Take a break from Caregiver Multi-Tasking
and Try Being Present in the Moment

Caregiver Multi-TaskingCaregiver multi-tasking seems like a necessity. Like mothers of small children, caregivers have to become adept at multi-tasking. Otherwise, how would we ever get anything done? However, when we’re constantly doing one thing and our minds are occupied with what we need to do next, it’s easy to miss what’s happening in the moment.

Many years ago I attended a seminar presented by Jim Rohn, the author of the book, “The Art of Successful Living”. He shared a lot of great ideas, most of which I’ve forgotten, except for this one statement: “Wherever you are – be there.” He said, “When you’re with your family, don’t be thinking about work. When you’re at work, give it all of your attention, and don’t be thinking about your family or other things.”

It’s a simple idea, but it’s been hard for me to implement because I have been a compulsive multi-tasker for decades. The problem with caregiver multi-tasking is that when our minds and hands are always busy, it is impossible to be fully present and attentive to the people in our care. As we look at the journey ahead, we must acknowledge that there will be changes.

If we’re lucky, we’ll have some events to celebrate. We will almost certainly have losses to mourn. Although we won’t ever have power over the progression of a loved one’s disease, we can choose to set aside a little time each day to connect with him/her. We can turn off the TV and talk during a meal. We can go for a walk or engage in another activity that relieves stress and brings a little pleasure. We could even take a few minutes to give our care receiver a gentle massage. It takes some effort to calm your mind long enough to fully engage, but if you can do it, perhaps you will be able to celebrate the magical moments you shared rather than regretting the moments you missed when your caregiving journey comes to an end.

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