Guest post by Harry Cline, creator of NewCaregiver.org
When David and I find great tips for patients and caregivers from other professionals, we love sharing them with you, our wonderful readers.
This article is a must read for new and seasoned caregivers. Please take this author’s great advice on self-care. Doing so will make a huge difference in the quality of your caregiving experience… and in your life.
And, here’s just one of the many nuggets from this article: “Take responsibility for your health and happiness and commit to being kind to yourself. If you feel selfish thinking of yourself, remember that the loved one you’re caring for wants to see you happy and balanced, not stressed, tired and overwhelmed. Practicing self-care is a kindness to them, as well.” – Harry Cline
Enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment or ask a question.
“It is not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” — Lena Horne, singer
If you are caregiving a child (or children), spouse and/or aging parent, there is a good chance you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed and even burned out. In fact, you may be one of the growing number of people who are trying to balance everyone’s needs – the Sandwich Generation. Even though this is a huge challenge in your life, I wonder if you can also view it as an opportunity for self-care?
When I was caregiving my husband with stage IV cancer, everyday, I made a point to accompany him to the infusion center where he received radiation and chemotherapy. I was also caring for our 13 year old son who had Lyme disease. Every morning, I drove him to school and sometimes had to turn right around to pick him up early because he wasn’t feeling well. During all of this, I continued to work full time in my psychotherapy and coaching practices while regularly checking in with my aging parents and in-laws.
What a touching read by this guest blogger, Tosha Gorden, who shares the Zen that she has gained from her beloved yoga instructor, Joe.
Be A Seeker (ode to Joe)
My dear, it’s time for you to learn to fly. But no, I don’t want to fly, not yet, maybe not ever. It’s so comfortable here in this nest. You tell me everything I need to know. I’m not ready to fly out on my own!
I am having an emotional reaction to my yoga teacher retiring. I literally feel the tears pool in my eyes when I think about it. This is sort of crazy, right? There are a million yoga teachers out there and some of them are good. Really good maybe, but I have learned so much from this one and I don’t feel nearly ready for him to retire. I take his class at a cancer support facility in my town – a wonderful place with tons of offerings to help those fighting cancer and their families. He has volunteered there for 20 years and, by his estimate, taught 1,400 hours of yoga. Wow! Now that is the epitome of shining a light in the world and I’m so thankful for his generosity.
It’s 3:00 A.M. and I wake up realizing that this is the last day with our beloved Mini-blue. Suddenly flooded with memories of that day when the three of us – my husband David, our son Mark and I – walk into the Mini Cooper dealership, wide-eyed and excited. Smiling, we look at each other knowing what the other was thinking, “This day is finally here! We made it!”
You see, this wasn’t any ol’ day; this was the zenith we’ve been waiting for – where one dramatic period was ending and a new and exciting one was beginning.