When Lara Kallander’s daughter was a young teen, she became very sick and needed care for an extended period of time. Lara says, “It’s hard to feel that you are making progress when someone you love is sick because it may be two steps forward and then one step back.” To cope, Lara started making notes about her ability to support her daughter’s progress, no matter how small. She called it her “Proud Of” list and she found it really helped her as a caregiver.

The Benefits of a “Proud Of” List

Lara’s experience in coping with significant family health issues ignited a passion to help others thrive through challenges. Lara got her master’s degree in positive psychology and is now a well-being coach. Through her studies, Lara learned that a “Proud Of” list is one way to cultivate positive emotions. “Taking a moment to recognize your success is critical to making you feel that you can overcome an overwhelming challenge,” offers Lara. Making this list not only helps you be more effective as a caregiver, it can also clarify how you are making a difference.

What Does a “Proud Of” List Look Like?

While there is no “right” or “wrong” thing to put on the list, here are a few examples to help spark ideas.

  • “It felt good to advocate on behalf of my spouse to make a medical appointment, even though the triage nurse was having trouble getting us scheduled with the doctor.”
  • “I am proud that my patience made it easier for my daughter to do her physical therapy without complaint.”
  • “I kept a promise to myself to take a break twice this week and go for a walk outside.”
  • “My son went five full days without a set-back. That’s a new record!”

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Plato wrote, “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Give yourself credit for your daily or weekly accomplishments by writing a “Proud Of” list to help you see the forward progress you are making. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and it will help you be a better caregiver.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller loves her husband, kids, cats, and a clever pun. She is the founder of People Equation, a leadership communications advisory firm.


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