Pop Culture as Caregiving Inspiration
As mentioned in one of Losing a Puzzle Piece’s blog posts, humor can be a way to help cope with the grief associated with caregiving tasks. Through movies, TV shows, books, and the like, one can get a break from the “darkness” and get a fresh perspective when it comes to care.
And I think it’s necessary, of having these “distractions.” Similar to the “Using Humor to Cope” article, I am also not advocating denial, but caregiver stress is a serious issue that more people need to address. Caregivers need to have a proper and positive mindset to both do their tasks and cope with the pain. Which is why, laughter, some “me time,” and pursuing hobbies outside the scope of caring for a loved one is necessary to keep everything together.
Today, I’ll be sharing some pop culture references that may inspire and help caregivers cope with everything they’re facing. Not necessarily focusing on comedy, but these examples should serve as welcome distraction to combat caregiver stress or burnout:
Reel Care Inspiration
Grab some popcorn and watch some entertaining movies and shows.
The Theory of Everything
This highly-acclaimed film has an insightful take on the burdens that caregivers experience. When young Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) was diagnosed with ALS, his partner Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) went out on a limb to make the most out of their (supposed) given time. Much has been sacrificed by Jane, that even with Stephen’s longevity (which, of course, should be a good thing), has left her deprived of emotions and opportunities. Taking everything into perspective, the movie can serve as a reminder that caregiving may be a painful, yet required and even rewarding, calling.
A Walk to Remember
In this film, daughter of small town minister, Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), experienced unconventional support from her boyfriend, Landon Carter (Shane West). What started as a tumultuous relationship to passionate care, this movie showed that a caregiver’s journey isn’t a smooth ride. Regardless of the bumps in the road, there will always be activities to treasure for life. A film that can either be cheesy or a tearjerker, either way, it’s a good break from caregiver duties.
Yes, the tech-savvy thriller series is also an excellent motivational tool for caregivers. When reality and dreams blur when taking care of someone, you’d sometimes wish you have the means to change how the world. Without giving out any spoilers, sibling caregivers can grab unconventional lessons on what it takes to care for a brother/sister. Make sure to check the series out!
Singing the Blues, Caring like there’s no Tomorrow
Music can also be a good source of caregiving inspiration and motivation.
She & Him
Indie folk duo, She & Him, is known for their quirky yet perky songs. With Zooey Deschanel’s mesmerizing voice and M. Ward’s eccentric compositions, caregivers can be sure to find a song that’ll best relate to their feelings.
Of Monsters and Men
Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men’s songs can be a different approach to choosing music to help caregivers cope with grief. Of note is their upbeat song, Little Talks, may both let listeners dance and ponder to the lyrics. Of course, it’s open to anyone’s interpretation, but the song may allow caregivers to hope during times of grief.
Hope and Care in Pixels
Videogames can open worlds that’ll lead to inspiration and a drive to caring,
Who would have known? A difficult and dark dungeon crawler can be a coping device! Nic Rowen, in a blog entry for Destructoid, shared how the game Dark Souls helped him cope with his Grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. By creating an analogy with the game lore and his experiences with his Grandmother, Nick was able to piece together figments of closure to get through his pain. It’s a powerful and unconventional way of viewing a game.
That Dragon, Cancer
Created by Ryan and Amy Green as a tribute to their son, Joel, That Dragon, Cancer, is an adventure game that highlights different episodes of the Greens’ son during his bout with cancer. Featuring dreamlike settings and nonlinear sequence, the game offers a one-of-a-kind experience when it comes to storytelling. As part of a grieving process for the creators, the game touched the hearts of those lucky to play it.
Inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. Even what are considered “insignificant” or “irrelevant” can bring a shimmer of hope when it comes to coping with fear, pain, and stress. And it differs with everyone – we all have our personal sources of inspiration and interpretations in this caregiver journey. We all need something to get through those painful episodes, something to deal with grief, something to hold onto. How about you? Can you name any pop culture references that help and inspire you as a caregiver?