How to Stay Positive When You Are Discouraged
Probably the most important part of your job as caregiver for someone with COPD is being an encourager, but how do you do that, if you are the one that is discouraged? Sometimes the words that you need to say become something that you don’t even believe anymore. What then?
There are a few things that you can fall back on to stay positive for your loved one. Here are a few things to try.
1. Positive in, positive out. You may have heard that the more negative that you fill your mind with, the more it will come out of your mouth. Think of it this way: If all you do is read about the horrible aspects of this disease or talk about how bad it is all the time, the more that you will feed your discouragement. How do you get rid of this? You begin filling your mind with positive thoughts. It is true that the deeper you get into this disease, the harder it is to keep a positive attitude.
My personal experience in this led me to focus more on God. My mom and I found great strength from our Christian faith. Any time that I felt that I was falling into a big hole of discouragement, I would try to only listen to music that focused on our God. It is called worship music. I also read more about heaven and about the characteristics of God. Again, this is what I personally did to keep my own attitude positive. You may have something different that keeps you positive.
2. Exercise. This could be very difficult for you to do because of the extra time that you are needed to help your loved one, but it is very important to keep your own mind focused on life and living. It also releases chemicals in your brain that help you to feel happier, which will increase your ability to think positively.
This was the one that I followed the least. There was a year or two in the last four years that I followed a daily workout schedule, but due to my sporadic work schedule, it was very difficult for me to be consistent. That is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. However, you should know that this is the one thing that I wish I had done more of for myself. I would have been able to release some of the stress that I was under, and I would have been able to control my weight a little better.
3. Get away for a little while. This may be difficult, depending upon your situation. However, if you can have someone else stay with your loved one for a night or two, it would give you a chance to breathe and process all that is happening. Even if it is only for a few hours, it could give you a chance to see the beauty around you again.
I was a co-caregiver for my mom, so I was able to give my father the time away. She was with me quite a bit, but she was with my dad more. There were times that we could tell a difference in my dad after a little time away. He would be a little more attentive and rested.
Don’t be too proud to ask for some time. It will end up helping your loved one in the long run.
Keeping a positive attitude is extremely important. If you don’t think so, just observe the way that your loved one responds when you are discouraged verses being filled with positive thoughts. You are probably thinking that I’ve lost my mind. I mean, how can someone be positive while facing the end of life? For us personally, we believe that there is a place called heaven, and we will see mom again. We kept our thoughts and our hope up by focusing on how mom would be in heaven. Those last few months were hard. Those last few days were, well, I cannot think of a good word that can describe how hard it was, but it does not change the hope that we held to.
I pray that you will find your way to remain positive for your loved one. If you are interested in more about our story and faith, please visit http://thecopdlife.com.