Caregiver stress and the worry stone
Do you have a worry stone?
Many in ancient Greece carried smooth, mostly oval-shaped, stones with them. Whenever they felt stress or worry coming on, they would pull out the stone from their pocket and hold the stone between their index finger and thumb then proceed to rub it with their thumb.
This action was thought to bring relief from whatever was troubling them. It also helped clear and calm the mind.
These stones were known as worry stones.
Other cultures later adopted similar practices.
The Irish thought that rubbing a worry stone made of Connemara marble would relief stress and bring good luck.
Other cultures thought that carrying and using a worry stone made from one’s birth stone would attract good luck.
Some people have used worry stones to relieve simple boredom as well.
If you’re a caregiver, or have been in the past, what is your worry stone?
The years spent as a caregiver for my parents were some of the most wonderful and memorable and some of the most stressful.
I had two worry stones.
One was working out at the gym each weekday morning. This wasn’t negotiable. I knew I had to exercise for my own sanity during that stressful period.
My other worry stone, and in a way, a worry stone for my parents as well, came about one Saturday morning.
On a crisp fall morning, my mother decided that she wanted to go to a neighboring town so she could do some shopping at Wal-Mart the have breakfast at Hometown Buffet.
So, we piled into my little Nissan Sentra and headed to Yuba City, the neighboring town.
After returning, my mother said, “Let’s do that every Saturday morning!”
We did. And I began to look forward to Saturday mornings, because it was a great stress reliever for me and a worry stone for my parents. After all, my parents wanted and needed a little relief too by getting out of the house.
Those Saturday mornings created precious memories for me to this day.
What is your worry stone?
Perhaps it’s working out. Or maybe it’s reading a good book. Maybe it’s knitting.
Caregiving can be a wonderful time, but it can also be one of the most stressful times in one’s life.
Several months ago, I interviewed author Rhett DeVane about her humorous and touching experiences caring for her elderly parents. [UPDATED 9/24/2017 Link no longer operational] She talked of the time she spent caring for her mother and admitted, “We loved each other, but there were times we stomped all over each other’s last nerve. And like Hannah in the novel, I sometimes thought about getting into my car and accelerating…to anywhere.”
Whatever it is, make sure you “carry” it with you and give it a good “rub” whenever possible.
After spending several years as a caregiver, Ron Whitaker returned to his career roots as a web producer. He launched his website, BoomerBazaar [UPDATED 9/24/2017 Link no longer operational], in late 2012. BoomerBazaar’s target audience is the Baby Boomer. Ron enjoys daily exercise, movies, and reading.