If you are like me, you may be faced with providing special care for a member of your family. It may be a child that needs special care, a spouse, or an aging parent that needs you now more than ever before. No matter who it is that you are caring for, you must take time to replenish. There has to be care for the caregiver. Refreshing of your body, mind, and spirit are needed so that you remain at your best for yourself and for those who are counting on you.
This care can come from another person but it doesn’t have to, this care is something you do for yourself. Taking care of another person can be strenuous as you feel the depth of the responsibility that comes with your position.
Here are 3 ways to refresh when you are a caregiver. They are 3 fairly simple ways yet as caregivers we often overlook ourselves in the process of providing care.
- Keep everything in perspective and enjoy the moment. Every moment you have together with the person you are caring for is precious. Plan for the future however; allow the joy of the moment to resonant.
I remember when my mother first stopped driving and I became responsible for running her errands and taking her to the store. Mom seemed a little frail and I was so nervous that someone would bump into her or she would misstep and fall. My gosh, I made it so stressful for myself. I needed a nap after every outing.
Since then I have learned to enjoy the moments at the store running errands. No one has bumped into mom and 2 hip surgeries later she has not missed a step. I am refreshed enjoying the time with mom.
- Plan for down time. Down time may be a trip to the movies, a stop for ice cream, reading a book in the quiet, an evening massage, or an afternoon nap.
Only you know how often you need down time and what you need for this down time. Make those decisions for yourself and plan. If family and friends are not available to support you in this area arrange for sitter or adult care provider. Search out a reputable person or company that can meet your need.
- Talk. It can be very refreshing to just talk things out and release your thoughts. Find an appropriate person to share with. Choose this person wisely. It is can be helpful to have conversation about your day – challenges and all.
When you are responsible for taking care of yourself and someone with special needs, be it a parent, spouse, or child, it is necessary for the caregiver to receive care. Don’t wait for someone to give you the care you need, plan for it so that you are your best for you and those counting on you.
BMWK: How do you refresh after taking care of friends and family?