BEST is pleased to welcome back BEST board member, caregiver, instructor and guest blogger,  Maggie DePuye-Phillips. Today, she shares an early Thanksgiving message set to inspire. Enjoy and many thanks to Maggie! 

Maggie DePuye-Phillips, courtesy photo
Maggie DePuye-Phillips, courtesy photo

The holidays are once again upon us… a time of celebrating thankfulness, joy and giving with family and friends. It can also be a time of being overwhelmed and stressed, doubly so for caregivers. Ironically, November is National Caregiver’s Month, perfectly synced with the month of commemorating gratitude.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, a common activity is baking, making traditional and favorite pies, cookies and yummy treats. And of course, these recipes must have all the ingredients to make such goodies.  Butter, flour, eggs, sugar, chocolate, pumpkin, vanilla and nuts are just a few ingredients essential for these treats. Without them, they would not be enjoyable, let alone edible!  These delicious morsels are often made as gifts to give to family and friends.
Think of gratitude as an essential ingredient in the world of caregiving.  Without it, we would not be able to appreciate our roles nor would anyone benefit from us.  When we are overcome with challenges in our caregiving roles, we must remember to “bake” with gratitude to help us embrace those dark moments and watch them become blessings. The amount of joy we receive is a reflection of the amount of gratitude we express. One way to do that is to write down what you are grateful for. Do this during your down time or before you go to bed.  Once you get into the habit of extenuating your gratitude list, you’d be amazed and appreciate the blessings you have.
Time and time again, we have impressed upon ourselves that we must take care of ourselves in order to become better caregivers. To do so meant we have to find the time and willpower to enjoy these activities such as reading a book or getting pampered.  Unfortunately, we do not always have the time, for one reason or another.  Bottom-line, it will always be up to us as caregivers to make it happen.  Well, how about we express our gratitude and focus on what others can do for us?  In other words, we receive the gift of giving.
Listed below are some ways that can be accomplished:
-Allow someone to offer a few hours of respite so you can relax or go off and spend time doing what you enjoy.
-Give a list of errands you need done.
-Enjoy a day of pampering at a local spa at no cost to you.
-Appreciate a gift card, flowers, or even a phone call from someone who is thinking of you.
-Accept a homemade meal from your neighbor or family member.
These are just a handful of “treats” caregivers would appreciate! Perhaps it is time to let people do the “baking” for you so you can enjoy these gifts. But remember, expressing gratitude is the best present to give yourself!
“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.”~Jack Canfield
Happy Holidays to you all!

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