January is a month when people make resolutions on what changes they will make in the new year. For most, it will be tough to stick with what are often unrealistic goals. Family caregivers may skip making resolutions due to a lack of time or the belief that their days are not their own right now. One idea to consider for 2022 is to adopt one little word.

The One Little Word Project was created in 2006 by author and blogger, Ali Edwards. Shes also well-known for her scrapbooking work. Edwards felt that by using one little word to set her intentions for the year, she would be better able to keep her life centered and on track. She believed that her word would provide her with the focus needed as she went about her busy daily life.

Since then, the One Little Word Project has taken on a life of its own. Its been widely adopted by individuals and groups ranging from family caregivers and physicians to nurses and first responders. There are workshops and virtual classes designed to help people better understand this project, and how to select and stick with their one little word.

Mitigating Daily Stress

Theres no doubt about it, the past few years have been tumultuous ones for most people. From an especially divisive political environment to a global health pandemic, its easy to understand why many of us are feeling especially anxious and uncertain. For family caregivers, the feeling of being overwhelmed can be even more pronounced.

Living with chronic stress can have a negative impact on your mental and physical well-being. Heart disease, depression, headaches, and digestive issues are just a few ways that stress can manifest. Finding productive ways to minimize it is essential. Exercise, meditation, and laughter are a few suggestions. Another is to take some time to reflect on where you are in life, and where you hope to be as the new year moves forward. Then adopt a word of your own to help you stay focused.

Choosing One Little Word

How can you go about selecting your word to live by in 2022? What are some words others have found success with in previous years? Here are some suggestions to consider as you get started:

  • Growth
  • Peace
  • Adventure
  • Balance
  • Enjoy
  • Bloom
  • Believe
  • Optimism
  • Breathe
  • Family
  • Community
  • Confidence
  • Persist
  • Relax
  • Engage
  • Grateful
  • Faith
  • Friendship
  • Hope
  • Generosity
  • Kindness
  • Listen
  • Nurture
  • Simplify
  • Treasure
  • Thankful
  • Wellness

Once youve landed on a word that resonates with your hopes for the new year, the next step is to find ways to make it visible. By seeing it throughout your day, youll be reminded of what youve decided is important to you.

Making Your One Word More Visible

There are a variety of ways you can create visible reminders of your one little word:

  • Signage: Depending on the word you select, you might be able to find a cutout wood sign of it at a craft store. If not, you can purchase one from a custom Etsy store or through an artist online, like this one who creates what she calls salvaged words.
  • Keychain: Most of us use a keychain of some type or another every day. You can order one with your word on it to help remind you to focus on your priorities, and not allow yourself to be dragged down by squabbles or problems that wont matter in the long run.
  • Morning journal: Another idea is to take a few minutes each morning to journal. Begin your entry with the one little word you selected. In doing so, you start the day with a reminder of what youd like to focus your attention and actions on for the year.

Find Caregiver Resources on the Sunrise Blog

Caring for a loved one is a unique role. Unless you have a close friend or family member who is walking this path with you, it may be tough to find useful information. The Sunrise Blog has an entire section devoted to connecting caregivers with resources. By bookmarking the blog and visiting often, youll gain access to new articles on caregiving, senior care, healthy aging, and more as soon as they are published!

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