Elizabeth Miller is an entrepreneur, a former family caregiver to her late mother, and the founder of Happy Healthy Caregiver.
We had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth. She shares the motivation around why she created Happy Healthy Caregiver, advice for family caregivers, and her experiences of wearing the hats of a wife, mom, and primary caregiver while at the peak of her career.
Share your story – how did you get to where you are today?
The Happy Healthy Caregiver site, podcast, and community was created because I craved a supportive community like this when my caregiver responsibilities took on a whole new level after my dad passed away in 2014 and we had no choice but to move my chronically ill mom to Georgia. I was stressed, overwhelmed, and often felt like I was suffocating by my never-ending to-do lists. My husband, Jason, and I were classic sandwich generation caregivers. While I was the primary caregiver for my mom, he was also the primary caregiver for his mom who had stage 4 lung cancer. We were in the peak of our careers at the time and also raising two active children. There were just never enough hours in the day and it always felt like someone was getting short-changed. I was on the road to caregiver burnout and something had to change or I would end up putting my kids in a similar caregiving situation. The precursor to HappyHealthyCaregiver.com was a #100daysofhealthy initiative I took on my Instagram site (@happyhealthycaregiver). It was a small visual step I took to help prioritize my own health and happiness.
What do you know now, that you wish you knew then?
If I could wave a magic wand, I would want our hospitals and healthcare professionals to introduce family caregivers to supportive resources. They are out there, I just didn’t know where or how to look for them. Even knowing I was called a ‘family caregiver’ was news to me. That would have helped me even do a local Google search to find support and resources.
Can you tell us about Happy Healthy Caregiver?
Through my caregiver coaching services, speaking, award-winning podcast, book, and online community, I aim to help family caregivers infuse caregiving and self-care with their busy lives. I am the host of the Happy Healthy Caregiver podcast on the Whole Care Network, author of Just for You: a Daily Self-Care Journal, and facilitate an Atlanta support group for family caregivers called the Atlanta Daughterhood Circle.
As a full-time entrepreneur, I work with employers interested in supporting their working family caregivers and with companies interested in amplifying their brands and services. My interactive presentations offer practical solutions for caregiving and self-care. The topics range from preparing for a caregiving crisis, sharing the care with family members, self-care strategies, and balancing work and family.
As a caregiver, what resources would you like to have available?
Everything I tried to create for Happy Healthy Caregiver is what I wished would have existed for me seven years ago. A supportive ‘upbeat’ community with practical caregiving and self-care tips. A place where I know I’m not alone.
What do you do for self-care?
- Physical self-care: meal planning and prep (usually on Sundays), exercise 5 days a week (Peloton, hikes with husband or girlfriends, pickleball, strength training 2x week)
- Emotional: Daughterhood Circle that I facilitate supports me as much as it does them; writing is also cathartic for me
- Mental: 10 minute Calm meditations; read
- Practical: Habits and routine with systems in place for repeatable tasks (mostly related to my business)
What else would you like to share with fellow caregivers?
My story has been featured in Woman’s Day and Health magazines. And, Washington Post did a story about our Daughterhood Circle.
My Podcast is available on all podcast platforms including Spotify.
Join my email list for positivity direct to your inbox!
My favorite social platform is Instagram: @happyhealthycaregiver
Elizabeth’s story is a great reminder that resources and a community are extremely important and can make all the difference. You do not have to go on this caregiving journey alone. Find your local CRC and reach out today!Share this post: