To kick off the New Year, the Foundation’s Dole Caregiver Fellows shared with us some resolutions that they have made for 2017. A new year signals a fresh start; a time to reflect on your life and resolve to make it better. Despite this, resolutions can be overwhelming, and easily forgotten in the reality of everyday life. So rather than make resolutions that add more stress to their already busy lives, the Fellows aimed for achievable goals that were realistic to their military caregiving lifestyle, and that recognized the need for flexibility in setting and following through on these goals.
- Megan Zimmerman: I like to make a goal for myself and then a family goal. My goal for myself is to do one thing every week that allows me to relax and or de-stress: doing a puzzle, reading, taking a hot bath, etc. And the family goal is to be healthier overall, make better eating choices and be more active outside with biking, walking etc.
- Marjory Harris: Journaling. My standard resolution; journaling keeps my brain lined up!
- Ann Marie Pacciano: My resolution for this year is first and foremost to make realistic resolutions and not set the bar beyond what we can actually achieve, so no major weight loss, although I can certainly use this. I want to volunteer more and find volunteer opportunities!
- Jennie Beller: To establish and stick to a schedule.
An important part of caregiving is remembering to take care of yourself too! If more self-care is part of your resolution for 2017 – and we believe it should be – then check out the Foundation’s coalition partner, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. RCI has a wonderful program called Operation Family Caregiver that specifically helps you manage your needs against the demands of caregiving.
Operation Family Caregiver offers, “Specially-trained coaches [who] teach and model problem-solving skills to help military caregivers better manage as they seek to support their loved one through challenges. Delivered free and confidentially via Skype or in-person over a 4-6 month period, caregivers are reporting they feel better prepared to care for their families.” OFC is available to military caregivers caring for veterans of all service eras.
From all of our Dole Caregiver Fellows, we wish you all a very Happy New Year, and please remember to sign up at HiddenHeroes.org for additional support in your caregiving journey!