The Caregiver Cup Podcast

Motivation Mojo: Finding Your Spark on the Toughest Caregiving Days

May 07, 2024 Cathy VandenHeuvel Episode 212
Motivation Mojo: Finding Your Spark on the Toughest Caregiving Days
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
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The Caregiver Cup Podcast
Motivation Mojo: Finding Your Spark on the Toughest Caregiving Days
May 07, 2024 Episode 212
Cathy VandenHeuvel

Send Cathy a text:)

Feeling the weight of caregiving responsibilities? Struggling to find the motivation to face another challenging day? You're not alone. Join me in this episode as we explore practical strategies to reignite your motivation and reclaim your spark even on the toughest caregiving days.

In this episode, we dive deep into the common hurdles caregivers face, from emotional exhaustion to overwhelming responsibilities. We discuss the impact of lack of motivation and explore why it's crucial to address it head-on. Drawing from personal experiences and expert insights, we uncover simple yet powerful techniques to boost your motivation and infuse joy into your caregiving journey.

From mindset shifts to self-care practices, we share actionable tips to help you overcome burnout and rediscover your passion for caregiving. Whether you're feeling stuck in a rut or simply need a dose of inspiration, this episode is your guide to finding your motivation mojo and navigating caregiving with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Tune in now to unlock the secrets to finding your spark on even the toughest caregiving days. Your motivation makeover starts here!

Plus, don't miss out on valuable insights from Carer Card UK in our latest blog post. Dive deeper into the factors affecting caregiver motivation and discover actionable tips to reignite your passion for caregiving. Check out the article here for a closer look.

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:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send Cathy a text:)

Feeling the weight of caregiving responsibilities? Struggling to find the motivation to face another challenging day? You're not alone. Join me in this episode as we explore practical strategies to reignite your motivation and reclaim your spark even on the toughest caregiving days.

In this episode, we dive deep into the common hurdles caregivers face, from emotional exhaustion to overwhelming responsibilities. We discuss the impact of lack of motivation and explore why it's crucial to address it head-on. Drawing from personal experiences and expert insights, we uncover simple yet powerful techniques to boost your motivation and infuse joy into your caregiving journey.

From mindset shifts to self-care practices, we share actionable tips to help you overcome burnout and rediscover your passion for caregiving. Whether you're feeling stuck in a rut or simply need a dose of inspiration, this episode is your guide to finding your motivation mojo and navigating caregiving with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Tune in now to unlock the secrets to finding your spark on even the toughest caregiving days. Your motivation makeover starts here!

Plus, don't miss out on valuable insights from Carer Card UK in our latest blog post. Dive deeper into the factors affecting caregiver motivation and discover actionable tips to reignite your passion for caregiving. Check out the article here for a closer look.

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, hello there and welcome to another episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. It's Kathy here. I am so excited to talk about this topic today. I wanted to talk about something that happens to us often, especially as caregivers. And when we feel this way, what do we do? We beat ourselves up and we start asking ourselves what is wrong with us. There must be something wrong with us. We're exhausted. We have more on our plate than any other person would have. In addition to all the things we have going on, there are tons of emotional stresses and decisions that we have to make, and we feel and I'm moving my hands round and round like a hamster on a wheel, and even we feel isolated. What am I talking about?

Speaker 1:

It's morning and your alarm goes off and you don't want to face your day. You're just like I don't want to get out of bed. I can't do this. This is just drives me crazy. I can't get out of bed, and this is just not the first day. You have no motivation and just wish you could stay in bed. Have you been there? Oh my gosh. I've experienced it so many times that I can't count them anymore.

Speaker 1:

As a caregiver, we all need a little bit of motivation in life every so often, right Something to push us forward and keep us going with a smile on our face, with energy and with strength to keep going on. I want you to think about those days when it takes everything that you have to put your feet on the floor from your bed and move forward and go on. What is your body and mind doing at that time? Oh, my gosh, you know you think about it. Your mind is just racing with these negative thoughts. Oh, what if I just stayed in bed? Would anybody miss me? Oh, could I call in sick? We can't call in sick as a caregiver. We can't just stayed in bed. Would anybody miss me? Oh, could I call in sick? We can't call in sick as a caregiver. We can't just go in and skip a day. It's not happening.

Speaker 1:

And then we think about okay, what do we have going on? Today? We have a busy day scheduled. Maybe it's doctor's appointments, maybe it's work meetings. Maybe it's taking your loved one to shopping. Maybe it's, you know, bringing in help that day. Maybe it's your work demands and you have to get up and do your job, and then you have caregiving for the rest of the day and really you have no time to yourself.

Speaker 1:

Or maybe it's the same old, same old thing day in and day out, and you can't even recognize even what day it is and you're just like. This is just like a hamster wheel of life. Or maybe it's an emotional or hormonal days. I went through my whole perimenopause and menopause during caregiving and I'm still caregiving, but I didn't even recognize that all of the hormones and the lack of estrogen and the lack of progesterone and all of those crazy things are happening and I was beating myself up thinking there was something wrong with me.

Speaker 1:

Or maybe you're just feeling sad and depressed. Maybe it's really a hard time in your life and your loved one's disease is progressing or their illness or injury is not getting better. Maybe you're just exhausted. Maybe the last couple days were just physically exhausting or emotionally exhausting and your body is finally telling you that you're tired. Or maybe you just don't know what's going on and what's wrong with you. Why am I just doing? I can't never get out of bed anymore. I have no motivation, no drive to go ahead and do that.

Speaker 1:

And when you're caregiving and you're caregiving and caregiving and caregiving, it's bound to happen. First of all, my friend, it's completely normal to lack motivation. It is, it's completely normal. But what do we do? We beat ourselves up, right? I just needed to take a sip of water because I'm getting so pumped for this topic, because it's such an important topic and it's one that we feel guilt and shame for. Why are we feeling guilty when we deserve to go ahead and have those off days? We deserve to have those days where we just don't feel like doing anything, days where we just don't feel like doing anything, right?

Speaker 1:

Well, there's a great article that I found. It's from Carers Card UK and it was from February 7, 2024. So, carers Card UK, I want to give them credit for this article, and they went into the reasons why you may feel a lack of motivation, and when I read this, it's like it makes sense why. And so, instead of beating ourselves up, we have to sit and think about is it emotional exhaustion? Because they had said caregivers can be emotionally taxing, or caregiving can be emotionally taxing, leading to feelings of burnout and exhaustion. Constantly providing that physical and emotional support for our loved ones, or witnessing the challenges that face them and managing the demands of caring for someone can be draining on us emotionally and can contribute to lack of emotion.

Speaker 1:

Another one is overwhelming responsibilities. You think about managing multiple responsibilities, including, like the medical appointments, administering medication, helping your loved one through their daily needs, coordinating care and coordinating all of the calendar events and doing all the administration stuff, like whether it be scheduling doctor's appointments, taking care of insurance or whatever it would be. The sheer volume and complexity of these responsibilities can lead to overwhelm and leading to a sense of being demotivated or burdened. Or another one would be lack of support, because caregiving can be demanding and when caregivers feel unsupported or isolated, it can lead to loss of motivation. Limiting access to your time off or respite care or insufficient help from family and friends or lack of awareness or understanding from others can make us feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. Another one would be sacrifices and personal loss, because think about what you're sacrificing your personal time, career aspirations, hobbies or social connections.

Speaker 1:

Over time, this can contribute to a sense of loss, we can feel grief, we can feel a decline in motivation and this constant focus on the needs of that person we're caring for, without adequate attention to our own needs, can really cut away or erode our motivation. Another one might be financial strain and because when we're let's say you were working full time and now you have to reduce your hours or leaving your workforce and we're incurring additional expenses. Maybe you're dipping into your finances to help with medication costs or equipment for your loved ones, and this financial strain can lead to stress and worry and then it impacts our motivation levels. It's kind of like that domino effect. Another one would be the impact on us, on our physical health, because the physical demands of caregiving, like lifting and helping with tasks I mean think about things like you know, you're lifting your loved ones, you're doing more of the laundry or physical tasks, you're cleaning, you're running errands All of that can lead to fatigue and pain and health issues and when we're not feeling well it diminishes our energy levels and our motivation. And then the one that really I resonated with the most not saying that the rest of them weren't important was the lack of physical or lack of personal fulfillment. We may struggle with the loss of personal fulfillment or a sense of purpose outside of our caregiving role because we gave up on everything. The focus on meeting the needs of the person that we're caring for can overshadow our own personal goals and aspiration and then it leads to a decline in motivation and we feel that sense of identity loss. And so in this article it says it's important to recognize and address these factors to regain motivation and prevent caregiver burnout, which I've talked about many times in this podcast episode, in my podcast episodes. And so go back and look at you're going to see like three levels of caregiving overwhelm. You're going to see one specifically related to burnout. And so by seeking support from others or practicing self-care and practicing self-care, setting realistic expectations, seeking time off or respite care and seeking professional assistance such as counseling or therapy, can be helpful in managing and really mitigating the impacts of our motivation or the challenges on motivation. So this article was really good and it just kind of brought it. You know, it made it bubble up For me when I coach caregivers the big ask I have when they have this sense of their lacking motivation.

Speaker 1:

I ask my clients, which some of them can be you listening right now how can I get out of this funk? Or how can you get out of this funk? And I asked them that because I want them to start unpacking or peeling the skins of the onion back. And I'll even ask them how can you find your motivation to keep going? And once we start talking about that, we can start really unpacking it. Something as simple as how do you think you can get out of this Really gets them thinking about it, because most of the time what a caregiver will say is, I'm stuck, I can't leave caregiving, and I agree with them totally. But I want them to get deeper and I'm thinking how can you get out of your funk If you can't change a situation? You have to make the best of the situation. I wish I had this answer for them of like as easy as one, two, three. These are the three steps. But I don't have anything easy because as a caregiver, we have to unpack it all and find out what the root causes are, like that article I talked about Before I get into the tips to ignite motivation, I really want you to look at your situation and your own health, re-look at this article and I'll put the link of the article in the show notes so that you can go ahead and refer to this article and I give them credit for that.

Speaker 1:

What is it? The card caregivers. Let me look at it one more time. The Carers Card UK. I couldn't remember the order of it and I want you to really look at your situation and your own health, and I do this in kind of this three-step process and it'll come full circle.

Speaker 1:

But more or less, you're feeling in a funk and you're feeling this and you can't even, you're just dreading getting out of bed. The alarm goes off, you want to hit the snooze, or you're up and you see your bed and you want to turn around and just go back to sleep. I first want you to do is take a moment and ask yourself if this is self-induced. Please don't take this the wrong way. When I say self-induced, I mean, is it something in my mind, in my body, that I'm just agreeing with and I'm going to go along with this? I'm not motivated feeling Because our brains remember we've talked so much about negative thoughts. It wants us to go ahead and continue to feed those negative thoughts. So here are some questions you can ask yourself, and in my blog and I'll put the link to my blog I will list out all of these. I'm not going to put it in the show description because I don't have enough room, but I'll put these in there as a place to start.

Speaker 1:

Take a moment and ask yourself are you doing too much and is it finally catching up with you? Are you letting those negative thoughts in your head and it's exhausting you mentally and or affecting your sleep? And what I mean? Are you letting those negative thoughts continue to go and are you feeding those? Or are you exhausting yourself mentally and it's affecting your sleep? So you got to ask yourself. You start asking yourself why. What's going on? What's your day look like? Like you're getting up and you're getting out of bed. Are you allowing this to go ahead and feed your negative thoughts? Or are you looking at your day ahead and you're saying, yeah, this is going to be a tough day I have.

Speaker 1:

We have back-to-back doctor's appointments and what you're going to want to do is think about can I find time to recharge in between those doctor's appointment? Want to ask yourself when's the last time you took time away, whether it been 15 minutes, an hour, a half a day, a day. When's the last time? Because if it's been a long time, sure you're going to start feeling it and thinking it. When's the last time you met up with a friend or did something fun? I know what you're saying. Right now I can't, I can't. I know you're saying it because I said it myself. But you have to figure it out. You have to find some little spurts of time to recharge. You can't keep going and going and going and not get away.

Speaker 1:

Another thought is what expectations are you holding to yourself? Especially, are they unrealistic? Are they realistic expectations or unrealistic expectation? Because I was so guilty of this? I can take care of mom. I don't need any help. I can go ahead and take Dennis to all of his appointments, I don't need any help. I can do the six weeks away from home, I don't need any help. I can be with dad in hospice care for as long as it takes, and I don't need any help when those are unrealistic. You can't keep going and going and going and going without a break. You just physically and emotionally and mentally can't do it and it's going to come out with negative thoughts, and one of these negative thoughts is that motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Speaker 1:

The second thing after you take a moment and you try to figure this out, you want to then allow these to sink in, and what I mean by this is look at the patterns. Is this happening often? Am I feeling the funk every morning? Now for the last week. Why am I feeling this way? What do I need to do? Maybe it's on specific days, maybe it's for me.

Speaker 1:

I felt doctor's appointments and therapy appointments were exhausting, and I'm an introvert. So having to be on as an introvert all the time, with being an advocate and doctors and really ensuring that my husband and my mom and my dad whoever I was caring for were entertained and I kept him upbeat all day, that was so exhausting. And so on those days I would wake up and I'm like, oh my God, I got to be on today and there's not going to be any time to be off and I know by the end of the day I'm going to be exhausted. So I had to figure out a way to work through that. Or do you have a really rough day at work ahead and you're short staffed at work, so you're going to work twice as hard and you know it's your shift today to go ahead and take care of mom or dad, and so this is going to be not only an eight-hour day, it's going to be a 16-hour day for you. So we get in that funk where we don't want to get up and feel motivated. So you want to think about what it is and really start paying attention to it.

Speaker 1:

I actually have a journal. Now I changed up my journal a little bit. It's from Jenna Kutcher and let me grab it here once I'm going to slide my chair back once. It's a journal called how Are you Really? It's a daily reflection journal and what I like about it is really simple. I've been finding that I've been journaling and now my journaling is more like a task and I don't want it to be. I want to go ahead and write when I feel like writing, but when I don't feel like writing, I still wanna keep this habit going, but I wanna make it simple and easy.

Speaker 1:

And her journal now asks the very top question, after you put in the date, is how are you really today? And it's a one through 10. And then it gets into. There's just a little few lines and I usually go ahead and if I'm feeling upbeat, I'll write it. If I'm feeling downbeat, I'm not. And then it's just saying what are the big three things that you want to do for yourself today? And those three things can be for you. It could be the three things that you need to do for your loved one today, and you only focused on those three things instead of the 10 things on your list, or it could be the three things that you're going to do from a self-care perspective. Today I'm going to take a lunch break, I'm going to text my friend, whatever it would be. You want to think about those and what can you do with those. So that just got me thinking. Now we talked about taking a moment and really assessing, allowing these to sink in and really look at where the patterns are, and then what can you do to improve your situation, your mood, your attitude and your motivation. It's amazing what a simple change can make in your day and what can you do to improve your situation.

Speaker 1:

I know my girlfriend, julie, saw it in me and when I would call her, I'm like I don't have it today, and by her asking me to be her bowling friend on Wednesday nights, I didn't want to do it. I felt like it was just another thing that I couldn't do. But when I started tracking my patterns, wednesdays was my best day of the week because I was so excited by from five to six o'clock I would be able to get out and I could go ahead and bowl. Whether I was a good bowler or not. I got better and then I found that Thursday and Fridays were easier, because I was still feeling the energy and the high from the bowling night, because not only was I doing something active, I was talking to people, I was giggling and laughing with my girlfriend, I was able to go ahead and share some things and vent if I needed to, and it was only an hour, hour and a half and I was home.

Speaker 1:

So what can you do to improve your situation and your motivation? Maybe on doctor's days, like I said, they were exhausting for me, but you don't cook and you have pickup, or you have a food pickup or you order in, or you have a friend cooking for you and you're like, okay, it's a doctor's day and I don't like doctor's days because they're so exhausting, but you know what the good part about it is I don't have to cook today and we're going to go ahead and pick up our broasted chicken from our favorite restaurant and we're going on the way home and we're going to take it home and we can sit and relax and have the broasted chicken and we get a break. Or maybe, if your loved one is healthy enough, you go out for dinner that day, whatever it would be. Maybe it's getting realistic about what you can and you can't do. Maybe you are just doing too much and you have to have this come to whatever your religion is, come to Jesus, come to Kathy, come to the universe, whatever you want it to be. But you have to have this serious talk with yourself and saying what can I delegate, what can I outsource and what do I have to delete right now? Maybe I can't go grocery shopping every week right now and I go ahead and order it online and it delivers it. My sister does it all the time. She never goes grocery shopping anymore and it's like I find that's like my little escape, but for her she doesn't like to do it. Maybe it's you're hiring a cleaning service once a month to do the deep cleaning so that you only have to do the surface work. Maybe it's help from your family and you finally have to say I can't do this anymore. Or maybe at your doctor's appointment, you talk to somebody and they go ahead and hook you up with a social worker so that you can identify all of the support available and you start looking at what would be the best. Support Let me take a drink here once. Support, let me drink my. Take a drink here once.

Speaker 1:

I want you to think about this first the three steps, taking a moment, looking at your patterns, and what can you improve on your situation. I want you to think about this first before I share some simple things you can do to ignite your motivation. Because you don't want to. I use sweeping under the rug all the time, so I guess that's my thing. You don't want to sweep the everyday feeling underneath the rug and fake it until you make it. However, there are times where you have to fake it until you make it. You want to understand why you don't feel motivated. That's the big thing, and once you recognize it, you're going to continue to work on that and try to figure out. I want more good days than bad days.

Speaker 1:

Once you figure that out, then you want to figure out, too, some tools in your toolkit that you can pull out to fix your motivation. Think of your motivation like a leaky sink or a leaky pipe underneath your sink. You know, okay, I need to go ahead and fix it, and I may need to do the quick fix right now, and then eventually I will hire a plumber and refix the pipes, but for now, I need to get that wrench out and tighten it and get a bucket underneath it. That's what your tools in your toolkit are going to be like, and I want you to figure out what those tools are that you can use to spike your motivation, to ignite it, to give it a kickstart in the butt so that you can go ahead and get it. It's almost like tricking those negative thoughts and you're going to trick those so that you can go ahead and do it. I have written down in my notes and I think I'm first my mind's like I don't even need to say this, but they're so funny I want to tell you about them. Kind of like someone says Satan, it's not happening today. Satan of motivation, you're not coming into my head today. That might be something that you say, or I'm not going to listen to you, miss Motivation Robber, I've said these things out loud to myself laying in bed and then I jump up.

Speaker 1:

Now, mel Robbins, if you haven't read the book 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, from Mel Robbins, she's got this approach where you lay in bed and you don't want to get your butt out of bed, do the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,. Get up, because if you hit your snooze alarm and you fall back to sleep now, your body's going into the sleep cycle again and you're going to feel even more exhausted. She's saying do the five, four, three, two, one and get your body in movement mode and think about that. You're right away, you're going to go ahead and move your body and maybe it's making your bed, maybe it's jumping around and maybe it's dancing, Maybe it's prayer, maybe it's opening your blinds and your curtains up so that you get the sunlight in. You want to move your body because that will kickstart and get everything going.

Speaker 1:

Also, another thought is you want to work out those negative thoughts, words like you said, not today, like I just said, or you have and I've done this create a music list that helps you with your negative thoughts, when negative thoughts set in, like motivation. Maybe you have a motivation music list and you have two or three songs that help you. I love I don't even know who sings it that help you. I love I don't even know who sings it the dancing queen, only 17. I would play that music and it would just get me going, and what it did for me is I remember that when I was younger and dancing to it and singing it. Being with girls at a slumber party, you know that would bring back some things. I've also had affirmations you can listen to affirmations on like a podcast app. You can post those to your mirror in your bathroom. Maybe you have an affirmation book that you open up and read affirmations on.

Speaker 1:

Get your mind going with a positive affirmation. It may be something as simple as look at you you're up and you're looking at yourself in the mirror. Look at you you're up and you're going and you're brushing your teeth and you're moving your body and you're talking to yourself in the mirror. Yeah, people really want to commit you to a mental institution, but it works. Do a positive distraction. Maybe you have a favorite audiobook that you listen to while you're getting ready in the morning. Or maybe you have a positive podcast, like I talked about Hoda's podcast last week Making Space. It's so positive and uplifting.

Speaker 1:

Find somebody that could do that. Maybe you read something positive. Maybe you say a prayer, maybe you love to meditate. Whatever it would be, get your body and your mind working against those negative thoughts and your mind working against those negative thoughts. Now I made a note here in my note saying you don't want to fill your mind with negativity. The worst thing that you could do is look at the news. The worst thing that you could do is scroll social media and start looking at other people and other things. No, you want to take control of your mindset and your body and get that motivation mojo on. You really want to work on that Now.

Speaker 1:

Another thing to think about is fueling your body. You know it's a hard motivation day, so you need to give your body and your mind fuel that fights it. So what is the best of the best thing? If you knew somebody, you knew somebody. You had to take care of them. Just think about your loved one. When they're sick, you want to make chicken soup or you want to give them the food that they need so that they can. You're making sure that they're hydrated. You want to do the same thing for yourself. Give things that you know is not going to. Like a sugar high would give you a sugar and then you would crash. You don't want to do that to yourself. You want to say, okay, I need protein which is going to be sustainable in my body, I need veggies that's going to go ahead and have healing efforts and vitamins. You want to have fruits. You want to make sure you're drinking enough water. What is that fuel that you're going to do? You're pulling up to your own personal gas station and, instead of just doing the regular fuel, you're giving yourself the premium fuel today because you know it's a hard motivation day. You want to do that. So I have some other thoughts too.

Speaker 1:

When you find your motivation mojo, if it doesn't have to be anything you add to your play, that's the big thing. You don't have to add anything to your play. You can do it right along with something else. I call it habit stacking. You have to brush your teeth anyway. Why not brush your teeth to your favorite music and dance while you're brushing your teeth your teeth to your favorite music and dance while you're brushing your teeth, or march around in your room while you're brushing your teeth, you want to sit down and feel your body. Well, maybe you have your Bible or a favorite affirmation that you're reading, or maybe you have identified a bunch of inspirational videos or comedy videos and that makes you laugh. Or maybe you love your coffee and you drink your coffee every day. It's not something that you added to your plate, but you're going to go outside and you're going to go out to the patio or the deck or to the front door and you're going to drink your coffee without your phone and you're going to focus on the sounds and the sights You're going to take in the sunshine on your face or the raindrops on your face, you're going to listen to the birds, you're going to observe the colors and you're going to just enjoy the coffee for five minutes with your senses, and you're going to just enjoy the coffee for five minutes with your senses.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, when I'm at my worst and when I was at my worst, I was always reaching for other things. I got even to the point where I would put stickies, post-it notes, on my mirror. I even wrote one time with my lipstick or a dry erase marker on my mirror and did that. I added post-it notes in my car and it would be something really simple as keep smiling. Today you got this, or find I would give myself an instruction think about five great things that the day will bring, or something like that. I put a screensaver on my new one on my phone, like your grandchildren or your pets, or a favorite scenery, or maybe it's a quote, a favorite quote from somebody Michelle Obama says. Quote from somebody Michelle Obama says when they go high, you go low, or vice versa. Whatever she says. Maybe that inspires you. Think about what you want to go ahead and do. Think about these as small little hacks that are going to keep you going through the day. It kind of reminds me of when my kids were little, when I knew they had a really hard day ahead or maybe they had some issues with a bully or something like that. In their lunchbox I would put a sticky note inside of it and underneath their sandwich container I'd put a thing underneath it and saying you know an inspirational thing, or you're halfway through the day, you know, I hope you're doing good, or whatever. You do something like that.

Speaker 1:

Another thing is think about what you wear and how you look when you are in a funk. What do you usually do? For me, I'll put on my yoga pants, a t-shirt, probably no jewelry, very little. I'll put, like maybe, my sunscreen lotion on and a foundation, but that'll be about it. You want to up it, you want to up it. I used to have a boss that when she I could always tell when she was having a hard day she'd wear her hair up or she would dress up or she'd wear a specific color. And I asked her one day what is it, what is it? And she said I would go ahead and do that, to go ahead and give me extra incentive. It's kind of like an athlete putting on their uniform and going ahead and playing their best game or wearing their favorite shoes or wearing their favorite socks or whatever you want to think about that.

Speaker 1:

We just don't have the energy and feel like looking our best, but instead dress better, put on makeup, put on jewelry, wear that special bracelet or necklace and then touch it through the day. Touch your necklace or bracelet. I have a necklace that my mother-in-law had. She died at 58, so she never got to see my second and third child. She died of a massive heart attack immediately. And I have this onyx necklace that I wear on special occasions and I swear, when I touch it I remember things and feel her, and so that's it.

Speaker 1:

Another thing tap into your senses. Maybe it's lighting a candle or it's turning on a warmer, and there's a lot of things about. Lavender calms you and lemon energizes you. Citrus energizes you. Maybe there's a special smell that brings you back to happy times. Or scented lotion, if you can have it or your loved one can smell it. Maybe you put that on and that brings it back. My mom had a special perfume and I still have a little bit of her bottle and I would spray it on like a scarf and I would just smell it for a little bit and that would bring me back and make me happier.

Speaker 1:

Or you know what, use your special cup or put out that special something that you're always saying I can't use this until company comes over, or this is just used for special occasions. Well, bring out that special plate, bring out that special cup. Stop saving it for the guest. You are the special one. Use it and do that. Treat yourself like the mojo motivation queen that you are and if you have to, when you do that you'll start shifting your mindset. Okay, other thoughts to move you to that mojo motivation is maybe these are long-term effects or things. After you analyze and you take a moment, you realize I tried all of these things and they're kind of helping, but I need a little bit more. Maybe it's meeting with other caregivers. We are social creatures and we crave social connections and when we want that connection with people who feel are going through the same things. As we start feeling that we're not alone and better yet, we can start connecting with other caregivers and learning different techniques and ideas from others, just like you're listening to this podcast episode and me sharing my ideas. Yeah, continue to do that, but continue to find other people as well.

Speaker 1:

Another thought is taking breaks when you are feeling like you can't get out of bed and you're exhausted. That means that you're doing too much or you need to take a break. Think about when you come back from a vacation or you've taken a little time away. You feel that energy back again or you had some time to recharge. You need that when you're feeling tired and unmotivated. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break, and it could be something fresh and a breather. Maybe it's 15 minutes, maybe it's an hour, maybe it's going ahead and talking to your siblings and taking a day off and taking a break.

Speaker 1:

And I started out by saying things like when we were in hospice care with both of our parents. I wanted to break three to four times a day, and those could be 10 minute 15 minute breaks, because we needed that time away to refresh and recharge in addition to our naps and I use the example of walking down and getting the mail or going ahead and walking around the block, you know, or it could be taking a nice shower or a bath and getting that time away and turning your music up really loud If you have to use headphones, you do that. It could be something like calling a friend during that break or taking a hobby break and going ahead. You know that they take a nap Instead of cramming everything that you need to do in. Maybe the laundry can wait a day and you do a hobby. Maybe you love to go ahead and paint, maybe you love to go ahead and crochet or knit or sew and you go ahead and do that because then you go ahead and find that I love my gardening and going ahead and and weeding the garden as as silly as that sounds, it just gets me away.

Speaker 1:

Another thing that you have to get creative. Another thing that I love to do is in the evenings, especially when my mom lost. When we lost my dad and I was spending more time with my mom. I was getting stir crazy and I just I'm like I need to go ahead and find something to do. My mom and I had a facial night, we had a pedicure night, and sure I didn't take a break away from my mom, but we both took a break away from reality for just that hour and we just said you know what? We're going to go to the store and get cucumbers and we're going to get facial masks and we're going to go ahead and lay down on the bed and, once we give our facial, we're going to do that and we're going to put some fun music on and we're just going to veg for a little bit. It was so fun, and so you may have to get creative with that.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it's a good book and you sit out and have a good book, or maybe your siblings come over and you get an hour away. Well, don't use that time to go ahead and do something that you need to get caught up with. Obviously, sometimes you have to, but don't forget about your own self-care. Now my hope is that you think about your motivation, mojo. I didn't obviously get into every single scenario, because everybody's different, but you want to work on ways to get yourself out of this funk and trying different things. I love experimenting with it, because caregiving can be so demanding on you and it can be a demanding role and it can feel like you're unsupported and isolated and it can lead to loss of motivation.

Speaker 1:

So use that as a signal or a sign and then, once you get that, start figuring out what's causing it and then start looking at the small little hacks or strategies that you can experiment and discover. I mean, if I left my windows open, my neighbors would think I'm crazy. I still use these hacks to today and still go ahead and make my bed and dance around or jump around or listen to my music, whatever it would be. You may even turn it into a positive and think about this. You lay in bed oh, today, the motivation thief is back, and you lay there a minute or two. The motivation thief is back and you lay there a minute or two and you say, okay, I need to take a moment and acknowledge it and seek to understand why. Then I can go ahead and think about okay, yeah, maybe I'm going to have to go ahead and ask for more help, or maybe I need to look at some different things, but right now I need to go ahead and shake this motivation robber out of my mind and I'm going to go ahead and incorporate my tools.

Speaker 1:

So I hope you enjoy today's episode and the mojo, motivation that you need and the tricks and hacks and strategies that you can go ahead and incorporate Now. If you have one that you might think is really great, send it to me. I'll share it at the beginning of next week's podcast episode and we can go ahead and also put that into our toolkit, or, better yet, we might try it and then, if it works, we'll put it into our toolkit. So have a good rest of the week and here's to more motivation, mojo, and less of a lack of motivation and less of that robber or that person visiting you, that negative mindset visiting your negative thoughts. So have a good rest of the week and we'll talk to you next week. Bye for now.

Overcoming Lack of Caregiver Motivation
Overcoming Caregiver Burnout and Finding Motivation
Improving Motivation and Self-Care
Boosting Motivation and Productivity Techniques
Boosting Mojo