Giving care to a loved one, as you know, is not something we merely do… Being a caregiver is something we are! But as all-consuming and overwhelming as caregiving often feels, we can all benefit from an occasional reminder that it is rarely all we are. We are also individuals with personal lives, interests and needs. It is my hope that the suggestions below might help you remember to celebrate and nurture yourself:
- Start a journal: There are many benefits, both physical & mental, in getting our feelings “out” and on paper where you can be ruthlessly honest. I recommend you also begin or end every day by recording something that touched your life in a good way.
- Plant a few bulbs, seeds or herbs, indoors or out ~ Sometimes the simple act of of watching something grow not only brings “freshness” into our space but helps connect us to the greater ecosystem.
- Try a new luxurious scent for your next bar of soap or lotion. Aromatherapy works & is accessible to all of us ~ I purchased a bottle of coconut scented suntan oil recently not to use on my body but to smell…every time I open the bottle it takes me to the beach!
- Invite a friend on a date and take the time to share a cup of coffee, a movie or a hike in a special place.
- Ask for help and schedule a nap, a massage, a bath or an outing just for yourself. As Caregivers, I know this is sometimes hard to do for a myriad of reasons… and sometimes just knowing you have a date with yourself out in the future allows for ease in the moment.
- Brew a fresh cup of tea and allow each breath to relax you. If you haven’t checked out the tea shelves recently you will be surprised, this is a market that is booming with many products promoting health & wellness in some yummy combinations.
- Check out the ‘events’ section of your newspaper and make plans to attend a lecture, museum exhibit or ranger guided outdoor group.
- Join a book group and commit to the stimulation and support of others’ stories and observations.
- Get outside ~ Explore a new path in your neighborhood and resolve to walk it, or explore another, at least once a week.
Hang this list on your mirror, revisit these ideas regularly, add your own special ways of nurturing yourself as a caregiver, and then commit to finding ways of DOING them! YOU (and those that receive your care) deserve your best.
Please share your ideas about how you take care of yourself … We all need support in this area!
P.S. If this list is totally annoying in it’s jubilance, I get it. Try this out: 6 Ideas to Quell the Stress of Caregiving ~ bubble bath not included.