The Caregiver Cup Podcast

The Many Hats of Caregiving: Transitioning From Novice to Mastering Skillsets

July 04, 2023 Cathy VandenHeuvel
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
The Many Hats of Caregiving: Transitioning From Novice to Mastering Skillsets
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
Help us continue making great content for caregiver listeners everywhere.
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you wearing too many hats as a caregiver and unsure how to juggle them all successfully? Let me tell you, it's a common feeling, but you're not alone. I've been there, and today, I'm sharing the inside scoop on navigating the multifaceted world of caregiving. From being the nurse, the cook, the driver, to the bill payer and the web designer, we celebrate and recognize these diverse roles that shape your unique caregiving journey. Not to mention, how our other roles outside of caregiving add even more hats to our collection.

Transitioning from a novice to a master in caregiving isn't always a walk in the park. It's a journey of learning, growing, and overcoming challenges. How do we navigate this exceptionally demanding transition? Let's talk about it. Acknowledging the skills and experiences we acquire as caregivers is a huge part of it. Remember, it's okay to feel overwhelmed and reach out for help. We'll explore how to recognize and credit the skills you're gaining along the way.

Lastly, let's not forget ourselves in the process of caring for others. Self-care is vital, but it's often overlooked. I want you to think about the hats you wear daily. How do they make you feel? Stressed? Exhausted? Let's work on changing that. I'll guide you through strategies for reducing stress, avoiding burnout, and truly finding joy in caregiving. Remember, making time for yourself is the key to better manage the many hats you wear as a caregiver. Let's celebrate the inspiring yet complex journey of caregiving together!

Get my free resource:  17 SHIFTS TO TAKE CONTROL OF CAREGIVER STRESS that will take you to the best version of yourself.

Support the show

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

Speaker 1:

Well, welcome back to another episode of the caregiver podcast. And for those of you that are in America listening, happy 4th of July holiday. I know that most of the Americans have the holiday off or people celebrate a specific way, and I was really debating do I have a podcast on the 4th of July or not? But you know what You and I as caregivers our jobs as caregivers don't really stop. It's really another day in our caregiver life And so I wanted to be here to support you. I wanted to be here with an episode for you to listen today. So if you're listening on the 4th of July, happy 4th of July. If you're listening afterwards, i hope you had a nice holiday. I want to start out today with a somewhat of a podcast game, if I could say. I want you to go ahead and think about and count out how many hats you wear in your caregiver life, and once we're done today, i'm going to ask you to send me or message me how many hats you actually wear, those jobs, those role, responsibilities that you do. Think of all of those. How many are there for you? I want you to think about it. Imagine yourself wearing a hat, and maybe your hat is a nurse, and then you also do the cooking. Well, that's another hat on your hat, and imagine yourself with this hat steeple on your hat. I can't think of a better way but a stack of hats on your head. So when I thought about it, i thought about when I was caregiving for my mom. I was a nurse. I was a cook. I helped her with her cleaning. So I was a house cleaner. I was a laundry folder. I was the driver. I was the bill payer. I was the admin of all of the insurance claims, like Medicare and her supplemental insurance and all of that kind of stuff. I also was the appointment scheduler and coordinator. Think about yourself. Are you the grocery shopper? Now, you may even be. You never probably even thought about that. Maybe you were the researcher when it comes to knowing and educating yourself on your loved one's disease or their injury. These are just to name a few. Okay, now let's flip over and think about. Let's add, in the hats that you wear in your career or your job, are you working outside of caregiving or in addition to caregiving, or are you volunteering? What are those other titles that you have and the roles that you play? For me, i'm an entrepreneur And that's a hat, but inside of the entrepreneur business owner that I do, i am a web designer, i'm a podcaster, i'm a life coach, i'm an online content creator, i'm a marketer You can see that there are many hats that I wear underneath that entrepreneur umbrella. Well then, think about your personal life, or who you actually are in your personal life. Are you a mom, are you a grandma, are you an aunt, are you a spouse? And then all of the tasks or responsibilities that you do in those roles. For example, when Dennis was sick, i would do the home maintenance and the cleaning and the laundry and so on. It's making me so thirsty I had to take a drink of water here. I bet you have at least 12 hats stacked up. I would love to hear how many you have And you can. I would love for you. If you're not a member of the Caregiver Cup online podcast community group, out on Facebook You'll see the link in the show notes and you can go ahead and click on that. Or go out to Facebook and look and just bring up the Caregiver Cup community or podcast Caregiver Cup podcast and you can go out and click on that. You'll come to it. It's a private group. You just have to answer a series of questions and I'll let you in and then you tell me how many hats are you wearing. Or you can also instant message me on Facebook. I'm at Kathy Lynn Vann, or you can email me at Kathy, at KathyLVanncom, and my name is always spelled with a C. So the whole objective of this is, yes, we wear many hats. As a caregiver, as in this life that we're living right now, i'm sure of it that you have at least 12, if not more, and one of the biggest mistakes I see caregivers make is not taking a step back and realizing all of the hats that they wear, imagining that person wearing at least 12 hats at one time and trying to balance them all. We wear a lot of hats. I even think about the hat of. With my mom, i was like the event coordinator and making sure that she had something to do, you know. But when you're wearing those 12 hats on your head, let's say, let's just envision that you tried to put on 12 hats at one time. I think I could find it in my house because my husband's a big baseball hat wearer And I have become a big hat wearer now in the summertime, because I'm trying to protect my, my scalp, because my hair is thinning, but I'm also trying to protect the amount of money that I spend on dyeing my hair. I'm like I'm not going to go ahead and let the sun, just, you know, take it away. And so I wear hats, and so you'll see me wearing baseball hats, or I have a fun sun hat, so I wear those. And in the wintertime you have to wear hats here when it gets really cold. But envision yourself wearing, you know, a dozen hats at one time. If they become heavy, they probably all don't go on right, and so the structure of the hats on your head is really a balancing act, and most of the time they won't all stay up at one time. And so putting 12 hats on, or multiple hats on, when you're a caregiver, it is a lot. And, to be honest with you, i don't think it's humanly possible to wear all of those hats correctly at one time or multiple times. So what would it take if you took a moment and you took off those hats and you looked at all of those hats? and I do this with my clients sometimes because we need to see a visual of everything they do, and so we don't use the hat analogy, but it's really. It would really be a cooling analogy If we had a hat and we labeled the hat front of the hat and then we visually took off those hats and laid them on a table and you could visually see all of the things that you do And took a step back in a moment to look at it And then you said, okay, i can see now that it's not possible to do all of these at the best of my ability, especially all of them, and it's going to take some time to say, well, i may be able to wear these three hats one day And these two hats the following day and this hat the other day, or better. Yet maybe there's there's hats that you have to go ahead and say you know what? I am just not the best at this hat And I know I need to go ahead and look for ways to go ahead and get help. Maybe there's somebody else that can wear a hat. That's what we're going to talk about in this episode today. I want to talk about the hats that you wear, but I also want to talk about the stages that happen, and I'm going to talk about the two stages the new hat that you wear, and then when you master that role and that hat fits better, and so I want to talk about that, and then I will also want to talk about the most important hats that you have to wear. So what, what? what's crazy is that we don't get formal training for any of our caregiver roles, any of our caregiver hats, and and it takes us to, it really does. And let me do a disclaimer unless you had past experiences or you had a career in it. For example, my sister had nursing experience when my mom and dad were in hospice care, and so we could lean into that hat And she wore that hat whenever she was there, and I would wear it just a little bit, but I would have to go ahead and lean into her to say, connie, i need you to come back and wear this hat for me not literally, but I didn't really say it that way But I need your help from a certified nursing perspective. Now she's in pharmacy and I can go ahead and lean into her on her knowledge when it comes to pharmacy and the drug drugs that she works with as well. You know what this reminds me of, and I talked a little bit about this when I talked about my entrepreneur. But let's say somebody buys a new. Let's say a lady buys a boutique, a shop, and she opens it up and she's super, super excited about opening up her new clothes boutique. Right, and she opens up as a new business owner. She doesn't have any help because she can't afford the help. She's paying for the rent of the building, she has inventory that she has all of her money tied up into And she bought some programs which is going to help her with some of her efficiencies, but really running the day to day operations is hers And so she's working 18 hours a day running the shop and being there to help with customers, checking them out, helping them in the dressing rooms, and then when people don't wear the clothes, she goes ahead and has to go ahead and restock and put it on there. So she's working all of that And usually her shop is open about 18 hours a day. Then she's doing the finances And at night she's doing the cleaning of the shop And she's ordering the inventory plus whatever else she's dealing with. You think about that lady. She's probably doing her passion project. But eventually, what's going to happen if she doesn't have any help or she doesn't look for efficiencies or ways to lighten the load. She's going to experience fatigue, working 18 hours a day. And then, probably after the door is closed, she's probably vacuuming, she's probably cleaning the restrooms, she's probably washing the fingerprints off the door and all of that kind of stuff. And then the stress of being the only one there And she's probably sneaking in when there's not a customer in the shop. She's probably sneaking in answering emails, doing the finances, ordering inventory, so she's burning the candle all the time. She's probably feeling anxiety and probably having her energy dropping as she's doing more and more and staying and trying to go ahead and drum up the business. Her mindset and attitude probably will change eventually as well, because she's tired, she's fatigued, she hasn't had a break and what happens? eventually? she burns out. She burns out and that can affect her customer service, the way she does things in the day-to-day operations. Well, i know as a caregiver you can relate to this as well. It's hard to do everything, it's hard to show up each and every day, but when you figure it out and you figure out ways to be more efficient, you figure out things that can make things easier for you, it becomes easier. Maybe you start asking questions and learning from those questions and when you make mistakes, you're learning from them. Or, like the business owner, you're finding efficiencies, or you're building a team and getting that team member to wear a hat, or wear a hat part of the day for you so that you get a break. Today I want to dig in deeper on how we can get better and grow from being new or I'm going to call it a novice in each of the hats that we wear or the jobs or roles that we play, and we become masters. Imagine that you're a novice and then you grow into a master, and I think it's novice, intermediate, master. At least, that's what I did when I went for swimming lessons and that's how I got the idea. We all start out, in each and every hat that we wear, as a novice. Think about how you feel as a novice. You're just in this new water and you're just not sure how to do it. So, yeah, jump in. My words have always been figure it out, make mistakes, ask questions and you'll get better. But I want to take a step back and I want you to think about if you had to apply for a new job right now and you had to fill out that application of what you currently do right now and you had to. Or you made a resume and you had to do it there. Most of us would go ahead and say we were a caregiver and that doesn't do any justice to what we actually do In your job description or on your resume. I want you to think about all of the skills and experiences that you've gained as a caregiver to this day. I mean, you have mastered a lot and I'm going to walk you through, i think, three to four where we're going to start out as a novice in the hat or the role that you played or the skill set that you learned, and then I'm going to go ahead and talk about transitioning to a novice, from a novice to a master Boy. Would you have a laundry list? and you have a laundry list of amazing experiences and skill sets that you have gained as a caregiver that you don't even think about. I personally think that caregivers don't give themselves enough credit for all that they do, all that you do, all of the challenges and struggles that you have to figure out and overcome, all the decisions, those hard, challenging decisions that we have to make all of the research, all of the discussions that we have to make that decision. So when you are new to caregiving, you're in a novice state, right You may feel uncertain and overwhelmed by the responsibilities. You learn the basics of caregiving your loved ones, just on a hands-on learning kind of perspective. Let's say that you have to now take care of your elderly parent because they're having struggles with their daily care, right? So it's going to require you to say, okay, i have to help them in the restroom or in the bathroom. Well, the nurses are trained on how to do that, with gate belts and instructions that they give to their loved ones to use the bars and that sort of thing. Most of us don't have this training. Thinking about bathing, or you're learning how to. You're learning what medications your loved one has to take and at what time, and how you're going to organize the medications You're looking at. Okay, i have to go ahead and ensure their safety. Work on what they're eating. That's just a few things. Over time, though, as you learn about these, you make mistakes and you move forward. You become a master of the stage. You become more skilled and confident in your caregiving abilities. You acquire knowledge about your loved ones special and unique needs. I think the biggest skill set that we learn as a caregiver is effective communication skills. We learn how to communicate with our loved ones, overcome anger over you know. We learn how to communicate with the doctors And then, eventually, effective caregivers implement strategies to enhance the best care for our loved ones. We learn strategies and techniques and tools and resources and we start rolling out these strategies. So, like I said, let me share just a few examples. The first one that comes to mind is a basic one, but it's one that we do as caregivers. We are throwing into now. We have to cook for our loved one. We have to go ahead and give them a meal and make their meals. Let's say it's three times a day, and then we have snacks. We have to make meals. When you come in as a caregiver, the first thing that I did, especially with my mom, is like, okay, what do you like to eat, mom? How much food should I buy? That sort of thing. And so you start looking at that. You go ahead and look at what they have in the house. You do their grocery shopping and you do the basic recipes or you cook the basic food that they like to do. But then as you learn their medical condition or their disease or their injury, you start looking at nutrition And for me, for my mom she was getting skinnier and skinnier with her lung cancer that I started doing research and figuring out okay, i got to get more protein into their her body and understanding what she liked and what she didn't like. And I think for us, we start becoming a nutritionist, a dietitian, a chef, because we're researching and meeting the needs of the loved one. So think about if your loved one had diabetes. You would have to figure out okay, i can't have sugar in their diet, but I also have to watch for their insulin levels and making sure that they have and their blood sugar doesn't get too low. Or maybe you're dealing with somebody like my husband who had cancer And during his stem cell transplant process, when they extracted his stem cells out of his body, he was highly, highly, highly susceptible to any type of bacteria, especially bacteria that could be in foods, and so he couldn't eat off of a deli. I couldn't go ahead and pick something up at a deli. I couldn't. We had to watch and I don't remember what it was, but we had to watch things that, like anything that was not like meat, had to be cooked out at the highest temperature. We had to watch He loved like beef sticks, but beef sticks aren't totally processed, and so we had to watch those, and I probably should have did research, but I did it. He couldn't have vegetables, raw vegetables or any type of fruit that had that potentially was put out on the shelves, that people had touched, that potentially could have bacteria in them, and so we had to resort to canned foods, frozen vegetables If we did. If I did want fresh vegetables, i had to cook them to the point that they were almost mush. If he wanted an apple, it had to be cleaned totally And I had to go ahead and take the skin off as well. Even like his cans and his like. He liked he liked, he likes his flavored water and cans. I had to go ahead and really we had to actually physically wash them in dish soap and water and dry them off so that there would not be any germs or bacteria on it. And so I became really good at what he could eat and what he couldn't eat, and you get to be a master at that stage, and so, instead of wearing a cook hat. I graduated to a master nutrition chef hat kind of, in a way. And, by the way, just you and I as a hint. I am not a good cook, i am not really good at cooking and I don't like it, but I do it. I'm very sloppy, i'm messy, i'm impatient And so, but I made it through. I made it through, okay. So the next example I want to share is let's say you're a medical care coordinator, meaning you are in charge of your loved one's care And you're a novice. You're figuring out their appointments and you're probably getting the appointments on your calendar. You're figuring out the medications that your loved one needs because you're getting pharmacy updates to, say, pick up your loved one's medication. You're even learning the disease or the chronic illness or the injury that your loved one has. And then you're attending appointments. You're very novice on it and you really don't know too much about it. Then you become, you start mastering this the care for your loved one from a medical perspective, because you're doing research, you're asking questions, you're understanding the best care, and I remember this because I this is something that I am most proud of when it comes to mastery is I became really good at understanding what the appointment was for my husband, dennis, who would. We would go in first chemotherapy. I would understand the chemotherapy injections or the drugs that they were using. I would monitor side effects. Then I would have my little notepad with the, the questions to ask, and I became really good at asking efficient and direct but partnering questions to the, the doctor, and you become this advocate. You also are looking for resources. When you're mastering it, i definitely leaned into case coordinators or care managers, the financial managers. My mom had a care nurse when she was going through a radiation treatments and I had hers, and so you just become a master at coordinating and you just don't see yourself doing it all. You become a master and you start building your team and knowing your resources and building systems. Shout out to Rosa, if you are listening to this, because you've become a master when it comes to the medical records and keeping your your, your mom's, medical records organized, getting having that file in place, calling the appointment in advance, to making sure that that you know what's happening the following day. Do they have everything that the, does the doctor have everything that they need? You know all of that. You become a master at this and you develop this skill. Okay, my, my another example here is nursing and everyday care. Oh, my goodness, you have your nursing. When you're taking care of nursing, i'm just going to dive right into when I was a novice when Dennis came home from his knee replacement surgery I am, i, i'm the nurse. That probably makes patients cringe, but when he came home we sat at the hospital. They went through his instructions of what they did. We even had this little two hour class before he had the knee replacement surgery. So we understood some of our responsibilities. Like Dennis had to have support, host stockings on throughout the day. He could take them off at night. He had to have this, a, this battery pack, plug in ice pack that was going around his leg. He had a drain tube in that needed to be that. There was a bag alongside of them that needed to be changed. It made me very nauseous, and so all of those things. When you're thinking about nursing, you have to identify the everyday needs and learn how to do them. Like if you, if your elderly parents, how do you bathe somebody that has limited control of their extremities? How do you do that? What equipment do you need? How do you go ahead and protect your back? What medications do you give your loved ones? What nursing care do they need? Those supports, host stockings, those, those really tight, grippy stockings are just all hell is all get out to put on. All my gosh. I thought i was going to go had and die from it because i was sweating profusely. But learning how to put those on because they are like suction cups around the legs and they're needed and how do you do that And like emptying the drain tube without making a mess and learning how to go ahead and clean it and put it back on and all that kind of stuff You become this learner, this beginner, novice. Then you start learning it, you start getting into that intermediate, intermittent i think it's phase Until you start mastering it. And the only way to master this, in my opinion, is make mistakes, is to learn from the mistakes that you make, to find efficiencies and skills and tricks and hacks to go ahead and do that. Don't think i wasn't calling my sister to say how in the heck do you put the support host stockings on easier When your loved one is is like you gotta get it on, i can't, i can't. You know you're putting on a leg that he just had a knee replacement surgery on And it's painful and you're trying to push. Oh my gosh, we, we laugh, but i there was one point that i laughed so hard putting those on that i peed my pants Because i could not get it on. And so at what point do you look at resources or support, or family members support When it comes to nursing, and that's where you're starting to master it. I think the last one i want to talk about here, before i move into kind of the second part and into the closing, is another example is You become this air in person. You become the driver, the person that has to pick everything up, get everything, stock everything, do everything for your loved one. You become the grocery shopper, the pharmacy pick up person that has to wait in line, listen to the pharmacist when they go ahead and ask if they have you have any questions? you're running to the post office. You're, you're picking up whatever you need to pick up and doing all of the errands right. That seems like an easy job to do, but it's time consuming, it's really time consuming. And so you start going ahead and becoming a master when you start figuring out a schedule, you figuring out a system in place. You figuring out in this is the anal side of Kathy. You go to the same grocery store every time. Will you do the grocery store, mapped out according to the sections of the store So it becomes more efficient? and you go through the list with with your loved one to make sure they don't have anything that they need. You might even get to the point where it's like i'm just order those groceries online and pick them up So i don't have to. Or the pharmacy instead of waiting in line at the pharmacy, you're at the drive through, or you have the pharmacist deliver them, because now you know in advance that your loved ones always going to need them the certain kind of medicine or better. Yet, you look for help And a couple episodes ago we had Shay, the PA, who really talked about, talked about some efficiencies, and she brought the teenager up asking for help. Is there some family member that could help? is there a teenager that Could do that? because when you're out running errands, who's taking care of your loved one? Where are you trying to go ahead and put both hats on at the same time and trying to panic glee, i don't even think that's a word. You're panicking, going to the grocery store while your loved ones taking a nap, hoping that they don't get up and fall and hurt themselves, and you're stressing yourself out, and so those are just a few things that i thought about, but i think i hope you get the picture of you go into each of the roles or the hats that you wear as a novice, and then you determine, as you go through, how to do it better, how to figure it out, how to learn from things. What skill sets do i need? who do i need to call for help? who can help me? and that's when you start mastering Each of the skill sets. And the biggest hat, though, that i think you wear as a caregiver is this primary caregiver hat. Just like the entrepreneur or that lady business owner, she was a business owner, and that's the main hat that she wore And that's actually her title or that's actually her profession. you are the primary caregiver, you are the main caregiver for your loved one, and this is actually the one hat that you have to always look at, always where, even when you have all of the minor hats or i shouldn't say minor, that doesn't do it justice all the little responsibilities that you have. And think about it. If you had an office and you had to put a title on your door, or you had to wear a name tag around and you had to say your name, kathy van, and who will underneath that, what would be your official title? you are the primary caregiver, right? Better yet, you're filling out your application or your resume, or you're looking at your skills that you have gained as a caregiver. You're gonna put, instead of caregiver, you're gonna put i'm a. I was the primary caregiver for my parents. So that's just a sidebar and like a hotspot for me, because we don't give ourselves enough credit for all of the tasks that we do, all of the skill sets that we gained underneath this big big hat. Maybe it's a sombrero, or maybe it's a big sun hat, or maybe it's. My dad used to love cowboy hats. It's a big cowboy hat and primary caregiver is your, your big hat. Throughout your caregiving journey, you will grow and evolve. In each role or each hat that you do and and you partake in, you'll acquire a new knowledge. You'll refine your skills. You'll gain deeper understanding of your loved one's needs. Think about where you were at when you started to what you know now, even things like we were in hospice care with my dad in 2018 and then last year we did hospice care again. We had my brother and my sister and myself. We had so much experiences and we've worked through some of the bugs that we were even a better caregiver in hospice for my mom. So by embracing your challenges and seeking resources and support, you can become a master in each of your hats and, better yet, you can wear some and you don't have to wear some. You're providing comprehensive and compassionate care to your, to your loved one, by mastering the hats that you're wearing. Master in being a master is learning is asking questions. It's finding resources and efficiencies and finding that team for it. You know, think about it If you're cooking and for me cooking. I was cooking for my mom, but I became a better cook. I became that nutritionist, that that chef for my mom, because I knew if I went ahead and added protein and what it could have been just even protein powder to some things she was becoming at, her nutrition was better. Or when you're looking at that nurse nursing responsibility that you do. You know, helping your, your loved one, get dressed. The first time that you help your loved one get dressed. Oh my gosh, it was a nightmare for me because my mom couldn't balance herself. And here I am trying to get bending down, trying to get her legs in the pant legs, which, while she's sitting on the side of the bed and all she wants to do is stand up, and then I'm like you can't stand up, you're going to fall over, blah, blah, blah. Until I found a system in place And until we talked about the. We talked through it. Then it became better. Mastering at the master stage, you can be efficient, you can find resources, you found the help. But you know what? sometimes you just can't get to the ultimate master stage because there is some limitations to your abilities. And I was telling my husband I'm going to use his, his dancing skills as an analogy today And he goes okay, go ahead and do it. My husband has two left feet and does not have any rhythm. I can still think about us dancing on our first wedding song. And he is just such a terrible dancer, such a terrible dancer. All he does is just dances in circles. And he just one foot, one foot, one foot, dancing circles, and he just has no rhythm, no flow whatsoever. And here I am. I was in POM in dance. In high school I was a Green Bay Packers cheerleader who danced on the field And I loved to dance. And then I'm dancing with somebody that steps on your toes and does not have any rhythm. Well, he he could have. We could have signed him up for dancing with the stars. Let's say we signed him up for dancing with the stars. He probably could have improved his skill sets a little bit, but there is no way he would have made it to the second level. He would have been eliminated And and definitely not made it. I don't know if you're a dancing with the stars fan. I used to be a big one and watching it. So I think we have to come to the realization that sometimes we aren't going to be able to master a skill. It reminds me too of the time that Dennis had to have. He had a. He had a what is it called? In his lung, he had a blood clot And I don't know what the official technical term is again and it might come to me And so in order for that blood clot to go away, he had to give himself injections in his stomach three times a day And the nurse in the chemotherapy area or in the oncology area said Okay, we're going to have to do some training and show you how to do it, kathy, let's go ahead and show you how to do it. And my husband held up his hands and he says there's no way Kathy's going to give me these injections. First of all, she will pass out, because that's what she does and She just is not a gentle person. She'll just go ahead and do it, and that's just the way I am, and so we laughed about it. The nurse still showed me how to do it in case Dennis couldn't do it, but he gave him himself his own injections from his Why can't? I can't remember what the name of it is and it's gonna drive me crazy, but the blood clots in his lung, which definitely resolved so Before Sidebar, sidebar, side tangent. Okay, let's go on here now. Before I end this podcast episode, i want you to seriously take a look at your own head as well. You're wearing multiple hats. You're also wearing that primary caregiver hat, but when you take off all of those hats, i want you to seriously look at yourself, look at your head, look at your hair, look at that invisible hat that you always wear your own personal hat. You're gonna call it your your name hat, like mine's, my Kathy hat. What does your hat look like? What does it look like? Are you giving yourself? Have you spent time just wearing that hat without another hat on top of it? Is it calm? Is it healthy? Is it Relaxing? when you let your own head breathe, the other hats will fit better, they'll look nicer, that sort of thing And so I seriously want you to think. Think about the hats that you wear, but also the head that you're putting it on, because it's not gonna do you any good To go ahead and wear all of the multiple hats and then your original head, which is kind of a weird analogy, but I'm gonna go with it. Your original head is stressed, it's fatigued, it's sick, it's burnt out and You are just not emotionally stable or you're not physically there. It's going to make every single Responsibility you do harder and harder and harder to do, and so that's my my pitch today to you. I cannot wait for you to tell me how many hats you wear. I Cannot wait for you. I would encourage you to just spend some time and write them down once, or grab your notes on your phone and say Here are all the things that I do as a caregiver Holy cow, that's a lot that I do as a caregiver. And then, next to it, put on, there is where you're at. Are you in a novice state of that, because Tomorrow we could have a new responsibility and we're back in that novice state, or have you mastered it? and then, if you've mastered it By looking at how can I make it easier, put a master plus next to it or an m plus next to it and know that You should continue to work on each and every one of those hats to see how can you be the best at each one of those hats, at each one of those, and You're gonna learn so much about it. And I could go on and on and tell you different stories, but I think when you become that master, then you start realizing that you feel better as a caregiver. Your loved one Sees you Healthier, happier, you have moments of joy and in turn, then that caregiver life that you're living becomes a little bit better. So Happy 4th of July to you in America and here's to you Looking at your hats that you're wearing, looking at you becoming a master in each one of those hats and Then, when you take your hats off at night, and you take that primary caregiver hat off at night, when you look in the mirror at your hair, at your head, at your eyes, at your face, do you feel good about it? Or, if not, what are you gonna work on? What am I learning about it? Don't beat yourself up, look at yourself and saying, huh, i'm aware of this piece and I am not really good at cooking and I'm not really good at At nursing, but I know where I can go ahead and find the support and the help I mean for cooking. It could be as easy as looking at. Are there meal prep companies that I could utilize, or is there Somebody at my family that could come over and we could go ahead and meal prep in the afternoon for the whole week, so that Kathy looks like she's cooking a really great meal and it's a little bit easier. So what can you do to make it easier? As always, my friend, the purpose of these episodes are to go ahead and look at you. Look at how you are filling your cup each day, look at how you're putting yourself first, looking at how you can reduce that stress, eliminate that burnout and Find moments of joy to be the best caregiver that you can be. Love you and we'll talk to you again next week. Bye for now. You.

The Many Hats of a Caregiver
Novice to Master in Caregiving
Becoming a Master in Caregiving
The Importance of Self-Care for Caregivers
Finding Joy as a Caregiver