December 9, 2022 by
Does your blood pressure soar when you finally finish filling your cart with groceries, only to find just one checkout lane open and a line of annoyed shoppers ahead of you? Or when you arrive five minutes early for a doctor’s appointment, only to have to wait 45 minutes to be seen? Some people just seem to project an inherent sense of patience, regardless of the circumstances. Wouldn’t you love to know their secret, specifically when it comes to finding extra patience as a caregiverfor an older adult?
Thankfully, you can increase your level of patience in much the same way that you increase your endurance in exercising – through practice. Try these strategies to strengthen your caregiving patience muscles:
How Can I Become More Patient?
- Try to channel your inner child. Make an effort to let yourself laugh more, be silly, and remind yourself not to enable the little things that aggravate you to become big things. A little lightening up and letting go can make a significant impact on stress reduction.
- Make a conscious effort to really listen when others are speaking. It’s very easy to begin formulating your response before the person has finished, but make an effort to place all your concentration instead on listening to everything they are saying. Remember that you are half of the participants in the conversation.
- Embrace the importance of your role. Perhaps the person you’re providing care for is taking a lot longer to get dressed than you would like. Remind yourself that your job is to provide care but to also enable the individual to remain as independent as possible, and often that may call for allowing some extra time and a good measure of patience.
- Deliberately put yourself in circumstances that require patience. Let someone go ahead of you next time you are standing in line. Make yourself wait a few moments (or more!) prior to checking your phone. Strike up a conversation with someone who tests your patience.
- Resist the urge to immediately correct or problem-solve. Allow something that is broken to remain broken for some time rather than pressuring yourself to immediately take care of it.
- Take a moment to focus on your breathing and to be in the moment. When your thoughts begin to wander, recognize the distraction, but gently guide your thinking back to your breathing.
When time is of the essence, however, it becomes all the harder to exercise patience as a caregiver. Let a caregiver from At Home Independent Living help—doing so can make the above suggestions easier to do. Our professionals are available to provide a comprehensive range of in-home care services that will help you free up the time you need to practice patience and recharge. Reach out to At Home Independent Living at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about options for independent living in Salina and surrounding areas, and to request a complimentary in-home consultation.