Sep 26, 2011

Cultivating healthy social connections

"Make relationships a priority, whether it's maintaining ties to family or friends, or by participating in a social or religious group." Mayo Clinic Health Letter

Hard to do when one is providing 24/7 caregiving, and I find that I tend to isolate when feeling stressed -- so that adds to the problem.  For me it is very important to note "healthy" social connections.  We all know people who keep very busy, but may not have a priority on having healthy relationships.  I find that with the stress of caregiving, I cannot be around people who are negative and complain or gossip.  I just cannot do it.  My equanimity is fragile enough without adding people who focus on a lot of drama in their lives.  Some people find comfort in support groups for caregivers.  I have only gone once, and the entire program was on little games I could contrive to play with the person with dementia.  I don't have time or the interest in establishing little games for him to play!  I am too busy paying bills, making and transporting to medical appointments, ordering and dispensing medications, etc., etc.  But, I will entertain the idea that the meeting I attended might have been a fluke, and that there are meetings out there to support the caregiver; not give her/him more to do.  Preparing this blog makes me realize that I want to make healthy relationships more of a priority in my life. 

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