If you are one of our blog fans, you know that we pride ourselves here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care (Ellijay) for helping more than our residents and their families. We take great pride in helping you, our neighbors here in Ellijay who lovingly provide at-home assisted living care and/or memory care support to your loved ones. Today we’re going to discuss how fundamentally important it is for you to love yourselves first before you can be truly loving to your senior loved one with assisted living or memory care needs.
A necessary part of searching for happiness in life is practicing self-love. But why is self-love so important for everyone, but especially important for those of you providing assisted living or memory care support to a loved one?
Benefits of Self-Love
Some mistakenly believe it is a “good” thing to be hard on yourself. According to STANFORD MEDICINE, self-compassion and self-love have a multitude of benefits.
- Empowerment: When we self-criticize, we beat ourselves into defeat and fear our competition. If we practice self-love, we can empower ourselves to learn and find inner strength!
- Resilience: In practicing self-kindness, even in the face of failure, we can teach ourselves humility and mindfulness. Truly understanding that everyone makes mistakes, and actively searching for your best outcomes can help you to become more resilient.
- Productivity: We can be more productive if we feel good about ourselves, making us more likely to tackle the day!
- Decreased Stress: During periods of severe self-criticism, we are producing dangerous amounts of stress. When we are patient and compassionate with ourselves, we can create a calm environment with decreased stress.
Other benefits of self-love include feeling optimistic, lowering the risk of anxiety and depression, and healthy behaviors. There are three main components to self-love and with older loved ones, they may need to be gently reminded of one (or all three) of these aspects.
The first aspect of “treat yourself” is an inner, emotional response to your own actions and thoughts. Even when you make a mistake, instead of being harsh, try to be patient with yourself. If a friend or family member makes an error, would you yell at them for their mistake? Often, we will reach out to a helping hand to those close to us, but when it comes to self-evaluation, we can be extremely tough on ourselves.
As we age, it can be easy to become set in our ways. Being mindful is being generally curious and open to new ideas; having a child-like wonder as some may call it. Practicing mindfulness is also related to having a non-judgmental attitude. When you practice mindfulness, with self-love, it can translate into not fixating on negative events or stories about yourself.
We Are Only Human
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” – Alexander Pope
You need to remind yourself every now and then that you are human. You are going to make mistakes, and that’s okay! Accepting that you are not perfect is part of being human. Forgiving yourself when you do make a mistake is an act of self-love, not weakness.
If you are patient with yourself, you can enhance your senior living experience.
At some point, all the love in the world may not be enough to carry the day for severe senior assisted living and/or memory care challenges. Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care here in Ellijay offers a wide range of care options that can help alleviate some of the stress, anxiety, and fatigue that come with caregiving on one’s own. We offer senior assisted living and professional memory care services here in Ellijay and we will work with you to determine what is right for you and your loved ones.