Can I really do self-care for myself?
You hear a lot about self-care and how we should all be making that a priority in our lives. If you are a caregiver, you hear it even more. When you are in the middle of being a caregiver, “take care of yourself first,” “make time for yourself,” “take a break,” and many other phrases by well-meaning folks just make us crazy.
Presently, I am not a caregiver, but I have been one and so when I say “we” it is because I have been there too. Yes, self-care is important, but when do you find the time? You will never “find the time.” You have to make it a priority and schedule it into your day or week just like an appointment. Write it down. What gets written down gets done.
Draft some of those well-meaning folks to help with the caregiving chores so that you can do your self-care. Notice that I said draft them. That is akin to delegating some of your tasks to others. Yes, it can be done. Think about the things that really do not have to be done by you. Make a list and divvy it up amongst others.
Let’s get back to the actual self-care issue and the benefits of self-care.
Self-care does not have to cost you any money. You can walk or run every day. Work up to 30 minutes. It is a great stress reliever and you get to have some alone time to just let your thoughts wonder. You don’t even have to figure anything out during this time. When a thought arises, just say to yourself…”Isn’t that interesting?”
Make plans ahead of time to get away. Even if it is for one day, heck even if you could only get away for four hours, wouldn’t that be pretty awesome? Yes, it would. If you can’t get a volunteer, then draft someone or hire someone.
Let’s look at self-care from a benefits standpoint. You will be calmer and more in control of your emotions. You can think more clearly and make better decisions. You will actually be more productive and have more energy for caregiving. It will improve
Your relationships. Relationships become strained and die because of neglect. No matter what the reason.
Do something that you enjoy either by yourself of with someone that you love. Recharge your batteries so that you can be the best caregiver possible.