Self-Gratitude and Grace for Caregivers
Gratitude is linked to feelings of thankfulness and kindness which is returned for a similar act of kindness. Many people feel that gratitude is something you can only display for others, but that isn’t true.
Self-gratitude is important and in fact it has been linked to a reduction in stress as well as alleviating feelings of depression. This is especially important for caregivers and nurses who provide acts of kindness every day through their work, but who oftentimes do not feel gratitude themselves.
Here’s how caregivers can show themselves love and grace by feeling gratitude:
One of the best things you can do to show gratitude towards yourself is to keep a journal where you document your gratitude—a thankfulness journal. In this, you focus on all of the things that you feel gratitude for in your life.
At the end of each day, set aside five or ten minutes (more if you have it) and write down everything you feel thankful for. Then, on days when you feel especially stressed out or depressed, spend a few minutes reading back over your old entries. This will help you get a better perspective on your life and everything you have to be grateful for that you may not remember.
Another thing to remember with your gratitude journal is that you need to focus on EVERYTHING that you feel grateful for. If you had a pleasant experience at Starbucks with a courteous barista and a great cup of coffee, write about that even if it seems insignificant.
Write about the big things: your gratitude towards your job, your family, your friends, the fact that you are alive in a world full of wonder and excitement. Everything you experience should be fair game for writing about.
So why should you do all of this?
It’s because having the chance to look at your gratitude and grace will help you see what is going well in your life. This can not only alleviate stress and depression, but also give you a more optimistic outlook on life because you will be focusing on the good things around you.
It is not, however, an opportunity to ignore the bad things that do happen. The last thing you want to do is stick your head in the sand and ignore areas where you need to improve. But it is also a way to not focus ONLY on those negative areas and feelings.
If you are a caregiver or nurse, then you already know your job can sometimes seem thankless. You spend hours just trying to maintain a sense of order and stability in a world of chaos. But by focusing on those moments of genuine gratitude and thankfulness can truly help you stave off stress and burnout.
At SOS Healthcare Staffing we are extremely grateful and thankful for all of the staff in our office, our nurses out in the field, our facilities, clients and referral partners. We appreciate our relationship with you and how you help us serve those who serve others.