Forget about the cookouts and fireworks. This Fourth of July, celebrate our nation's birthday by channeling the rebellious spirit that compelled our forefathers to declare their independence from tyranny.
A ‘rebellious caregiver' may seem like a potentially dangerous oxymoron, but there are actually quite a few opportunities for you to engage in safe, satisfyingly seditious acts in your day-to-day life.
Here are a few ideas to help you channel your inner James Dean by rebelling against:
- Your diet: A diet plan is a great thing to have, but trying to stick to a regimented routine day in and day out can be extremely exhausting and may even increase your risk for falling off the health wagon all together. Be a diet dissident by having a cupcake for breakfast or, if you're going to an Independence Day party or parade, go ahead and get that funnel cake, and load up your plate with snacks. One day of indulgence is perfectly acceptable, and may actually help you stick to a diet. Research conducted by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has indicated that splurging doesn't have to wreck your diet. In fact, you could overeat by as much as 600 calories one day without doing serious damage to your waistline. Your body has the natural ability to average out your caloric intake over time. So, if you eat too many calories one day, you'll likely eat fewer calories the next because you'll be less hungry. The key to being able to indulge without gaining weight is to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet the majority of the time.
- Your style: Even if you have the time and energy to put together a nice looking outfit every day, such a routine can be a hassle. Today, feel free to do away with the fancy duds and stay in your PJs. If you have a party or cookout to attend, just make sure that your jammies are red, white and blue and you'll be good to go. Oddly enough, you and your loved one may actually be labeled as ‘trendy' for wearing your sleepwear while awake. Designer pajama-like ensembles have recently been seen on a slew of celebrities including: Salma Hayek, Rachel Roy and Rhianna.
- Your ‘normal': Everyone has their ‘normal' ways of thinking, acting and perceiving the world around them, caregivers are certainly no exception. Shake things up by making a pledge to break out of what's normal for you for just one day. It doesn't have to be a New Year's Resolution type of commitment—just try something different. For 24 hours, try giving up on perfectionistic tendencies, stop apologizing for everything, or give yourself permission to experience the full spectrum of your emotions without feeling guilty about it. Think of it as an opportunity to try on a different pair of emotional shoes—you might find that they fit even better than your old ones.
- The Man: No one is suggesting that you should stage a sit-in or spray paint the sidewalk outside your house, but there are more subtle ways you can stick it to the man. For example, you could take your loved one to the movies this weekend and ignore the signs that say you're not allowed to bring in any outside food. Just load up your largest handbag or purse full of pre-purchased snacks. As a courtesy to your fellow moviegoers, unwrap your goodies beforehand and stick them in Tupperware or some other form of non-noisy packaging. The only caveat to this is that you do run the risk of being discovered and either having your culinary contraband confiscated or getting kicked out of the theatre.
Whenever safely possible, try including your loved one in on these dissentious doings. It may seem strange, but banding together as two not-so-rowdy renegades may help strengthen the bond between you and the person you're caring for.