Do you keep a gratitude journal? How has it helped you cope?

Follow
Share

Earlier, I explained that I grumble and complain sometimes when it comes to tending to my elder's needs. Sometimes, my other relative notices this and reprimands me for that. I am one of the few caregivers with autism, and the disorder really makes me even more prone to screaming whenever I have to meet my elder's demands.

Sometimes, I compare my attitude to Caillou, the TV cartoon character. I compare my emotions to his in the first season. I heard that most people detest the show because of that. I do too, but when it comes to meeting the grinding demands of my elder, I can't help but relate to him.

Well, I already adjusted my bedtime, and it helped me lots since.

I'm hoping to get a part-time job (I work on a network marketing business, but I have to just to get some more insight and experience by doing just that and I'm unemployed) so I can at least pay for respite care (or at least have relatives stay over at my house for a few days as I take a break from the madness I as a caregiver face). One of the Catholic churches I attended a few times as a child near my house has a caregiver group, and am planning to join it.

But for now, I just joined HappyRambles - here's hoping that it would reframe anger. I bet that it's one of the things that would transition me from giving my elder a "Caillou attitude" to expressing gratitude.

Does anyone out there keep a gratitude journal, online or notebook? How does it help you cope with the daily grind of caregiving?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
15

Answers

Show:
I have "Gratitude" on my computer as a screen saver. It reminds me every time I walk into my office that no matter what's happening, I have much to be grateful for.
Most people can benefit from keeping a gratitude journal of some type or just a list of what is "wrong" in your life and what you are grateful for. I commend you for what you are doing to try to cope.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The fact that you're caregiving someone while you have your own issues with autism is more than commendable--it is very heroic & wow, I know how tough it can be. I myself suffer from major depression, an illness many poo-poo as simply a "character weakness"; I also have a menial job as a cashier with a bunch of uncaring, bully bosses (I'm 56 & make $8.48 an hour. Pathetic). SO YES, I do keep what I call my Silver Linings Journal. I make it a point to find something that I am grateful for every day and note it. Once you start becoming more attuned to the good things around you, your spirits really DO lift; life becomes more meaningful. There are many guardian angels out there for you but sometimes we fail to notice them because the negativity in our lives is weighing us down too much. So YES, I encourage you to keep a journal, join a support group and IGNORE the relatives who reprimand you for losing your temper: hey, why don't they take a turn at helping out? I have one sibling who rarely lends a hand, is in charge of my parents finances & is POA and is incredibly insensitive. After being hurt so many times by callous behavior from this person I simply keep them in the corner of my life, "make nice" when I am forced to be with them, and am thankful for the crumbs that are thrown my way. God bless you for all you do; and hopefully, having a large family will continue to help and support you. This is the most difficult thing I've ever done and I'm sure you will agree.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I do a daily morning and evening meditation. I make my gratitude list mentally in the morning and review it and renew it at night. It is a great tool for me and I like the excercise it gives my mind, thinking does strengthen our brain. I can tell immediately how I am doing spiritually by my gratitude list, if it is hard to do, I am off kilter. I try to focus on what is right not what is wrong, really easy to say not to do. It is like a garden, no need to work at getting weeds, but it takes patience and work to cultivate flowers.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I tried keeping a journal years ago, when I contemplated publishing a book about my caregiving experiences. Although it helped manage some of the stress -- if not anger --, there was very little I felt grateful about.

Every now and then I'd go over the dozens of entries, and I realized I was stuck in a time warp like Bill Murray in that movie Groundhog Day. Sometimes the days would be carbon copies of each other.

I an attempt to become a martyr perhaps, I conditioned myself to believe the sacrifices I was making were a labor of love; and as a [recovering] Catholic I accepted my lot as if divinely ordained. ... That didn't last very long.

There's no cookie-cutter formula for caregiving, so I can only speak for myself. Hundreds of caregivers out there enjoy what they do; others do it out of duty. For many, the unconditional love towards their parents overrides their existential angst. And every now and then someone, in search of validation, tries to play Mother Teresa but doesn't quite cut it.

I, however, am blessed to have a huge family that -- when they'not trying to pass the buck -- at least make an effort to share the responsibility.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Great post! I keep a book of psalms. I write of gratitude and love as well as cry out my frustrations and sadness. Its a great way to unload without offending. It helps me gain perspective. Journaling was was introduced to me many years ago by a caring Dr. Love him for it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

A journal of the highs and lows is like leaving bread crumbs. I know in my heart of hearts that taking care of my mother at home and not in a nursing home is the right thing to do, even if difficult and trying sometimes. A journal entry leaves enough breadcrumbs that my inner self can easily conjure up the energy of the time...funny about that....it's like an emotional history that allows you to learn from your and other's mistakes...reminding you of the cyclical nature of time...and keeps you from going of track repeatedly
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I started my journal half way through my journey with mom. I wished I had started it sooner. So much changed so fast with my mom's dementia and it gave me a written log of what she was doing daily. I was so glad that I did it because after her death...I could reflect and share "our journey" with my siblings who couldn't be here. They now understood what was happening to my sweet mom. The dementia took so much away from us....and her. I'm so glad I was able to keep track of her progression and my sanity. I highly recommend it. I also used it for a log of prayers for my mom and family. God Bless all of you going through the ups and downs of caregiving.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ok, I open the Aging Care ap on my iPhone while I'm out in the yard. I look at recent discussions, is see this one about Gratitude Journal, I see capnhardass as last poster. I immediately start snickering sardonically before I read anything!!!! Hahahahaha!!
You are Priceless, capnhardass! I am grateful for all the times you make us laugh throughout any given day!! WhooHoo!! xo:)))
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

journals of any sort are beneficial for those who like to put things on paper...at one time i had a gratitude jar which allowed mom and me to scribble notes on a small piece of paper, fold and place in a jar.

i used to love sitting down and writing but now with computers; so i am going to begin a blog of gratitude...it's easier to write on the computer at least for me.


or a simple word doc where you type in on a daily basis what you are grateful for..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have kept a journal for many years... now I use one online....but it helps me to put things into perspective, keeps me from feeling sorry for myself, yet allows me to feel sad and angry and be ok with that...It allows me to say "I am human" and not the robot I am expected to be.... and it does lift my spirits and gets me out of the negativity... and I, too, like the 'bread crumbs' idea... what a great way to look at it.... sometimes the entry is simple...." I didn't loose my mind today...." or " I noticed all the beautiful wildflowers along side the road"..... it's my private place to just be me....
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions