that make it seemingly impossible to withstand trying times, especially as caregivers, is the “This isn’t going to change”mentality. When you expect only the worst and believe that turning your situation around is impossible, you are not going to gain victory. So, be hopeful despite your present situation. Trust that things are going to get better. Believe that you have what it takes to face that challenge and win. 

“Things will get better with time” “This will someday change” “I can fight this“I can do this” and “I will win” can help you to endure the toughest challenges.

  1. Be prepared for any outcome. 

   Fear of uncertainty is one of the most powerful things that force you to quit fighting when going through challenges. You don’t know whether or not things are going to work out and grow faint at the sign of defeat. Understand that enduring tests and trials means being prepared for any outcome. If you expect anything to happen and prepare yourself for change, you will survive difficulties and go through them with an “I am ready for anything” mentality. That way, when things don’t turn out the way you want them to, you will keep fighting and moving forward.
Preparing for the difficult things in life is something we never want to do, but as caregivers it is a must. If you are struggling with how to plan for yours or a loved one’s end of life, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step.

2 Legal Documents Everyone Needs Before They get Sick

By Roz Jones

Being ill is no fun. Neither is being unable to participate in making personal medical decisions. If you are unconscious or unable to articulate your consent for treatment, a medical provider or next of kin may have to make them for you. Preserving life is always the plan, but sometimes, believe it or not, you may not want that to be the plan. It is often easy to become overwhelmed and emotional when taking care of a loved one. Don’t let that stop you from preparing for the next steps. As a caregiver it’s important that we plan ahead for all circumstances.

Here are a few scenarios where life-saving measures might not be your first choice:

Scenario #1. A terminally ill patient with a disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s may not want to be fed through a tube or given antibiotics after a certain stage of their disease.

Scenario #2. A brain-damaged individual who will have to live indefinitely outside of their home in a facility may not want to be on a breathing tube or dialysis or other artificial life-saving machines.

Scenario #3. Someone with a pacemaker or other device may want it removed if their condition worsens to a certain point.

Under certain circumstances, life-saving measures make perfect sense. When recovery is likely and quality of life is high, it is worth the effort and time it takes to recover or endure life-saving measures. However, there may be times or circumstances where a caregiver needs to draw a line in the medical sand.

There are two legal documents that will make it clear to providers and your family that you do not want measures taken and if you do, what they are and when they stop.

An Advance Directive
A Do Not Resuscitate
(DNR)

An Advance Directive: An Advance Directive is a tool used to make end-of-life decisions ahead of time, alleviating medical staff and your family from having to make them. Your Advance Directive is a legal document that you can add to your will or trust so it is easily accessible if it needs to be enforced.

A DNR: A document that denies life-saving measures if your heart stops beating or you are unable to breath on your own.

These documents will help caregivers prevent life-saving measures that might prolong suffering or low-quality living. Consult your primary care physician to learn more and make the decisions that are right for you.

To get more information on end of life planning, be sure to purchase your copy of my upcoming book, Lifted. Enjoy!

The Only Thing Standing Between Success And Failure Is Mental Toughness

By Roz Jones

I once watched a TED talk about what separates ‘A’ students from ‘B’ students and generally why some students perform better than others. Angela Duckworth said that it’s not the talented, or intelligent that make it, it’s those students that persevered, it’s those students that tell themselves that no matter what they will succeed. She called this grit! I would like to think that this is what mental toughness is. Mental toughness is deciding to succeed against all odds, it’s what will push you when your back is against the wall and things do not seem to be working well for you. Mental toughness is what stands in between success and failure. 

The beautiful thing about life is that it does not have favorites. Challenges happen to us all and for some people, those challenges are a reason to give up and for others, they are reasons to go forward. When choosing the path of success, you are guaranteed obstacles but it is only your mental fortitude that will get you through those times. The way we think about things often makes a difference. When you have mental toughness, you condition your mind to only see success. Not that failure is non-existent but that you are focused because you know exactly what you want.

One of the definite signs that someone lacks mental toughness is a lack of focus and direction. When anything happens, you run with it and when things do not go your way you panic. Mentally tough people are focused and can put things into perspective, just because you run into some hard times it’s not a reason to throw in the towel. The mind is where the battle is, once you tell yourself that you can overcome, you certainly will, but once you think of yourself as a failure that’s exactly what you will be. Without mental toughness, any setback ceases to be seen as an opportunity for growth and progress but as a hindrance that stops you from going for the things that you want.

Success is an issue of mind over matter. It does not choose where you come from or who you are, it is all lodged in the mind. A tough mind possesses strong self-belief. Most people do not believe in themselves; they believe everything else just not themselves. You can achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. Success is for believers, people who believe in themselves and what they can do. 

After every cloud, there is a silver lining. We have heard this quite too many times. The hardest thing though is that during the storm when the clouds are gathering you cannot see any better. When you go through tough times as an individual, everything you have heard or know goes out the window and all your focus is on fixing the problem. The challenge is that when the storm drags on, naturally we give up. This is not true for people with mental toughness. They understand that tough times do not last. This is the true attribute needed to make it in life. Knowing that no matter how much the troubling times, a day will come when that silver lining will appear. Mental toughness begets perseverance and patience, understanding that ‘not now’, does not equate to ‘not ever’. A day will come and all the work and the sacrifice will come in handy.

Mental toughness is truly the separator between success and failure. It all rises and falls on our thought patterns and the things we believe to be true about ourselves. Without mental toughness when the rigorous tempests of life come, we throw in the towel on issues that could have led us to a better tomorrow. Your success or failure in life depends on you as an individual, you become what you think. When your mind is strong, you think positively, you think like a winner, but with a weak mind, you can flee at the first sight of trouble.

Sometimes You Must Suffer To Grow

By Roz Jones

Almost everyone loves a comfortable life and some will do anything and everything in their power to get it. It is for such reasons that we bribe our way out of some challenges and take shortcuts if the route to where we want to go seems long and presents countless obstacles. But what happens when we become too comfortable and don’t face challenges? Not make people comfortable in their failures and struggles but hey, they say a smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor and we will find out why.

It is not without a reason that people are being encouraged to get out of their comfort zones. As previously highlighted, as humans we long for a life of comfort, and who can blame us? Challenges can drain life and energy out of a person. We want peace, certainty, safety, and all the good things we can get. However, when we get too comfortable, we become content with who we are and what we have and, growth is slowed down or there is none at all. There is even the possibility of growing backward. 

There are various reasons why we suffer including our own choices and those of others. Whatever the reason, you get to grow in some or all of the following ways;

Suffering pushes you out of your comfort zone – it leaves you no choice but to do something to change your life. Some people are doing well in life because they vowed to themselves that they will not continue living in the poverty they grew up in. Maybe it is even safe to conclude that if some people had suffered enough, they would be leading better lives than they do now. This includes choices in relationships, academic performance, career choices, and job selection among other things. People tend to relax when they know or think they still have more options other than to get out of their comfort zones and do their best. Sometimes it is only when we have suffered that we become more willing to consider other options rather than stick to what we have always wanted.

Makes you stronger – most people who have gone through various kinds of suffering are stronger than those who have known comfort all their lives and just a few ‘nice life problems’. As you go from one challenge to another, you get to realize that crying and anxiety are a waste of time and energy. No matter what you are going through, a solution will come sooner or later. Spending time drowning in your sorrows only takes away more from you because you cannot think straight, you have all your energies focused on the problem which makes you less productive or desperation gets you going out of your way to find a solution. It is often people who have gone through the worst who are often there for others and are able to remain sane even where there is seemingly no hope.

Improves decision making – sometimes we suffer because of the poor decisions we or others make. Suffering the consequences puts us in a position where we try by all means to avoid going through the same things or causing others to experience the same. For example, some have suffered because of their parent’s or their own poor financial choices while others have spent their childhood in a home that lacked love and affected them in a way. The experiences can be the reason they decide to handle finances differently and aim to provide a better home for their children.

Broadens your understanding – suffering improves your thinking capacity helps you see life in a way you never would have seen it if all you had known was comfort. You get to understand your place in life and how you can be useful in your journey. In other terms, you learn to see beyond your space and interests.

Become the Toughest Version Of Yourself

By Roz Jones

Often, when we dream of being better people or improving our lives we think of our finances. We want to have enough money to afford cars, houses, holidays and all the nice things in life. Would that be enough or even possible if we did not have inner strength? Without being the toughest versions of ourselves? Toughness is one of the things we barely give thought to and when we do, it is often when we are cornered. We try to be tough when we are left without any other choice. As caregivers, this happens all too often because of the amount we take on.

We often associate being tough with having muscles, masculinity, a serious face, being inflexible, or being mean to others and the likes. Those are some of the most common connotations, but, does being mean, having muscles, masculinity, inflexibility, and keeping a straight face make you mentally tough? You can be all those things and still be ‘weak.’

It is important to note that we can never achieve perfection. The world around us and our situations keep changing, and will continue to do so. Therefore, we will need to either keep up or stay ahead to survive and remain relevant. To walk the path we dream of without wavering, we need our inner strength to match our dreams and purpose. We must be brave, determined, and focused among other things. We must be able to conquer your fears, doubts, and other weaknesses to be able to stand up against the world and reign. You need to be willing to keep growing and becoming a better person than you were yesterday.

To become the toughest version of yourself, you need to equip yourself in the following ways;

Work on your mental health – Your mental health is everything. The greater part of your being depends on it. Being mentally healthy is mostly about maintaining a positive state of mind. Your mental state determines your perceptions and how you respond to external pressures. If you are mentally strong, every other form of toughness is just a bonus. Mentally healthy people know how to choose their battles, are confident, are emotionally intelligent (control their emotions rather than being controlled by emotions), are strong-willed, and are not easily derailed from their main goal. A positive state of mind allows you to be in control of your life and enables you to make good decisions. As caregivers this is particularly important when facing fears.

Stay physically healthy – There is a connection between physical and mental health. Poor mental health puts one at risk of physical health and vice-versa. Also, you find satisfaction in your ability to conceive an idea and also be the one to execute it or see it through. You easily achieve goals and learn more when you are directly involved in making decisions as to how things should be done. Therefore, ensure that you exercise to stay fit, strong, and energized. It also helps you refresh your mind and relieve stress. One of the most important aspects of physical health that you need to prioritize is eating healthy. Your choice of food has immediate and long-term effects. Eat food that will help you stay alert and energized throughout the day while ensuring that you won’t be affected in the long run. 

Improve your skills – We live in a competitive world, all while being required to work with a team. It is not enough to acquire a skill and end there. Become the best possible. You do not want to feel like you are not as good as your peers, nor do you want to be the weakest link in your team. Being good at what you do gives you confidence and makes it easier for your voice to be heard. With good skills and the will to continue learning you will be respected and unstoppable as a professional.

Show love – They say ‘love conquers all’. It empowers you, while it denies entry points to anyone who wishes to be enemies with you. When the negative energy sent your way is met with love, the enemy is disempowered and it will not be long before they run out of plots. Choosing love helps maintain positivity, focus on that rather than focusing on unnecessary fights. Build meaningful relationships whenever possible. Love will most likely earn you respect and win people’s hearts. You will always need people on your side, especially when things get tough. 

Build a strong support system – Even the most mentally stable people do go through tough situations. They lose hope and get close to giving up. It always helps to have people who will give you the support you need to get back your strength. As a caregiver, this support system is exponentially more important for you because you cannot do this alone!

Refuse To Quit When All Others Give In

By Roz Jones

There are times when throwing in the towel seems like the reasonable next step. You look around you and you cannot ignore the evidence. The situation is tough. The support has dwindled. Hope seems too distant to carry you back to faith in the dream. Looking to the surrounding people does not offer comfort. They are also in such hopeless situations that they, too, are giving up. Quitting seems safe and logical.

In such moments, refuse to give in like everyone else. While their dreams are out of their reach and they decide to settle for comfortable pursuits like a boring desk job or relationship, you do not have to suffer the same fate. 

Sometimes it is good to take cues from your friends and peers, but your dreams are your own. Their failure and the circumstances that cause them to give up are unique to them in their own journey. Your story could be different. It may not call you to quit. Maybe the circumstances that surround you are there to help you dig deep within yourself for the strength you never knew you had. There is hope for you yet, and it is clothed in mental toughness.

Reasons people give up on their dreams.

Many people are relentless in building their vision, but they lack the adequate planning and execution to get things done. We get excited at the prospect of the vision, but sometimes, we are too hasty. We go in without a contingency plan. The frustration that results from each setback ruins our mojo. We lose confidence in the dream. 

Other people have the right dream and fool-proof plans, but lack the conviction they need for take-off. They lack confidence in their ability to bring the vision to life.

Another reason people give up is because they lack the patience it takes to reach their goal. They want instantaneous results. When they do not see them in a couple of weeks, they decide it is not worth pursuing and move on to the next dream. Nothing of value springs up overnight. Even flowers bloom in season, no matter how much you water and nourish them. You cannot skip your way up Kilimanjaro. It requires one patient step at a time to get to the top. 

People also do not know how to handle failure. When they encounter setbacks, they obsess over them instead of working around them. They beat themselves up over one misstep instead of finding their footing. Failure becomes a label they wear around them instead of a season to draw lessons from as they carry on with the journey.

Quitting is inevitable to people who refuse to adapt to change. Rigidity will cause you to break under the pressures of life. Many are reluctant to change tact when things are not going well. They would rather be stubborn and hold on to what is not working because anything outside of their plan is too intimidating.

Why you should not give up on yourself.

There is no guarantee of success on the first or second try, or even on the hundredth. Thomas Edison is living proof of that. So is Albert Einstein. No one hands success to you on a silver platter. You have to work for it. 

There are rewards for those who are persistent. Those who do not take no for an answer. When you apply a stubborn attitude to a tough moment, it will yield tremendous success. Do not give up on yourself just because everyone else has. No matter how bleak the situation gets, there is always hope for recovery.

Not giving up will have a great impact on your future. It may even touch lives around you. There are those whose destinies are linked to yours. Do not let them suffer the consequences of you giving up on your dreams. 

How to resist the urge to quit.

Sure, the season may be tough. Everyone around you may be quitting. Those you trust to support you may lack faith in the dream. They can even encourage you to try something else; something that is not challenging enough to put you in the path of failure. There are few ways that can help you stay strong and not quit.

Keep the vision close.

Start with the end in mind. Whenever you visualize the completion of your dream, you are building resistance against failure. Each time you paint a picture of success, there is motivation to attain it. You do the work better knowing there is a goal in mind.

Develop a winning attitude.

A winning mindset will get you far. It will not let your vocabulary revolve around quitting. People who win affirm themselves. They build confidence by constantly telling themselves that they will not give up. Have the same attitude. Refuse to take no for an answer.

Believe that a delay is not denial.

Good things come to those who wait.

Patience will always build resilience. When you know that success does not happen overnight, you will not quit when things seem to go slower than you expected. Instead, you will exercise caution and plan for the next endeavor or spend more time revising the plan.

Do not worry over what you cannot fix.

Constant worry over what you cannot control will drive you to quit. Accept that there are certain things that you cannot prevent in your journey. Failure is one of them. People’s actions and attitudes are another. People may ridicule your dream. You cannot control them or govern what they will do. What you have control over is your response to them. If your dream is something you believe in, worry only about achieving it.

People will walk away from their dreams. They will quit to avoid being hurt, disappointed or embarrassed. You do not have to join them. Fight for your dream. When they quit, show your loyalty to your dream by refusing to give up.

Caring for Elderly Parents

By Roz Jones

Joanne’s mother, Betty, had rheumatoid arthritis for years.  Suddenly and unexpectedly, Betty was disabled by the pain, fatigue and limited mobility that she had feared since her diagnosis.  

Joanne convinced her fiercely independent mother that living alone was no longer an option. Joanne, the eldest of four children, knew that caring for her sick mother fell on her shoulders.  Joanne was a legend in the circles of her family, friends and colleagues for her ability to act with grace under pressure.

Joanne took two weeks of vacation from her job to cook and freeze meals for her husband and three children before she flew to her hometown to assist her mother. Joanne wondered how she would coordinate her mother’s care from a distance. Supporting her husband as he built his new business, nurturing her kids and directing a major project at work already made her feel that she was running on empty.  

You may relate to Joanne’s story.  One out of every four Americans cares for a friend or relative who is sick, disabled, or frail. That’s 46 million Americans who offer unpaid help to a loved one.  If they were paid caregivers’ compensation would exceed last year’s Medicare budget! Also like Joanne, you become a caregiver, and try to do it alone, shrouded in secrecy. 

Solo caregiving compromises your ability to nurture yourself and others. Let’s take caregiving out from behind closed doors.  For your sake and the sake of those who count on you, please get help. Caregivers are competent people who feel that they should be able to do this job.  Yet, many soon find themselves unprepared and ill-equipped to manage the sometimes daunting tasks, such as managing a complex medical regimen, remodeling a house so it’s wheel-chair accessible, or even finding someone to stay with their loved ones so they can go out to a movie without worrying their relatives will fall on the way to the fridge.

If you are a caregiver, you know that this act of love has its costs.  You stand to forfeit up to $650,000 in lost wages, pension and social security.  Add to that is the personal cost to your well-being, as your new demands leave you less time for your family and friends.  You may give up vacations, hobbies and social activities.  Finally, caregiving places a burden on your health.  Caregivers are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, depressed immune function and even hospitalization.

Instead of reaching out, caregivers become isolated.  Many who assume the caregiving burden fit the profile of the giving family member, like Joanne, who does not want to trouble others with their problems.  Some fear the consequences of disclosing their new demands to coworkers or employers. Caregivers are further challenged by the cultural conspiracy of silence.  Our youth-centered society turns a blind eye to the unpleasant and inevitable reality that all of us age and die.  This leaves both caregivers and care recipients unprepared.  Look no further than the path of Hurricane Katrina to witness the consequences of a lack of planning.

What can you do?  Start talking about the “what ifs” and make a plan.  If you aren’t sure where to start, I am here to help! Book a Family Caretaker Help Session and leave our meeting with your care plan in hand!

How To Spot Elder Abuse

By Roz Jones

Elder abuse is described by the following acts among family, household members, nursing home staff, or any individual. 

– When somebody attempts or causes physical injury to an elder

– When the family member or staff of a nursing home attempt or place an elder in terror or alarm of physical harm by torment, threat or harassment

– When one is convincing or persuading an elder by strength or intimidation to participate in a certain act from which the elder has the right to withhold

– When one meaningfully confines the movements of an elder without his consent

– Threatening the elder to a crime of violence

1. Detecting Abuse: 

– Burn marks from cigarette

– Black eye, lacerations, bruises or cuts that can not be explained

– Rope marks, a sign that the elder had been tied or slashed upon

– Hair loss, a sign that the elder’s hair was pulled

– Bodily sores and wounds

– Fingernails that are broken

– The elder’s skin is very poor condition

– Fractures of the bone

– Bite marks

– Eye glasses are broken

– Laboratory results are positive of drug overdose

– The elder displays a sudden change of behavior

– The caregiver refuses to allow visitors to see the elder

2. Signs Of Neglect: 

– Sores are untreated

– Displays significant signs of malnutrition

– May show signs of insanity

– Lack of personal hygiene care

3. Signs Of Emotional Abuse: 

– May display a nervous behavior

– Constantly be disturbed or upset

– Displays a negative attitude

– Always in anxiety

– Demonstrate signs of insecurity, such as constant sucking or biting of the fingers

4. Financial Abuse: 

– Unknown withdrawal from the elder’s account

– Unusual ATM withdrawals and switching of accounts

– The elder tend to withdraw money often

– The elder does not receive his pension or Social Security check from the mail

– The elder, without any valid reason, revises his will and changes his beneficiary

– The elder unexplainably signs contracts that results to unwanted financial commitment

– Signature was forged

– The elder has plenty of unpaid bill, despite his assets that can very well cover the bill

– Strange credit card charges

5. Signs Of Sexual Abuse

– Mysterious and unexplained genital infection

– Anal or vaginal bleeding that can not be explained

– Ripped underwear

– The elder may tell someone that she has been sexually abused

– Genitals are bruised

– The elder may report that her caregiver is showing her pornographic materials

– The report of the elder that she is forced to touch someone’s genitals, observe sexual acts, tell dirty stories and pose nude for a picture

6. How Can You Prevent Abuse To Yourself As An Elder?

– Keep and continue contacts with friends and neighbors

– Work out on a buddy system with other elders in the home

– Be active socially, do not be in isolation

– Protest and speak up if you are not happy or content with the way your caregiver or other family member treats you. Tell somebody

– Request your friends and other relatives to visit you often

– Open your mail personally

– Never sign anything unless it was reviewed by someone that you trust

– Always review your will once in a while

– Coordinate so that your pension or Social Security check be deposited directly to your bank account than being sent by mail

7. How Can You Prevent Abuse To Others?

– Pay attention. Be wary and look out for signals that might point towards abuse

– Call your loved one as frequently as possible

– Visit your loved one often and make certain that she is well taken cared of

– Always be open to your loved one, taking the time to always talk to her and assure her that you are there to help and can be trusted

– Get permission to periodically look into your loved one’s bank accounts as well as credit card statements for unauthorized withdrawals or transactions

8. How To Get Help If You Or Someone You Know Is Suffering Abuse:

911 or your local police emergency number or your local hospital emergency room

National Center on Elder Abuse

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 898-2586

Fax: (202) 898-2583

Area Agency on Aging

Almost all States have information as well as a referral line that can be useful and helpful in locating and finding services for elder abuse and neglect victims.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The hotline provides support counseling for victims of domestic violence and provides links to 2,500 local support services for abused women. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

1-800-799-SAFE

TDD 1-800-787-3224

Be Prepared For Natural Disasters In Your Area

By Roz Jones

Natural disasters appear in all parts of the world, and no matter where you live, chances are that you will encounter several of them throughout your lifetime. Depending on where you live, they may happen, or at least threaten your home much more frequently. It’s easy to see why it is important to be prepared for them, especially when you are caring for a loved one in the midst of it.

The first thing you need to know is what type of emergencies and disasters you can expect in your area. We can all be affected by fire and winter storms that shut down roads and power are likely across the country as well. From there it depends on where you live. Your town may be prone to flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and the likes. Do your homework, watch the news, talk to your neighbors and figure out what natural disasters you should prepare for. A great source for information is your local government, particularly emergency services. Many will not only be able to make you aware of any dangers, but also have brochures, plans, and other resources that will help you prepare for any eventuality. 

Once you know what natural disasters you can expect where you live, it’s time to learn how to best respond to them. Will you likely wait things out in your home, or will you be required to evacuate? Are there emergency shelters or evacuation routes you should be aware of? Do those shelters meet the needs of those you are caring for?

Once you have the basics down, figure out a plan for securing your home, yard and vehicles depending on the disaster. What can you do to make sure your property has the best possible chance to come out of the disaster undamaged? If you’re in an area prone to flooding, having sand bags on hand can be invaluable. Again, what you need will greatly depend on where you live and what natural disaster you can expect. 

Having a good emergency kit that includes food, water, medication, first aid kit, flash light, radio and a few tools is a good idea. Every household should have a kit that’s kept in good order and is easy to reach in an emergency. 

Make sure you are aware of the potential threats as early as possible so you can prepare. Set up alerts on your phone, sign up for local emergency preparedness emails, and keep an eye on the news and social media if you think there is a potential for a disaster. The earlier you know the better you can react and prepare. Listen to local authorities and don’t hesitate to evacuate should the need arise. Things can be replaced, people can’t.

Keeping Important Documents Safe and Secure

By Roz Jones

We hope and pray that nothing will happen to our home, but it’s a good idea to be prepared “just in case”. You likely have insurance on your home and many material things in your house can be easily replaced should disaster strike. Other things like photos and important documents can be hard or impossible to replace. Missing documents can make it harder to rebuild after disaster strikes. That’s why it is a good idea to keep them safe and secure. 

Invest In A Fire Safe 

A good fire safe will survive a lot of damage. Invest in a quality one for any documents you want to keep at home. You can get a fairly small box that can be stashed away in a closet or cabinet. Make sure both you and your spouse know where the safe is kept and has a key to open it. 

Get A Bank Deposit Box 

You may also want to rent a bank deposit box and store important documents, or notarized copies of them there. This will come in handy when you need the information on the documents (i.e. your insurance policy number), or you need to replace documents that didn’t survive a home emergency. 

Make Physical Copies 

It’s amazing how much easier it is to get a replacement passport or birth certificate if you have a copy of the original. That’s why it’s helpful to make these paper copies and keep them in a secure offsite location (like a bank deposit box). You could also keep them at a family member’s home. Make sure the copies are stored safely to avoid issues like identity theft. 

Make Digital Copies And Store Them Online 

Last but not least, go ahead and scan the documents or take pictures of them with your phone and store them on a secure online server. Places like Deposit Box, or even Google Photo will store quite a bit of information for you free of charge. Since your document scans are living in the cloud, you can easily access them from anywhere with your phone or a borrowed computer. This also makes it easy to email them off to insurance agents, or government officials to get replacement documents made. 

Spend a little time this week to sort through your most important documents and get your paperwork in order. It won’t take you long to scan them, take pictures of them, and/or make photocopies. The little work you’re doing now to be prepared will potentially save you a lot of headache down the road. 

Make it a point to revisit your documents every 6 months to make sure everything is up to date and in order. Once the original setup is done, it will be much easier to keep up with it. You’ll likely only need to change out one or two document copies a year.

How to Identify a Possible Mental Health Issue

By Roz Jones

It had been painstaking for some to identify the real deal behind mental health. Some may experience a glitch of being depressed or aggressive then go back to normalcy. While others show some behaviors that are quite odd and uncertain, which may indicate that there is a shifting of attitude in the person and can result in mental disorders.

Mental health providers are capable of distinguishing the difference between being mentally healthy and mentally ill. They diagnose based on symptoms that the client may or may not manifest when going through the evaluation process. There are a lot of approaches and here are some:

1. One’s own perception

Here, you have to assess yourself internally. Are you having morbid thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself or others? Your behaviors, thoughts, and functioning can determine if you are mentally healthy or mentally ill. If there is a sudden shift in your daily habits and routines which you used to enjoy, then there might be something wrong.

In severe cases of mental illness, people can go on with their lives without doing chores or even bathing themselves. Therefore, it is important to assess yourself. If you can no longer pinpoint what is wrong, it may be time to seek professional help.

2. Other people’s perception

It is important to rely on those you trust for opinions on changes in your behavior. People around you may be the best source for an objective opinion. You may see yourself to be perfectly fine while others may disagree. Schizophrenia is one very good example of this, wherein a person may admit seeing or hearing things where in fact nothing’s there.

3. Ethnic and cultural norms

Oftentimes, a person’s normalcy is defined by their culture. Because people are living within different boundaries and cultures, what is normal for others may not seem normal for you. For example, when a person hears or sees things that others cannot, some people may call this insanity, but for some religions, this is normal and is a sort of divine intervention. Culture within the family may also affect the way you see others. What you normally do within your home may not be the same as others.

4. Based on statistical numeric

“Within the range” –a term often used to describe normalcy. Generally, the average or range defines what is normal. However, statistics can change. For instance if they go higher or lower, the range of normalcy shifts.

The information above is not meant to be used as a tool to diagnose yourself or others with a mental health disorder. However, it can be used as a gauge for when to seek medical help for yourself or your loved one.

When Anxiety Strikes

By Roz Jones

Panic attacks can be the bane of your existence, and can make caring for a loved one or even living your daily life,  extremely daunting. Never knowing when – or why – an attack can hit makes life unpredictable. Searching for a way to control your anxiety is a natural step to take. 

Most anxiety attacks come on suddenly – however, there are usually warning signs. It may only be a few seconds’ warning, but if we try to identify the signs, we may be able to lessen our symptoms. Some people experience chest tightening, lightheadedness, or shaking – all are the immediate signs of a rush of adrenaline. Adrenaline is one of the main identifiable reasons for an anxiety attack.  

As soon as you feel an attack beginning to develop, stop what you are doing. If you’re driving, pull over. If you’re standing or walking, sit down. As the attack begins to flower, take slow, steady breaths. Breathe in for five seconds, and out for five seconds. One of the main things people do when they are experiencing an anxiety attack is to breathe in short, sharp gasps; by slowing and focusing on your breathing, you are distracting your mind and resetting the scales. 

Keep breathing in this fashion. If necessary, close your eyes and tilt your head back so you have a clear throat passage for air to move through. You may also find some form of self-comforting useful; try rubbing the side of your wrist with a fingertip. Remain calm, focus on your breathing and rest until the feeling has passed.

5 Ways Caregivers Can Address Inner Conflict

By Roz Jones

Is inner conflict holding you back? When we struggle with inner conflict, it is basically a battle between our emotions and thoughts. If a situation doesn’t turn out how we expected, it can release feelings of anger, stress, fear, and frustration. 

There are many types of inner conflict. You may know you need to set better boundaries as a caregiver, but you keep avoiding the difficult conversation. You may know you need to adopt a healthier diet but eating the foods you love is the only thing that gives you pleasure right now.  Whatever the inner conflict is, it could be holding you back from a happy, healthy life. Below, discover 5 ways to address inner conflicts, in order to be a happier and more fulfilled caregiver.

1. Identify and confront inner conflicts.

You’re going to find it hard to address your inner conflict if you aren’t fully aware of it. However, identifying and being aware of inner conflict isn’t always easy. After all, it is much easier to ignore confrontation and the things that make us uncomfortable. 

The trouble is, when you ignore your inner conflicts, they simply get worse over time. So, start by writing down what you want and the things that are holding you back. Then, delve into your inner conflict and try to understand where it comes from. For example, is it coming from a place of fear or comfort? Often, we stay stuck in routines because it is our mind’s way of protecting us. 

2.Balance your rationale and emotions.

To address inner conflict, you need to be able to balance rationale and emotion. If you tend to focus more on your emotional needs and desires, your rational thinking will be compromised. Similarly, if you were to focus only on being rational, your emotional needs would suffer. To make the best choices, learn how to balance reason and emotion.

3. Avoid making rash decisions

When you are going through an emotional time, be sure not to make any rash decisions. Think about what is best for you, but also remember the impact your decisions will have on others. 

It’s easy to make rash decisions when you are dealing with inner conflict. However, staying calm and really thinking things through is going to lead to the best decisions.

4. Think about what you really want

What is it you really want? Often our inner conflict comes from not doing the things we desire. If you are trying to please everyone else, you are only going to end up feeling miserable. As caregivers, we often have a difficult time putting our needs before others. So, if you feel like you aren’t being true to yourself, take a step back. Think about what you truly want and then focus your energy on that.

5. Practice meditation

Finally, meditation is a great way to address inner conflict. It gives you the peace and mental clarity to reflect on your life and opportunities for growth. It may take a while to get used to it, but you’ll find great beginner videos online to help.

As caregivers, we have to ensure we are deterring our inner conflict to practice self care, all while caring for others. These are just a few ways to deal with inner conflict. What are some of your inner conflicts and how do you cope?

See a Resource, Share a Resource

By Roz Jones

In honor of mental health awareness month, I wanted to challenge my network of caregivers and medical professionals to share these life saving mental health resources listed below. Each time you see a mental health resource, share a mental health resource!

Don’t forget to tag us on social media when you share your resources!

#seearesourcesharearesouce #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

  • Crisis Text Line
    • Text HOME to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • (800) 273-8255
  • The NAMI Helpline
    • (800) 950-NAMI
  • Postpartum Support Intl.
    • (800) 944-4773
  • National Hopeline Network
    • (800) 442-4673
  • Veterans Crisis Line
    • (800) 273-8255 and Press 1
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
    • Text MHA to 741741
  • US National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • (800) 273-8255

Breaking the Social Stigma

By Roz Jones

Anxiety disorders are being diagnosed at an increasing rate, and the seriousness of such illnesses is slowly, but surely, being accepted by more people. Such is the novelty of this situation that there are still a number of people who consider such disorders to simply be part of life turned into an illness for the sake of keeping people in a job. Although these people are becoming fewer in number, they still exist in enough places to make anxiety disorders somewhat stigmatized. As caregivers, we must stand up to this stigma and share our truth.

There are two major paths of thought which ridicule the conditions described as “anxiety disorders”. The first attacks the very legitimacy of such conditions, saying that, as they were not diagnosed 20, 50 or 100 years ago, they must be the inventions of the psychiatric trade. The second paints sufferers as being “insane” or “mental”. The latter may be the worse of the two, because it takes an unsophisticated view of certain conditions and applies it to all mental illnesses. 

In general, people with anxiety disorders do notwalk around in an unhinged trance muttering to themselves, attack passers by, or attempt suicide at the drop of a hat. They write bestselling novels, fix cars, win Nobel prizes, attend parties, and are even caregivers like us. There is a lot of work to do in order to remind people that this is the case – but it does seem that the tide of momentum is with the sufferers and their advocates.  

My fellow caregivers, it is important to be able to speak with courage and without shame about an anxiety disorder. By doing so you can show people that you are “perfectly normal,” whatever that means.  I know, it should not be necessary, but some people still have to be reminded.

Using Humor to Resolve Conflict in Your Relationship

By Roz Jones

As caregivers sometimes conflicts can brew all day between you and the one you are providing care. There are times when as a caregiver the combatants are at a crisis point, and it feels like the entire office is holding their collective breath waiting to see what happens next. At this point, they’re ready for bloodshed, or at the very least, some very strong words. 

The last thing they expect is for one of the key players in the conflict to open their mouth and… make a joke?

Maybe it doesn’t feel like a resolution to the conflict, but actually, laughter goes far beyond being the clichéd ‘best medicine.’  How? First of all, laughter takes the tension out of the situation, which exactly is what’s needed to regain perspective, build stronger bonds, and yes, sometimes smooth over the differences. 

How then do you effectively use humor to resolve conflicts?

1. Make sure that both parties are ‘in on the joke.’ By keeping humor wholesome – not at the expense of the other person, you’re focusing on inviting them to laugh with you, rather than laughing at them. How can you tell if you’re doing it right? Humor is tricky, and so your best indicator of getting it right is to gauge the other person’s reactions. If they’re not laughing, chances are they don’t find it funny. Stop!

2. Check to make sure that you’re using humor as a defensive weapon rather than as a positive tool. If you’re using humor to mask emotions that you’d rather not deal with right now, then it’s time to put a flag on the play. Stop immediately and ask yourself what it is that you’re not dealing with and why. 

3. Work on that sense of humor. Every good comedian knows how to read their audience. The same goes for using humor with another person, especially in a situation that’s already a conflict. Watch the nonverbal cues. What language are you using? Keep the tone positive and light, and mean it. That means don’t use jokes as a means of cruelty. Lastly, consider what you might use as an inside joke. Inside jokes not only keep the situation light but create a deeper intimacy with whom you conflict.

4. Most importantly, be Playful! A little bit of silly fun is a good thing. Not sure how to tap into that kind of fun and crazy side? Explore humor in other ways so that you always have a repertoire to fall back on. Watch things you find funny on TV or in movies. Listen to jokes. Read the funnies. Find that side of you that likes to play and encourage it with creativity and fun. 

And no matter what, cut yourself some slack. It takes practice to be funny. Keep at it, and you’ll find your natural sense of humor, and be able to tap into it when you need to. That conflict won’t know what hit it!

3 Steps For Getting Into The Flow

By Roz Jones

Let’s talk about getting into the flow. You know what I’m talking about, that special state of mind we reach sometimes – quite by accident – where work starts to flow effortlessly and we get an insane amount of it done in a short period of time. It’s a great feeling and something well worth trying to get into more regularly. Here’s how to do just that. 

Step 1 – Get Prepared 

Start by getting yourself prepared. It’s hard to get into the flow when you’re constantly having to get up to grab more supplies or grab a file. And it’s not just the stuff away from your desk. You don’t want a train of thought to be interrupted so you can go find a figure or a document on your computer. 

Prepare as much as you can. Make sure you have all things and information you may need at your fingertips. Of course that isn’t always possible, as new ideas and things pop up while you’re working, but do your best to eliminate having to stop and look when you’re in the flow. 

Step 2 – Get Comfy 

Next it’s time to get comfortable. That means finding a comfortable chair and desk to work at, but also create a setting that’s conducive to flow. What motivates and inspires you? Is it music, scent, pictures of your family, or the calendar with the project outline posted on it? Use whatever it takes to transport yourself into the flow state. 

Step 3 – Get Your Head In The Game 

Last but not least, you need to get your head in the game. Getting into the flow is mostly mental. Yes, the outside stuff we talked about helps, but you can sabotage all the preparation in the world if you go in with a bad attitude. 

Instead, spend a few minutes visualizing what it feels like to be in the flow. Then think about why it is important to get this work done. Who will it benefit? What impact will it have on you, your job, your family? Find some internal motivation to make you want to get this done. That’s when you’re ready to get to work and get into the flow. 

Give this three step process a try and use it anytime you want to get more done in less time. As an added bonus, you’ll find you’ll have more fun doing your work and you’re gaining a lot of pride for a job well done in a timely manner. And let’s not forget that this leaves you plenty of time leftover for the important stuff – spending time with your loved ones and relaxing with one of your favorite hobbies.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Interested in making your own contribution to the Caregiver Cafe? There are guest blog spots open for October, November, and December. Email assistrozjones@gmail.com for more info!

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Knowing Your Triggers and Dealing With Them

By Roz Jones

Most sufferers of anxiety disorders have one or more “triggers” which can set off an attack at a moment’s notice. These triggers tend to be associated with the specific source of their anxiety – whether it be health, money, or any of a wide range of issues – and become identifiable to the sufferer within a short time of becoming active.  

For any given sufferer of an anxiety disorder, their triggers are a serious issue. The first time most sufferers become aware of their trigger is after it has occurred. For a sufferer of health anxiety, it may be a mere word that describes a symptom. The trigger commences a chain of thought in the sufferer’s mind that ends with a full-blown anxiety attack – which can last for some time and have long-ranging effects. 

Even for those without anxiety disorders, there can be circumstances or things that happen or that others say that cause us to feel uncomfortable, stressed, or maybe a little anxious. The same lesson can be applied to try to learn from these experiences to help us grow despite our triggers. It’s also important for us as caregivers to recognize that this may happen in our loved ones, help them recognize it in themselves, and learn ways together to prevent stressful or uncomfortable circumstances.

It is important for any sufferer to look back in the immediate aftermath of an attack and think about what must have been the trigger. Revisiting this may hold its own fears – if it triggered an event before, what’s to say it will not do the same again? Usually, it is the fact that anxiety attacks are not sustainable. By doing this in the aftermath, it is possible to see the trigger for what it was, and although it may not be permanently deactivated it is possible to forestall it happening again. 

When you know your triggers, it is possible to deal with them by excising them from your daily life – although this only works short-term – or by exposure therapy. Eventually you can prove to yourself that the trigger only has short-lived power, and that you are stronger.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Self-Care Sunday: Dedicate One Day Each Week to Yourself pt 2

By Roz Jones

Last week, we talked about ideas for establishing a self-care routine and why it’s so important. Here’s a few more things to keep in mind when coming up with your own Self Care Sunday.

Self-Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Something to keep in mind is that what you consider self-care might change depending on if you are more of an introverted or extroverted person. 

Self-Care for Introverts

If you are an introvert, you probably find that you are the most relaxed when you are alone. This doesn’t mean you want to be or should be alone all the time, but that you often need a little bit of time to yourself each day to recharge and gain your composure.

Have Quiet Solitude on Sunday – Self-care for an introvert can be as simple as just making sure you have some alone, quiet time on Sundays. You need this time to yourself to regroup and relax. It can be really hard when you go all day around other people and never give yourself this time.

Find Nature-Inspired Activities – Introverts also tend to enjoy time outdoors, again in a quiet and peaceful environment. Try to find some activities you can participate in that will encourage you to spend more time outside. 

Embrace Your Creative Side – An amazing way to practice self-care as an introvert is to do something creative. Learn how to crochet, write a poem or short story, color in an adult coloring book, or start painting.

Self-Care for Extroverts

Extroverts are more social creatures, getting their energy from being around other people. If you consider yourself an extrovert, you probably enjoy time with others more than time alone. But what does that mean for your self-care routine? Here are some tips for practicing self-care when you are an extrovert.

Enjoy Social Time with Friends – What might be a little more up your alley is scheduling in time with friends. What better way to practice self-care than spend time with those you love the most?

Volunteer Your Time – Looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling? You might like to volunteer somewhere as your self-care. Look into local community centers or animal shelters that are open on Sunday and see if they need any help.

Join a Local Club – Another social activity that helps with your self-care is joining a local club, like a book club. Not only will you be encouraged to read more, but you can get together once a week with your book club to chat and talk about the book. 

Tips for Your Sunday Self-Care Routine

Here are a few more tips for making sure you have a good Sunday self-care routine, and really understand what self-care means and how to avoid the common mistakes.

It Encompasses Emotional, Mental, and Physical Health

Self-care does not fulfill just one need in your life. Different activities provoke different benefits in your life, including helping with your emotional, mental, and physical health.

What works best for you is going to be something that helps you feel relaxed, de-stressed, improves your mood, and is something you absolutely love to do. 

Your Self-Care Needs Can Change Regularly

Just because you have committed to writing in your journal and meditating every morning for an hour as your self-care routine, doesn’t mean you have to do this forever. Sometimes, what you choose as your self-care activity changes, or you need to make adjustments based on your schedule.

Revisit what you are doing for self-care often. As your life and the seasons change, so will your self-care and what is actually going to benefit you the most.

A Common Mistake is Forcing Your Self-Care

This can’t be said enough – your self-care routine should not make you more stressed! This is a sign that you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do and that it is doing nothing for you. 

It might be because your friend is participating in this form of self-care, or you read that it is a good idea. But remember everyone is different and everyone is going to benefit from different things.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Self-Care Sunday: Dedicate One Day Each Week to Yourself

By Roz Jones

Self-care has transformed a lot over the last few years. It began as a way to encourage people to do more for themselves, which is amazing. But somewhere along the way, it became something people felt like they were forced to do.

Self-care is especially important for caregivers, as we spend lots of time focused on others, and not a lot on ourselves.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with this idea of the perfect self-care routine, it’s time to take a step back. Instead of focusing on having to fit it into your daily life, why not just start one day a week?

Why do Self-Care on Sunday?

Sunday is actually the perfect day to dedicate to yourself, since it is often already a day of rest for many people. You are winding down after a fun weekend, and likely getting ready for a new week to begin. Take advantage of the downtime by adding some self-care activities to your routine.

1. Setting Up Your Weekly Self-Care Routine

First thing’s first – figure out what your routine is going to be on Sunday. Don’t forget that self-care doesn’t have to be done alone, so if you have a busy house on Sundays, you can still do this! 

What you want to do is focus on your self-care on Sundays, whether that means an hour during the day, or changing the entire routine for the day. 

Think of Sundays like a reset day. When you not only get your planning done for the week, but you give yourself some time to relax and unwind, reset your body and your mind for another busy week.

How is it Different from Daily Self-Care?

To put it simply, it’s not. You still want to choose activities that help you to relax, are good for your body and mind, and your overall wellness. But you might have a little more free time on Sundays, so you won’t feel as pressured to fit it all in before or after work, or during your bedtime routine.

Sundays open up new possibilities for self-care, whether you do it alone or with family.

Think About Your Current Sunday Routine

In order to turn Sunday into your weekly self-care day, you need to consider what you tend to do on Sundays. This self-reflection helps you determine if these are things that can only be done on Sundays, or can be moved to another day to give you more time for yourself. 

First, make a list of things you do every Sunday. Then look at your list, and cross off anything that isn’t really necessary or might no longer be serving you. With what is left, determine if any of those activities can be moved to Saturday.

For example, if you do a lot of cleaning and chores on Sundays, could they be moved to other days during the week, freeing up a bit more self-care time for you?

2. Ideas for Sunday Self-Care Activities

The good news is that self-care on Sunday is pretty much the same as what you would do any other day of the week. It is more about dedicating a day to yourself each week, especially if you don’t have much time during the week to really focus on you.

Here are some activities that can be great to do on Sundays:

Let yourself sleep in – If you don’t get to sleep in during the rest of the week, at the very least give yourself this time on Sundays! Your body (and mind) needs the rest.

Go to brunch with friends – Self-care can also mean doing something you enjoy with other people. Grab a group of friends on Sunday to go to brunch.

Head to a park or the beach with your kids – You can also enjoy more time with your kids without cell phones and TV. Go outside to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Ride bicycles around your neighborhood, have a beach day, or do a picnic at the park.

Have an hour of pampering – You might not be able to dedicate the entire day just to self-care, but at least fit in some pampering time.

Catch up on your reading or creative projects – This is the perfect time to pick up activities you enjoy, but rarely have time for. Maybe there is a book you have been wanting to finish or a creative project you would love to do.

Get ready for the week – Self-care can also mean just giving yourself time to really reset and prepare for the week ahead.

Try out your own version of a self-care Sunday this weekend, and check back next week for more discussion on self-care.

It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called Circleof….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on staying healthy as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!

Is “Mental” Health Really Just In The Mind?

By Roz Jones

Imagine you are asked to describe what depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder are. Would you say “mental health problems” or similar? Most would, and there is a general perception that these problems are purely based in the mind. There is still something of an attitude that people with mental health and anxiety problems should be able to “snap out of it” or get over it, just like that. Yet many mental illnesses actually have physical reasons. 

For example, clinical depression. A much-misused term, depression is now used to describe someone feeling a bit low. However, if someone has full, clinical depression, they will experience long periods of horrifically low mood, low motivation, and a general feeling of emptiness. A cruel illness, but one that is described as being mental, and a regular target for the “pull yourself out of it!” brigade. 

Yet, depression does have a physical basis. Depression is caused by a lower-than-average amount of serotonin in the body. Also known as the “feel good” hormone, serotonin controls the mood, personality, and feelings of an individual. If serotonin levels are low, the individual will experience depressive, low thoughts. This is a physical problem with mental evidence, but it is physical nonetheless – antidepressants work on increasing serotonin levels, and tend to have a decent success rate. 

Furthermore, preliminary scans have shown those with obsessive compulsive disorder have enlarged lobes at the front of the brain. These lobes control our worry and anxiety mechanism, and when enlarged, the anxiety goes into overdrive – resulting in what we know as OCD.  

So these mental illnesses are, more often than not, physical in basis after all – and one can no more “shake off” or “get over” a hormone imbalance than one can “shake off” a broken leg!

Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!