First, a note of thanks to you! 🙏 We have entered our 10th year helping to bring some sunshine to caregivers looking for a little light in their lives. We could not still be doing what we do without you and your support.  Perhaps that is why I thought to write about the benefits sunlight and sunny dispositions can bring to everyone’s day in this month’s blog! 🌞

Winter is a time of rebirth. After the December solstice, daylight increases a little every day, so that by the end of January, there is an extra 30 minutes of sun in the southern United States and an extra hour in some of the northern states.

In March, the sunlight increases at an even faster pace. Flowers blossom, birds chirp, and our hearts feel the reawakening of life.

The sun’s changes can also be our friends as caregivers. The increased light can be a reminder to let a little more sun into our worlds. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the busyness of our routines or the drama of frequent medical emergencies. It may seem like we must constantly put out fires or complete the next needed chore. The sunniness of our lives may not be apparent.

But what if January were a time to break out of our normal patterns, not through New Year’s resolutions, but through letting more light into our world?

What would that look like? How could that be achieved? Here are some ideas:

1) Open the Door
One of the easiest ways to increase sunlight is by simply opening the door and letting the outside world in. Caregivers are often urged to accept help, and this is vital. But it’s also important to welcome friends for a chat that has nothing to do with caregiving and keep connected to the people and activities that you loved before you began caring for your loved one. Have there been hobbies or friends that have fallen by the wayside? Make a list of people and activities that you miss, and find a way to open the door to some of them, even if it’s through a short phone call while on an errand or by pulling out your art supplies to consider what you might want to sketch one day.

2) Step Outside
The world feels bigger, sunnier, and more interesting when we walk out our door. There are myriad physical and psychological benefits that stem from spending a few minutes under the sun each day. Aside from vitamin D, our bodies absorb more calcium and phosphorous when we spend time outside. Outdoor time also lessens anxiety, improves sleep, enhances creativity, and improves both our focus and mood. So, take a walk around the block or just sit on a sunny step near your front door. Select something easy that would make you feel good, and open your door to do it.

3) Be Sunny to Yourself
People often berate themselves for not doing enough whether as a caregiver or with their personal goals. Make January a month to let that go. Instead of critiquing all of the things you’d like to improve, notice all of the things that you’ve done. When you help your loved one to complete a task, thank yourself. When you clean the dishes, give yourself an internal pat on the back. When you take a brief walk outside, tell yourself, “Way to go!” You might think that this is silly, but people often do more when they feel good about what they’ve already done rather than self-critical about what they haven’t done. So, notice all of the things you do, and feel proud. Maybe even spread some of this sunshine around to the people in your life. You’ll be surprised how good everyone feels when their efforts garner more appreciation.

Also, here’s a ray of sunshine for you—thank you for being yourself. The world is a better place because you’re here.

Thank you for reading, please share with a friend, and be well!

We are grateful to be celebrating our 10th year of helping caregivers in need

and to be supported by the many generous and caring friends who have helped make a difference in so many lives. 

Kyle Acquistapace*
Amazon Smile
Anonymous
Assisting Hands Home Care of Newport Beach
Al & Pam Baldwin
David & Elita Balfour Foundation
Richard & Gail Barrett
The Beall Family Foundation
Don & Joan Beall
Philip & Shelley Belling
Justine & Robert Bloomingdale*
Bill & Cynthia Bone
William G. Bone Trust
Lynn Booth*
Barbara & Alex Bowie
Judy Brady*
Mr. & Mrs. David C. Brown
Nick & Diane Brown
Mary Buckingham
California Community Foundation
Barbara Carvalho*
C. Tucker Cheadle, A Law Corporation
Kathy & Al Checchi
David & Michelle Clark*
Bob & Christy Clemo
Diane & James Connelly
Connelly Family Foundation
Arthur “Skip” Cook*
Julie & Roger Corman
Croul Family Foundation
Curci Fund
John L. Curci
Justin Dart Family Foundation
Nettie & Mike Dart
John & Sharon Davies*
Natalie & Phil Davis
Sandra Davis
Kathleen M. Duncan
Elise Ebbert
Lisa Farrell*
Bill & Dottie Feeney
Rhonda & Cliff Fischer
Jordan Floriani*
Steven & Bobbi Fowlkes
Fowlkes Family DAF
Richard Fyke
Patricia Gertaldi
Louise Griffith*
Audrey & Martin D. Gruss
Audrey & Martin Gruss Foundation
John & Sue Hagestad
Hamilton Family Trust
Kathy Hamilton*
Bill & Marcie Hammerstein
Nancy & Michael Harahan
Alana & George Hedley*
Paul & Nancy Hegness
Paul C. Hegness Family Trust
Phillip & Maureen Hosp
Joan Hotchkis
HOTSHOTS
Gary Hunt
Richard & Audrey Johnson
Jenny Jones*
Sally Keller
Harry Bronson & Edith R. Knapp Foundation
Kathi Koll*
Koll Investment Company
Julia & Martin Krupoff
KC & Steve Lauck
Constance Lynch*
Barbara & Ed Meserve
O’Malley & Ann Miller*
Miller Family Charitable Trust
Mary Milner
Courtney M. Mullin Fund
Merle Mullin
Oliver Donor Fund
Jack & Rachel Oliver
Jean & Forest Olsen
Orange County Community Foundation
Philip & Elaine Paul
Perry Family Foundation
Scott & Marisa Perry
Hale, Abbie & Emily Pulsifer*
Tom Purcell*
Lynn Pyle
Noel Lucky & Jeffrey Ris
Lawrence Rivkin
Nancy E. & Chris B. Rohan
The Rohan Family Trust
Anne Robinson
Tom & Jill Schriber
The Schriber Family Fund
Mac Shattuck*
Brooke & Chris Shepherdson*
Jamie & Jamie Shepherdson
Sheila & Ygal Sonenshine
John & Adrienne Sparks*
Juleen Sparks*
Karen Sparks
The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation
Wendy Stark
Barry & Carol Steele
Lord & Lady Stevens
Cindy & Mike Suby
Karen & Thomas Talbot
Donald & Robin Tippett
Rusty & Mary Lynn Turner
James & Julie Ann Ulcickas*
U.S. Bank*
Watty & Kimmy Watson
Rita Jane Whitney
Nancy & Robert Wibbelsman
Julie & Justin Wilson*
Ray & Sandra Wirta

*Donor Tributes

Kyle Acquistapace in honor of Gina & Mike Sheldon
Justine & Robert Bloomingdale in honor of Kathi Koll
Lynn Booth in honor of Kathi’s Caregivers’ Campaign!
Judy Brady in honor of compassionate Orange County caregivers
Barbara Carvalho in memory of Joseph Carvalho
David & Michelle Clark in memory of Betty S. Clark
Arthur “Skip” Cook in memory of Nevada Brooks Cook
John & Sharon Davies in honor of Kathi Koll
Lisa Farrell in memory of Dorothy Nielsen
Jordan Floriani in memory of Don Koll
Louise Griffith in memory of Virginia Norris Dickinson
Kathy Hamilton in honor of Cappy & Judy Dobbs
Alana & George Hedley in memory of Jane Barber
Jenny Jones in honor of Kathi Koll
Kathi Koll in honor of well-deserved caregivers and in memory of Don Koll and Don Robinson
Constance Lynch in memory of Terence Lynch
O’Malley & Ann Miller in memory of Don Koll
Hale, Abbie & Emily Pulsifer in honor of the Chukudebelu Family
Tom Purcell in memory of Susy Purcell
Mac Shattuck in memory of Catherine M. Shattuck
Brooke & Chris Shepherdson in memory of Don Koll
John & Adrienne Sparks in memory of Karen Shanley
Juleen Sparks in memory of Garnet B. Sparks
James & Julie Ann Ulcickasin in memory of Laszlo Fono
U.S. Bank in honor of Kathi Koll and her participation at the 2023 U.S Bank Caregiver Summit
Julie & Justin Wilson in memory of Tom Linden ❤️

 

Please consider donating to the Kathi Koll Foundation so you can help make a difference in struggling family caregivers’ lives. Thank you!

Sunshine Photo 147982844 © Chumphon Whangchom |Dreamstime.com