You Matter! Caregiver Awareness & Self-Care
As the heartbeat of the family, you must take the time to care for yourself. There is a reason that the safety briefing on airplanes include “put your facemask on first before helping others”. If you are continually mentally exhausted, ill-nourished, overwhelmed, or physically unable to provide care, it causes you and your family additional stress. While it is difficult to make time for yourself, you’ll hear it repeatedly: Make the Time for You.
Caregivers often have their head down, their task list in hand, and they execute logistics that would make a 4-star amazed. However, this focused effort is rarely sustainable without an eventual change in perspective that acknowledges that you matter, and that you must make and take time for yourself to recharge and find solace. This will vary for everyone, but no one is a robotic machine forever. Please don’t wait until you fall ill or become so overcome that you don’t see which end is up. Sharing your experience and gaining perspectives from other Caregivers here or in person can be very beneficial.
You probably micro-schedule the rest of your life, so try to add good nutrition, exercise, relaxation, meditation, quiet, social time, or something that is yours into that schedule too. There are numerous options for small-group fellowship in local organizations, the faith-based communities, and sports facilities. Even forming a routine of taking the dog for a walk each day can be “you time”, and though it may not be sufficient for your needs, every little bit helps.