Courage in the face of adversity
As you’ve probably realized by now…life doesn’t always follow a predictable course. It brings change and, more often than not, challenges along the way that require us to be courageous, learn new things, identify risk factors and re-examine our values. This is especially true for individuals who find themselves caregiving for a friend or family member.
For some, caregiving for another person is second nature, but for others it’s easier said than done. Experts suggest that successful caregiving not only requires resilience but a purposeful mindset that serves as a protective buffer against the negative impacts of stressful events that may come our way (daily life as a caregiver perhaps?).
Known to some as “stress hardiness,” this approach is one that’s a blend of three basic attitudes: 1) Commitment 2) Control and 3) Challenge. Utilized as a trilogy they can, it seems, make difficult times a little easier.
Simply explained, people who are strong in the area of commitment believe that no matter how difficult circumstances become, it’s better to give a best effort and rise to the occasion or task at hand.
Those who can demonstrate control no matter how tough things get can gain more by exerting influence on outcomes. This not only gives them confidence and motivation but strength to use the behaviour needed for active engagement in the task at hand. This also helps them transform a potentially disastrous situation into a more meaningful learning experience for them.
The final component of stress hardiness involves the way a person rises to overcome a challenge. Understanding that stress is a normal part of life that involves meeting stressful life events with a strong and mindful attitude fosters healthy risk-taking, motivation and, perhaps best of all, optimism.
What kind of caregiver do you want to be? If you can embrace the 3 C’s of stress hardiness you might just be on the right path to taking better care of yourself and the others in your care.