There are so many things in a caregiver’s life which can add positives. For most caregivers the need to just get through another day, especially family caregivers, is the only thought. Many times we hear of self-care and think to ourselves ‘right, who has the time or the energy’. While the truth is we cannot afford not to practice good self-care. Here are a few ways to practice good self-care, which is not expensive – either in time, energy or financially.
Physical exercise is an excellent way to release the emotional energy which goes with the job. All of us have been there when it is all we can do not to cry and ask ‘Why’; sometimes we can’t just stop and sit down and have a good cry to release that emotion. Both men and women need to allow this emotional release, whoever thought men should not cry was really not thinking clearly. www.helpingyoucare.com
Journaling is a strong exercise for both the caregiver and the patient. This is not only a way to express feelings and desires in a positive way; it is also a way to pass on the emotional education to others. There is nothing romantic about a final illness, but there is a journey to be told which will show others the way. For patients this is the lasting gift which can be shared with family and friends. The story can be written or recorded, to preserve a family time only few will understand, however many will take the time to explain. This is the lasting legacy many of us would like to leave for family and friends. If you have not been a journaling person this may help. blog.cancerforward.org
Sitting on a porch while it is raining with a cup of coffee or tea and practicing self-talk is yet another way to not just release negative emotions; also to plan for the immediate future, these are crucial tools to make us better caregivers. These plans allow control and stability in our life when there is little else that will give us that. Each of us needs a measure of self-control to live a healthy life. This is our measure for this time and this place in time. The rain allows us to practice self-talk with abandon as outside of our head there is little heard but rain, and rain is cleansing. www.stress.about.com
Finally, allow for the human factor. If a mistake happens, acknowledge that mistake and move forward. If there is need to call a doctor, do so; if there is need to get something at the store which was forgotten, call a neighbor or friend ask for help (we all need help from time to time); and if this mistake is overwhelming get help, this is a sign of too much, too little, too late. And remember we are each human and we can only expect the human quality. www.caring.com/articles/5-medication-mistakes-caregivers-can-make Above all remember each of us is human, get the help necessary to correct the mistake, acknowledge the mistake and how it happened, then correct the situation.