Think about all you do during the day, from the moment you rise until you crawl back into bed. What things come to mind?
Did you think things like:
- Getting my loved one up and ready for the day
- Getting my loved one to doctors appointments
- Getting meals prepared that my loved one will eat
In other words, did all of your daily tasks revolve around caring for your loved one?
For many caregivers, it’s true. From the moment they rise, their mind drifts from one moment to the next, always thinking about the next thing they must accomplish to keep the person they are caring for safe, comfortable and secure.
Yet they are missing one crucial element to making it all work. Themselves.
The daily discipline of being a caregiver doesn’t just involve the needs of the person you are caring for, it also encompasses your needs. And if your plans aren’t as high priority as the needs of the one you are caring for, you are setting yourself up for difficulty.
Your Daily Discipline
I’m a firm believer in creating your daily discipline to include three gems: spiritual, physical, and health. If you don’t spend a portion of every day in those three areas, you’ll quickly find yourself failing, being less than you can be.
Connect with your inner power. Spend time allowing yourself to just be. Do whatever feels right and comes naturally to you. It might be spending a few minutes reading the Bible. It might be meditation. It might be journaling and reflecting on life all around you. By connecting every day to what is going on inside, you can give yourself an outlet to destress and connect with something higher than yourself.
A brisk 30 minute walk. A yoga class. A workout with a personal trainer. While caring for your loved one may give you a workout every day, that workout is not physical activity for you. By spending a few minutes every day in an activity for your benefit, it allows you to breathe deep and focus in on making you the best you can be.
Without you, the person you are caring for hurts as well. To ensure you stay healthy and in top condition, it’s important that you take care of you in the process. Are you eating right? Do you take supplements? Do you have regular checkups? Do you partake in other activities, such as massage, chiropractic or acupuncture? The only way the person you are caring for gets 100 percent benefit from you, is if you are in the best condition you can be. And by being healthy, you’ll naturally pass that along to your loved one.
Caregiving is one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever take on. By taking control of what matters most – your well-being – you can ensure the two of you will be the best you can be, now and in the days to come.