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!

Healthy Habits for Women Caregivers

By Roz Jones

Developing habits is a part of life and something everyone does, but we really should be focusing on the healthy habits. These are things you do on a daily basis that are good for both your physical and mental health. Take a look at these healthy habits that are great for women, especially those of us who are caregivers for our loved ones.

Get More Exercise

If you don’t have a regular fitness routine, now is the perfect time to start. Exercise is wonderful for anyone, male or female, but it has some unique advantages for women. Exercising can help you lose weight or manage your weight, fight diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and prevent conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis as you age. It is also great during any phase of your life, whether you are a teenager, in your childbearing years, or even as a senior adult. This is a great healthy habit to start developing now.

Focus on Your Nutrition

In addition to exercise, you should also develop a habit of eating better. Don’t try to find some fad diet just to lose weight, instead, choose a new way of eating that becomes a part of your lifestyle. Think of longevity and choose foods that are good for you, provide adequate nutrition, and are foods you can eat and cook easily. If your favorite food is bread, then low-carb is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are a protein girl, you might do great on Keto or Paleo. Pick and choose based on what provides the most nutrition, but also what is manageable for your current lifestyle. Increased nutrition will give you more energy to help negate feelings of tiredness that can arise from juggling lots of responsibilities as a woman and as a caregiver.

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

Now is also the perfect time to start developing habits that are good for your mental health. Far too many people, women especially, neglect their mental health. Your mental health can also have an impact on your physical wellbeing, so it is very important. Some things that can help your mental health include getting regular exercise and eating right, writing in a journal, de-stressing when you can, and taking some time for yourself for a little self-care. We cannot adequately give care to our loved ones when we are running on empty ourselves.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

It is really easy to become a hermit and just work and sleep, but it is important for your health and wellbeing that you make a habit of visiting others. Make plans with friends, spend time with family, and reach out to people you don’t spend a lot of time with, such as co-workers or neighbors.

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

Why It’s Hard to Say “No” as a Caregiver

By Roz Jones

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something you wished that you’d said ‘no’ to instead? Chances are you’ve done that not just once, but several times in your life, and likely regretted it every time. This is particularly difficult as a caregiver, when we know that our loved ones are relying on us. Why is it so terribly hard to say ‘no’ when deep down, you know that it’s the right thing to do?

As it turns out, a lot of those answers come from the past and our upbringing. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rewrite the past. Let’s take a look at several reasons people say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no.’

“If I say no, I’m weak.”

Far from being weak when you say ‘no’, you’re showing a great deal of strength. It takes someone with confidence, and the ability to look out for their own mental and physical health, to put their foot down. As a caregiver, when you say ‘no’ to something, and putting your health first, you are ensuring that you will still be strong tomorrow as you are today in order to care for yourself and your loved ones.

“I don’t want to let anyone down.”

Believe it or not, when most people ask for a favor, they are already expecting the person they’re asking to say ‘no.’ They meet that refusal with a shrug and a determination to try someone else. People aren’t as invested as you think. The only person you’re letting down here is yourself if you say ‘yes’ when you don’t want to.

“I’ll be seen as difficult to work with.”

Again this is where your perception of the situation is off. People will see you as being difficult to work with if you’re …difficult. So long as you’re not belligerent, angry, or abusive when you say ‘no,’ no one is going to think anything at all. Keep in mind that there are other ways you can still contribute and be part of the team without saying ‘yes’ to every little thing asked of you. In fact, you may make the situation worse for yourself or others if you always say ‘yes’, but don’t have the time to follow through.

Check back later this week or more discussion on saying “no” as a caregiver, and visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on setting boundaries a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!