Caregiving takes a lot of energy.
As a primary caregiver, you feel tethered to your loved one 24/7.
In the wee hours of the night or morning, you think about him or her and maybe even question the decisions you’ve made. The phone rings and you jump in case something happened while you were away. You’re exhausted beyond anything you can imagine, yet you must do one thing more to ensure your loved one is safe. Your heart aches with the loss of who your loved one once was and what s/he could do.
To keep yourself from drowning in a spiral of depression, choose one thing you want to do for you each day.
While caring for my father in our home, sometimes, just being able to spend five minutes in the bathroom without worry was all I needed. While my husband occupied my father, I didn’t worry that my father might put a spoon in the toaster again or eat the cat’s food. Once, my husband and father went for a walk around the neighborhood for over an hour–enough time to make a dent in my much-neglected work.
Choose ONE thing you want to do for YOU, each day.
There were many moments like these that I was able to do something for myself for five minutes, an hour, or even part of the day. When I finally agreed to send my father to adult day care, he thrived and even enjoyed his time giving me enough respite each day to enjoy our evenings.
Consider this a friendly reminder to stay strong and true to who you are and to your needs.
Whatever you do this year, start out by doing ONE THING however small FOR YOU each day.