Caregivers need to find ways to manage their stress this holiday season and you, as family and friends of a caregiver, can use holiday gatherings to help them do this. But first you need to open the door to a conversation with the caregiver about how they are doing. Here are tips for them to get this conversation going and allowing the love and support to flow.
Here’s the third of 6 tips: checking in with your caregiver and really listening.
3) Ask questions about the caregiver’s well-being and be a good listener.
I’m not simply talking about a “how are you doing” conversation. I’m talking about an inquiry about how you are truly doing from someone whom you trust, who truly wants to know, who cares about how you are doing and will truly listen.
In Hebrew, the conversational question is mah shlomech? (the masculine form) or mah shlomcha? (the feminine). Most people treat it as “how are you doing?” But, literally it means “how is your wholeness?” When’s the last time someone you care about asked you that question?
So, I suggest you lean into this question and let whatever happens happen. Your caregiver friend might be so appreciative that the conversation will easily flow. Or they might be so unaccustomed to the question that they’ll respond in their usual way.
Regardless of their response, this is another gift you are offering – simply being present and showing that you care. And this gift doesn’t even require any gift wrapping!
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