Updated: Dec 11, 2018
The importance of self care goes without saying and we hear this A LOT in today’s fast moving world…"You have to take care of yourself”…”If you care for others-put yourself first”…”You can’t pour from an empty cup”….on and on. One thing I have discovered after working with hundreds of families and hundreds of family caregivers is that they always put others first…sometimes to their detriment. They think- I’ll just get them looked after and THEN I’ll look after me.
I am guilty of this too. Although my parents are still fairly well and independent, as a wife, mother, friend, sister and member of my community, I have often put the welfare of others before my own. I am frequently doing for others and often leaving myself last. This is easy to do especially if you are a kind and caring individual who truly wants the best for others.
But is it self indulgent to put ourselves first? Heck no! It’s a necessity and there should be absolutely no guilt in doing so. Self care activities do not have to be a full day/weekend or week off either. Self care activities can be short, sweet and simple too, making them much more likely to occur. The key is to planning for them and blocking out the time for them. Take a few minutes to be still, be quiet, deep breathe, go for a walk in nature, read a chapter from a good book, sip a cup of your favourite tea, write in a journal, listen to your favourite music, call an old friend. Self care does not have to be a fancy day at a spa (although that is nice too!). Use your imagination and trust what first comes to you….and ENJOY.
Your role as a caregiver is demanding so take care of the body and mind that works so hard every day!
To learn more about support available for family caregivers, join our FREE Facebook Community, ICare at www.facebook.com/groups/theicarecommunity/.
Take good care, Karen