10 Ways Caregivers Can Stay Motivated in Providing Great Care
Staying motivated as a caregiver can be tough. In addition to the fact that you work long hours, being a caregiver is a difficult job.Fortunately, most caregivers love their jobs and want to find ways to excel at them. That’s where these motivational tips come in. Ideal for helping caregivers get excited about work each day, this simple checklist can make it easier to love your job and avoid burnout, both now and in the long-term. Whether you’re a new caregiver or an old veteran looking for ways to stay involved, these ten tips can help:
1. Remember why you’re doing it
Remembering why you chose to work as a caregiver is one of the biggest motivating tricks you can access. While working as a caregiver can be difficult, coming back to the reasons you chose to start the job can help make it more enjoyable. Any time you get stressed or overwhelmed, make a list of the reasons you started caregiving. For example, maybe you began caring for elderly patients to help them enjoy their independence or maybe you did it because you wanted to see people smile. No matter what your reasons may be, checking back in with them can help you enjoy your position and navigate the hard days with ease.
2. Reach out to friends or family
When you feel stressed or unmotivated, reach out to your friends or family. They’ll be able to help you remember what you love about caregiving and make it easier for you to keep your head in the game. Even a short phone call with a close friend can make you happy and provide the touchpoint you need to keep serving your clients and fulfilling your duties.
3. Connect With Support Groups
If you feel stuck in a rut in your career, reach out to caregiver support groups. Available through your local hospital, online, or through local nursing homes and assisted living facilities, caregiving support groups make it easier to connect with like-minded peers and find productive and intelligent ways to navigate the stress of the job and stay motivated to care for your patients. They can also be a fantastic resource when you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about how to move forward with your career. If you find that you drift in and out of support groups, that's okay. While some people show up to them faithfully, others use them to fall back when times get tough. Either approach is just fine.
While many caregivers feel that they’re too busy to hit the gym, finding a way to fit it in is essential. Exercise helps you stay lean and healthy, and can be an excellent way to blow off steam and clear your head. Regardless of whether you had a tough day with a patient or things are going well, be sure that you’re making time to be physically active. The more space you create for this pursuit, the better you’ll feel and the more efficient you’ll be at your job.
5. Start Each Day Rested
Good sleep translates to an increased ability to do your job. To make the most of your days and ensure you’re serving your patients well, get some rest. Things, like developing a consistent nighttime schedule, practicing good sleep hygiene, avoiding artificial light in the 60 minutes before bed, and prioritizing sleep, are essential. Most caregivers work between 40-50 hours a week, and, without enough rest, this schedule is impossible to maintain. With this in mind, enjoy your sleep and make it a priority, since it will help you stay motivated for the task at hand. If you didn't sleep well the night before, try your best to fit in a power nap somewhere during the day. Even 20 minutes of slumber can make all the difference in your attitude and outlook.
6. Brainstorm New Approaches
Have a difficult patient you can’t figure out how to “crack?” Don’t get discouraged. Instead, get proactive. Taking the time to brainstorm new approaches is an excellent way to make the most of the client/patient relationship and ensure that you’re serving each patient as well as you can. If you’re having a difficult time making headway, or you feel stuck in a rut, talk with your fellow caregivers or head to an online forum. The more proactive you can be in addressing these problems, the more motivated you’ll be to excel at your job.
7. Develop a Morning Routine
Rushing through your morning and starting work stressed and frazzled is a terrible way to start the day. Instead, develop a morning routine that allows you space and time to cater to yourself before you dive into a day spent catering to other people. Wake up early enough to drink your morning beverage, read for a bit, go for a walk, and get cleaned up before you go to work. This morning routine, combined with a nice healthy breakfast, will make all the difference when it comes to your daily motivation.
8. Set Goals
Goals are a great way to stay motivated in your daily life. No matter if your goals are big or small, setting them can help you hold yourself accountable. For example, you can set a goal to be more interactive with your patients, to stress less during the workday, or to eliminate time-wasters that make you feel frantic and hurried at work. No matter what you do, setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve them!
9. Take Breaks
According to recent research, taking regular breaks can help you feel more motivated and focused at work. While it’s true that finding time to take breaks can be difficult as a caregiver, it can be as simple as a 20-minute break during the day or hiring respite care to allow for longer breaks throughout the year. No matter what you do, find a way to make it work for you since downtime is essential for caregivers who want to perform as well as possible.
10. Take a Deep Breath
While it’s easy to find yourself feeling flustered, off-task, or distracted in your daily work, take a deep breath and re-center yourself. Although you can't do away with stressors completely, you can change how you react to them.
A Great Caregiver is a Motivated Caregiver
Caregiving is a challenging profession, and learning how to stay motivated will help you achieve better results with your patients and yourself. From taking care of your mind and your body to setting goals for your attention and interaction with your patients, these ten tips will allow you to be a more efficient, motivated, active caregiver - every single day.