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25 Things You Must Do For Your Parents Right Away

25 Things You Must Do For Your Parents Right Away

Now that we have become adults, our parents are our children now! Let us give them that same love and care which we once received from them.

Why?

I myself am in a job where I have to stay away from home for extended periods of time. Yet the relationship with my parents remains untainted. I wish to provide a few insights to how that becomes possible.

If you can get inside their minds, no matter what the distance, you will always find a way to make them feel happy.

Your Parents need your care

    Whether you have been raised by a single parent or both, they need much more of you than a mere phone call at the end of the week. Yes, even now! You may have settled down in life by yourself, but your parents still miss you. Here are a few actionable tips you can start doing right away!

    Let us start with a few extremely important things which really can shape your relationship with your parents, followed by gestures which will make them feel special.

    1.  Realise that no matter how high you reach, you will always be their Baby boy or girl

    Never be too old to get scolded. If they are scolding you, you can tell that your happiness and well-being matters to them, even if that’s their own way of thinking. It means that, in their own way, they love you. Do not take that love (Or any other love, for that matter), for granted.

    Never be too old to get advice from them. They really may show you things you have not considered.

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      2. Learn to forgive

      This is something which many of us go through.

      I do not know how to emphasize this enough, but if you hold a grudge against your parents, you MUST find a way to let that go! Believe me, it is depleting you every day more than you think it is affecting them. There is no upside to holding a permanent grudge against anyone, let alone your Mom and Dad. No matter what they have done, if you keep that grudge in yourself, you will regret it one day.

      I can tell you from my own experience, there is an immense peace in forgiving your parents for what they have done to you. Besides, you exist because of them. Nothing can possibly surpass that!!

      If you do not, one day when they are gone, it may become very difficult to forgive yourself.

      3. Live close enough

      If you are an adult, in all probability you do not live with your parents.

      Live close if you can. It helps your relationship in a lot of ways. While you have the absolute independence to design your life in a way you want, you also do not live too far apart to be disconnected from them. We live in an apartment which is close to my parents. We meet every day and chat with each other just like old times. Yet, we sleep in separate apartments and enjoy our complete freedom.

      Live close, drop by often, have meals together, let them play with their grand-kids, laugh with them.

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      4. They need their freedom too, understand that

      When you were younger, your father was the king of his house. You are the king too, now. You have your own identity, you need your own space and you do not want to be dictated there. That’s why you need to move out whenever you can. If you and your parents have their separate establishments, each can have an empire of their own. This keeps both happy in their own diocese, and relationships remain beautiful.

      They magic balance for a healthy relationship: do not live too close, and do not live too far!

      5. Realize that you are lucky

      There are millions of people around the world who does not have a parent. They may have lost theirs, or have never seen them. Please remember to feel lucky to have your parents in your life. Having a father and a mother is not a birthright for all.

      It is a gift – remind yourself that as often as you can.

      6. Share with them every achievement

      Your parents are always going to feel proud of you. Let them feel that way!

      Every time you win in life, a part of them wins. A big part of what you are is because of how they have brought you up, or the things you have been taught. There is no one better qualified to claim credit for your achievements. Allow them the satisfaction. It does not cost you.

      7. Learn to hide things when needed

      Your parent did not come home from the office and discuss their every decision with you when you were a kid.

      As an adult, you often have to take decisions which do not necessarily match with your parents’ ideas. They may be having a different way of thinking. Do not get confrontational or try to change their ideas. There is no upside to that. After a certain age, they will believe what they want to believe.

      Either take heed of their suggestions and use them. But if you think you are right, just do it your way and do not tell them about it. I do this very often when my parents are strictly opinionated about a certain thing. White lies are important!

      8. Do not be too old to put your head on their lap at times

      It is a gesture which  can melt even the gravest situations. Your parents love you in a way you can only understand when you are a parent yourself. Enjoy that love!!

      9. Let them enjoy the company of their grandchildren

      When your parents see your child, they remember you. Please let them have that young version of you which they loved so dearly. You may not be able to give them that version ever again. You are now too mature, too busy or too smart for that!! Yet there is your child who can make your parents feel young again. Let them enjoy that.

      Find ways to bring your kids to meet your parents as often as you can.

      Amazing power of Grandchildren

        10. Apologize for your mistakes

        At times, you may lose your mind and lose temper. There can be certain things you say which you do not mean.

        You may feel a resistance in apologizing if you have not done it before.

        Well, here’s the thing. With parents, they have perhaps forgiven you already, no matter how bad they felt. Yet, say that you were sorry! It makes a huge difference. You will always be a bigger person to admit your mistakes, and with parents, the inherent love is so strong that it can turn a relationship around!

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        11. Do not be formal

        Try to be that kid to them when you can. You do not need to be too sweet or too harsh with them. Just let them feel the way they felt when you were twelve, only in a more mature way. In your corporate life you may be a tiger, but at home with your parents be your old self.

        Laugh with them, at silly jokes too. If you do not like something, point it out, but take care not to get personal. Hit the problem, not the person. Ask for suggestions and really listen to their ideas – let them relax in the thought that they can still affect your life.

        12. Realize their wrapping up phase

        This is rather painful, but they are trying to wrap up their life.

        They are trying to make sense of what they did right and where they went wrong all these years.

        Unlike you, they cannot mend most of their mistakes. The time has gone. Even if they want, they cannot turn it back.

        You are their biggest achievements or their biggest failures. Every time you fail, or every time you hurt them, their balance sheet shows a deficit. It is more painful to them because unlike you, they cannot make up for it anymore.

        As much as you can, give them a sense that they have done something right in their lives. That will give them an unfathomable peace.

        If you can make your parents happy about the way they have led their life, to make sense of their decisions over the years, there is no greater gift.

        Years later, when you have finished the race that you are running now, you will be in their place and you will also try and wrap your life up. At that time, the greatest regrets will be those things which you could have, but have not done. A happy man is one who can make sense of their decisions after many years.

        13. Act on your plans!

        If you want to do something for them, and if you can, do it TODAY! Do not wait for the next year, or the next increment, or the next best opportunity. It may be too late by then. If you have some plans, execute them. Do not hold it back. You will feel a different kind of joy inside, this satisfaction cannot be explained. Many people I know have lost the opportunity to do anything for their parents ever again. That is one of the biggest regrets in life.

        14. If you are angry at them, do not talk

        It is in general good practice not to talk to someone when you are angry.

        Talk to your parents only after you have cooled down. Let certain things go. They have earned their right to be wrong at times.

        Never try to show them a certain path because you want it. Do not get personal.

        15. Make them feel that their existence matters

        For any person who has taken care of a family at one time, the most painful feeling is that they do not matter to anyone anymore.

        Ask for their suggestions, let them help out, give them a sense that they really matter.

        Ask them if they can join you for dinner today, tell them that their grandchild talks about them all the time, let them be with their grandchild for a day, and impress him or her.

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        Tell your mother that you really miss her food, ask her to cook for you and visit them for a meal.

        16. Protect them, shelter them from troubles and worries just like they did once

        When you were a kid, your father did not tell you about the various problems he has been having in life, your mother did not make you sit and listen to all the adjustments she has to do. It is their turn now to be that child!

        Your problems are your own. You should be able enough and old enough to handle that. When they ask you how you are, give them a wide smile and tell them everything is fine.

        Of course, if there are things which concern them, it must be told, but while doing so, take care of their emotions too.

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          17. Protect their confidence

          Do not take away their confidence. Avoid saying – “you are too old for this”

          Do not prevent them from everything that is fun, just because their doctor said! Sure, it is important to listen to your family physician. But at times, it is important to let them cheat.

          If your father wants to take the dog out for a walk, let him do it. If your mom wants to have a bite of that cake, even though she has complications, allow her that freedom at times. In fact, encourage them to break rules at times.

          Buy a flight ticket for your parents and send them to a place where they can be completely alone for a few days, free of any responsibilities. Make sure everything is arranged for them there.

          Let them be confident and young at heart. I do not know if they will live longer, but they will live more.

          18. Keep them financially independent

          Let this not be a big deal. If your parents need it, know that well in advance and help them out financially.

          Do not wait for them to ask you. Very often they will not.

          If you regularly help them out financially, make sure the money reaches them before they need it.

          If they refuse your help, just tell them it isn’t a big deal. Tell them when you were young and wanted a toy, they did buy it for you. You never thought that it was not your money, you never complained. Tell them they cannot start complaining now!

          19. Listen to them closely

          Take time out to listen to what your parents have to say.

          Pay close attention to their worries and try your best to get rid of such concerns.

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          Make sure they understand that they can come to you if anything goes wrong. As a family, be approachable. This applies to your spouse too. If you are not, their ego will prevent them from reaching out to you in times of need.

          Your parents and you

            20. Take them out on a vacation

            Once every two years, I try to take my parents on a vacation which spans a week at least. It makes them rejuvenated and fresh again.

            They forget that they have knee pains, high blood pressure, and several such complications. Those problems actually vanish! That’s the power of placebo. If you can make them feel young again, their bodies will comply.

            Sure, when you are taking your parents do not plan for extremely hectic schedules. Rather, keep it simple and relaxing.

            21. Take them out on a surprise long drive

            Once every six months, have a weekend reserved for your parents. Take them out with your family on a long drive, reach some place far away, stay for a day or two, and come back.

            22. Take them out for a meal

            Let the whole family enjoy a great lunch! There should be a lot of laughter and fun. Make it a memorable day!

            23. Give them a gift which is personalized. Here are Few of my ideas – just imagine, and you will have your own

            Buy a bookshelf for your mother with a collection of books which she likes.

            Buy a chess set for your dad if he likes to play chess. Let it be a fancy wooden set with carvings.

            Give them a Mug saying: “Best Dad in the world!!” Or “To the greatest Mother of all times”

            Buy a scarf for your Mom with her name inscribed on it.

            Get them a watch with a note saying: “You get younger with time”.

            If you know your parents well enough, and if you care enough to think, ideas will simply flow out of you. They don’t always cost a lot of money. It’s the thought that counts.

            24. Take it easy with them

            Send them a joke or a limerick once in a while, even a naughty one if you think they are up for it. Keep it cool with them. The feeling of being a friend to your grown up child is priceless.

            25. Give them the pleasure of helping out

            Tell your mom you want to take that book which she was reading for a day, tell your dad you are stuck in an office problem and would like to discuss that with him.

            Let them feel that there are still things they have which you need. They will again feel that their existence matters.

            Your parents - biggest assets

              Featured photo credit: Your parents are your Baby via freeimages.com

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              Published on November 14, 2018

              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

              With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

              For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

              In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

              Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

              Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

              It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

              For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

              Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

              Symptoms of Fatigue

              Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

              • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
              • mental blocks
              • lack of motivation
              • headache
              • dizziness
              • muscle weakness
              • slowed reflexes and responses
              • impaired decision-making and judgement
              • moodiness, such as irritability
              • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
              • reduced immune system function
              • blurry vision
              • short-term memory problems
              • poor concentration
              • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

              Causes of Fatigue

              The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

              • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
              • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
              • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
              • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

              Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

              Medical Causes of Fatigue

              If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

              Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

              Anemia

              Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

              Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

              There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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              This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

              Diabetes

              Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

              Sleep Apnea

              Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

              Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

              Thyroid disease

              An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

              Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

              • Lack of sleep
              • Too much sleep 
              • Alcohol and drugs 
              • Sleep disturbances 
              • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
              • Poor diet 

              Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

              • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
              • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
              • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
              • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

              Psychological Causes of Fatigue

              Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

              • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
              • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
              • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

              How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

              Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

              1. Tell The Truth

              Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

              To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

              Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

              The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

              One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

              • How you feel
              • What time of day it is
              • What may have contributed to your fatigue
              • How your mind and body reacts

              This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

              2. Reduce Your Commitments

              When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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              If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

              When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

              Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

              3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

              If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

              Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

              If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

              Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

              Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

              4. Express More Gratitude

              Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

              It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

              Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

              5. Focus On Yourself

              Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

              There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

              But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

              We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

              6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

              Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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              Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

              The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

              Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

              7. Take a Power Nap

              When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

              Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

              This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

              8. Take More Exercise

              The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

              Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

              The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

              You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

              9. Get More Quality Sleep

              To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

              Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

              My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

              10. Improve Your Diet

              Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

              Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

              On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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              To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

              Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

              Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

              11. Manage Your Stress Levels

              Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

              When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

              Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

              My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

              12. Get Hydrated

              Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

              Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

              If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

              The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

              The Bottom Line

              These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

              If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

              Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
              [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
              [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
              [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
              [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
              [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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