Four tips to reduce stress from a young caregiver.

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As the primary caregiver for my mom, who lived with young onset dementia, I often experienced feelings of frustration and guilt. I carried with me a sense of not being enough and this made every day more challenging.

Over time, I learned simple shifts that helped me to let go of unhelpful ways of thinking, to better manage my mood and emotions, and to be more present as a caregiver.

Let go of trying to be perfect.

Striving for perfection and not achieving my perception of it created feelings of failure. Perfect isn’t always what's available in life or in caring. You are doing the best you can right now.

Let go of having expectations.

I found that having expectations generally led to disappointment due to the unpredictable realities of caregiving. Letting go of expectations creates space for opportunities or solutions that we may not have been able to previously see.

Let go of feeling guilty.

Although the past has passed, it’s an easy place to keep wishing things had gone differently. While we can’t change what has already happened, we can learn and move forward with the knowledge we have now. Acknowledge the feelings to release them and go forward.

Let go of should-ing.

No one likes to be “should” on as it’s a form of criticism and pushes us away from accepting ourselves and others the way they are. Switching out for 'could’ creates possibilities and opportunities that may have gone unnoticed.

Follow Katrina on Instagram @KatPrescott for more caregiving tips.

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Learn more from Katrina in the Live Well article archive: Finding Peace by Letting Go

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katrina Prescott is an accomplished media producer who was thrust into caregiving for at the height of her career. Katrina cared for her mother, who lived with dementia, at home until she passed.  Katrina’s lived experiences providing care have compelled her to embark on a secondary career in caregiving education and advocacy.

Katrina was awarded the 2023 Caregiving Advocacy Award from the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence and has produced 2 seasons of the innovative comedic web series Therapeutic Fibbing, seen by nearly 1 million people to date.

Katrina also works one-on-one with care partners to customize a plan tailored to their needs, helping them manage and adjust to set them up for success on their journey. Learn more about her work at KatrinaPrescott.com.

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