A Celebration of Caregivers

November 24, 2020

A Thank You to Caregivers
“Caregivers come from all walks of life. They are from all generations, racial and ethnic groups, income and educational levels, family types, gender identities, and sexual orientations. Ultimately, caregivers are us,” says the AARP (Caregiving in the U.S. 2020).

During National Family Caregivers’ Month, MicroMass would like to acknowledge caregivers in our communities. Sometimes all you do may seem invisible to others, but we appreciate your hard work and dedication. If you’re a caregiver, we at MicroMass urge you to remember to take care of your own needs, too. You can take better care of others when take care of yourself.

Learn more about the importance of the Caregiver.
Watch an interview with MicroMass Behaviorist, Hunter Holbrook

Watch the interview.

It’s a Hard Job
In the U.S., about 1 in 5 people is a caregiver. Of those, nearly a quarter are caring for two or more people, and 6 in 10 also have a job in addition to their caretaking duties. (AARP 2020) Caregivers often forego their needs for the needs of others.

“I’m exhausted. I never have a moment to myself… Between telecommuting and the family, I feel like I’m always at work… If the investment company I work for goes under, I lose my job, we lose our insurance…”

This is a quote from Rachel in the MicroMass podcast, Intersect. Rachel’s story highlights some of the strain caregivers are under. They have more to worry about than just the health of the person they care for.

MicroMass wants to highlight their stories to recognize the additional pressures caregivers must deal with.

“If Rachel’s able to first address her own needs, then she’s going to be in a better place to help with her family’s needs. So, in this case, helping her also helps them.”

When it comes to caregiving, we usually focus on the person receiving care. The needs of the caregiver may be overlooked, but caregivers need to take care of themselves, too. It’s like putting on your own mask before helping others on an airplane. Caregivers need to take care of themselves and their health in order to be able to take care of others.

How to Take Care of Yourself

  1. Note to self: Don’t forget to give yourself a little kindness. Write or imagine a compassionate note to yourself. For example, you might write, “I may not always be perfect, but I’ve come this far because…” If you have trouble coming up with the words, think about what a good friend would say to you.
  2. Lean on others: You can also reach out to others when you need help. Think about what you could use some help with and who you know who could help you with those tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help. You may be able to return the favor sometime.
  3. Focus on what you can control: It can be hard to accept that there are things we can’t control. Feeling powerless may even increase your stress level. To find peace of mind, it can help to focus on the things that you are able to control, like how you react or how you treat yourself.
  4. Hit the reset button: When you need to take a break, try these stress-reducing activities. Place your finger on the dot on the 8. As you trace the figure, inhale. Then exhale as you trace the 8 in the reverse direction.
Try filling in the blanks of this statement when you need a boost.
“While I can’t control ____, I can control ____ and that makes me feel ____.”

Get comfortable sitting or sanding in a place where you can observe the things around you. Then try the steps below.

  • Find 5 things you can see from where you are sitting or standing.
  • Find 4 things you can hear.
  • Find 3 things you can touch.
  • Find 2 things you can smell.
  • Imagine one thing you can taste.