Several years ago I taught a seminar to caregivers called “Don’t Miss the Bliss”. The CDC recognizes that being a caregiver comes with increased health risks documented in data.
I wanted to get the happiness, resilience, longevity, and flow information I had gathered as a life coach into the hands of these people that selflessly support others.
Previous posts shared some of that research.
Caregivers tend to naturally put their needs aside but in order to be around longer to take care of children, disabled loved ones, or aging loved ones, self-care should become routine.
The starting point is take an honest look at how you value yourself. Do you value yourself? Do you truly believe that you deserve to eat well, exercise, rest, enjoy entertainment and friendships as much as those you care for? Do you allow yourself any reasonable breaks?
When you value yourself, you will see that taking care of yourself is more than okay— it is how you thrive and continue to be a better caregiver.
Create space that is yours. Even if it is just one room, you need a place where you can relax and decompress.
Allow yourself to have hobbies/ activities that you can be immersed in.
Make time to spend with your best friends and most supportive family members. You need to have a support system, too. We all have to deal with toxic people but do not allow them to dominate your time.
Plan and enjoy good meals.
Allow yourself to sleep.
Finally, take a moment to think about the life you want to create in the next year, next five years, the next ten. There is room for you to dream and work on your goals while being a caregiver.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. “ Joseph Campbell
Tracy May, M. Ed