Who doesn’t need a break sometimes? There are plenty of days we feel like pulling the sheets over our heads and staying in bed all day, or better yet, escaping to a far off deserted island. Unfortunately, those things aren’t terribly practical – especially for a caregiver.

Even when it seems that only drastic measures will set the world right again, just doing a little something special can work wonders. Here are six great ways to recharge your batteries.

  • Splurge on a sweet. Gooey cupcakes? Rich, scrumptious ice cream? Oh what the heck, have a decadent treat – no guilt allowed.  Stop at your favorite specialty bakery or boutique ice cream shop and indulge in something over the top. Find a quiet spot to sit down, savor every bite, and release the day’s worries for 20 or 30 minutes.
  • Take a walk. Pop on a pair of headphones if you feel like listening to music, or just soak in the beautiful, relaxing sounds of nature. If you stumble upon a shady bench, sit for a moment. Let go of your worries, even if for just for a short while. I have a favorite nearby park that I love because it has a waterfall, and there’s something about that sounds that helps me forget my troubles.
  • Buy some fresh flowers, or cut some from your garden and bring them inside. Flowers brighten our spirits, make us smile, and remind us how much beauty there is in life’s simplest pleasures.
  • Escape reality by burying your nose in a good book for an hour. Brew up a cup of your favorite coffee or herbal tea, get comfortable, and let your mind wander to faraway places where your everyday concerns are a distant memory.
  • Light a candle. It’s the end of a long day, and you’re exhausted. Even if you could, you don’t have the energy to leave the house.  On nights like this, I appreciate the simplicity of lighting a candle or two. Soy candles are wonderful because they’re long lasting, burn clean, and hold their scents beautifully. Curl up, watch the candlelight gently dancing around the room, and let a sense of peace wash over you.
  • Treat yourself to a spa pedicure or massage. Let someone take care of you for a change, while you unwind and kick stress to the curb for an hour or so. If you can’t swing that, gift yourself to a new pair of comfy, cozy pajamas, take a long bubble bath, then slather on your favorite scented lotion. Make yourself queen for the evening.

Regardless of how crazy life gets, try to set aside time at least once each week to be alone. Use the time to pamper yourself, clear your mind, and simply take a deep breath. You’re so accustomed to focusing on everyone else – spend some time taking care of YOU. Simply put, you’re worth it!!

What’s your favorite way to unwind? Leave a comment and share what works for you!

2 Comments

  1. Ella

    I am my brother’s primary caregiver, he is 66 years young. His disease has been life changing for him (altering his love of independence) and ours. As the doctor relayed to us with a prescription to, “Fasten your seatbelts,” I am sure we may have had some denial on the, “Roller coaster ride,” as she called it which we are experiencing. My brother can have good and bad days/moments. We may have a bonding moment (I cherish them) or I can be his worst enemy (I remind myself it’s the disease). During this treacherous journey I have become diligent in making things the best I can for him, avoiding obstacles he may throw at me. Along the way the big brother/little sister role is changing (he’s frustrated, I’m accepting) holding onto any bond I am able for as long as I can.

    Oh back to me (how easy we forget). I was advised from the onset to take care of myself (inclusive of my husband, our relationship). I strive to and cherish it (more so it seems). I love family, memories, home, my goal to keep things as normal as possible, easy. I am gratified by little things, same old is fine, it feels wonderful, safe perhaps. I relish my rest and meditate; my walks where I reflect on changes (never questioning). A day for me is crucial, my downtime, I indulge when I can. It feels better (healthier) to express myself and thoughts. I share them and remember to laugh. Respites are important, a break for everyone I have learned, I adhere to them (trying to not feel guilty when I partake, it’s a challenge still). Must not forget the importance of my prayers and faith, it’s crucial for me. Enough about me, things to do. I/we do what we do because we love and care. God Bless All Caregivers

  2. Ann Napoletan

    Ella, I’m glad to hear you are able to work in some time for yourself, and you’re right – faith and prayer are so critical. Those two things have gotten me through when nothing else could have. Sending you (((hugs))).

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