Oct. 27, 2020
When you are busy caring for others, it’s easy to forget to set aside a specific time to care for yourself. We sometimes feel guilty doing that because the person we are caring for needs us so much. It’s similar to how first-time parents are reluctant to leave their child with a baby sitter. But all the research tells us that caregivers have to learn to care for themselves so that they can more effectively care for others. You have to put aside the ‘what-ifs’ and select something you can do for yourself that is not connected to your responsibilities.
My brother said that he chose a day to play tennis each week; it provided a release for whatever angst he may have felt after visiting my mother and experiencing whatever stage of Alzheimer’s she was exhibiting at the time. In addition to journaling periodically, I turned one night a week into my “spa” night at home.
We have to take time for ourselves, our other relationships, and our lives in general. So, I encourage you to choose your day as well. Think of something you may have even stopped doing when you became a caregiver. If it nurtures your soul, go back to it. It’s not selfish; it’s survival. Feel free to use this space to share with me and others what your self-care activity will be. Thanks.