This Daily Self-Care Journal Helps Caregivers Stay Strong

Elizabeth Miller

By Elizabeth B. Miller

My husband and I witnessed first-hand what happens when our loved ones struggle to prioritize their own health and happiness. In 2014, affectionately called ‘the spiral year’, our lives had completely derailed. Our aging parent demands had shifted into overdrive and we both felt the unwanted pressure of being in the sandwich generation – squeezed between caring for our children and our aging parents. We felt overwhelmed and utterly exhausted. Out of necessity, we put our growing careers on autopilot and tried to stay involved in our two children’s active lives but, honestly, we were barely holding it together.

My husband Jason was the primary caregiver for his mom, a lifelong smoker, who was in her fourth year of lung cancer and living on her own. My parents suffered from chronic health issues most of my adult life primarily due to complications from morbid obesity and diabetes. In 2014, my husband and I each lost a parent and our children lost two grandparents. After my dad passed, mom could not live on her own six hours away from family, so she reluctantly moved into an assisted living facility near my family and my two older brothers. I became what felt like mom’s everything – her grief counselor, her health advocate, her companion, her technology guru, her personal shopper, her driver, and her home decorator. My new responsibilities along with the full plate I had without caregiving put me on a fast track to caregiver burnout. I knew changes must be made or history would be repeat itself. I made a vow to myself that this would not happen. Self-care became my personal quest.

I began my own #100daysofhealthy challenge on Instagram to become mindful each day of doing something to maintain or better my own health and happiness. For 100 consecutive days, I snapped a photo showing something small I was doing for my personal wellbeing: a new relaxation technique, listening to a new podcast, eating something nutritious, or moving my body. The idea was to become intentional about my self-care. I needed these positive habits and good feelings to drown out any guilt or time barriers which appeared. My social media friends encouraged me to keep going. I was so pleased with the benefits I was realizing that I wanted other family caregivers to share in this positive experience.

Elizabeth B. Miller, Just for You: A Daily Self-Care JournanlIn 2015, I began blogging. Writing became a therapeutic outlet, a way to process the cornucopia of emotions around caregiving, and the motivation I needed to continue to move forward on my self-care journey. I needed caregiving support, and I knew others who were in similar shoes needed to know their own life held value and a road to burnout would not serve anyone.

Because writing allowed me to see myself more clearly, I wanted to find an easy entry point for others to build a writing habit and become more mindful of their wellbeing. I wrote Just for You: a Daily Self-Care Journal with family caregivers in mind. Inside the journal are 365 writing prompts – one for each day of the year. On each daily page, there is flexibility to jot a quick sentence or share a long paragraph. Between the months, are fun activity pages where the reader can play a game, color, or create a self-care plan. Click here for a sneak peek inside. My hope is this journal sparks joy, self-care ideas, and becomes an enjoyable journey of self-discovery.



Start journaling now! Purchase Just for You: a Daily Self-Care Journal on Amazon

About the Author

Elizabeth B. Miller, Just For You: A Daily Self-Care JournalElizabeth Miller is a family caregiver, Certified Caregiving Consultant, and founder of Happy Healthy Caregiver. Through her speaking, consulting, and online resources, Elizabeth helps family caregivers integrate caregiving and self-care with their busy lives. She is the host of the Happy Healthy Caregiver podcast on the Whole Care Network, author of Just for You: A Daily Self-Care Journal, and facilitates an Atlanta caregiver support group called the Atlanta Daughterhood Circle.

Connect with Elizabeth Miller







Share the Post:

Subscribe to Our eNewsletter

SUBSCRIBE to our weekly eNewsletter! Be among the first to know about new authors, podcasts, events, and more for help on your dementia journey. As a welcome gift, you may download our FREE booklet “Caring for a Mother with Dementia,”  featuring 15 quality titles. Subscription is through You may unsubscribe at any time.

Support Our Mission

Your support enables us to continue to provide quality resources for dementia caregivers. We appreciate any donation. Thank you for your support!