I read so much on the world-wide web about self-care while caregiving.
You deserve care, for sure.
I don’t believe in saying, “Take a break, take a bath, have a walk with a friend, make sure you care for yourself…” because the answer is “When? How? I am caregiving full-time, all the time, 365/24/7…”
So instead, from my own caregiving days, I have learned to care for myself *while* caregiving. How? By creating 15 minutes of fame a day for me, the one I care for, and any who join the circle of care. When I am telling great stories of life, every day, then *that* is what we’re doing.
“When you create 15 minutes of fame every day for a person, those 15 minutes improve the daily mood, energy, and hope…When your mood and energy are good, you have a good outlook on life, and you can use that energy to create positive circumstances. When his or her mood and energy are good, he or she has a good outlook on life and you can use that energy to create positive circumstances…You’ve created solid ground for both of you.” ~p. 6, “15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders To Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground”
Photos, songs, stories, books with favorite pages marked, sitting right there on the table, begging to be opened and read aloud for the benefit of all within earshot (and even on Skype for those far away) – generate the fun, the pride, the joy of a full and interesting life, to draw upon, consider, and celebrate, every single day. If a new caregiver joins the team, he or she knows what to say immediately to bring this fun, pride, and joy to this day, in this moment. So do grandchildren, neighbors, family friends who otherwise might not know what to say. Show them what to say, then they can say it, with love, authenticity, and success, for all of us.
May it work for you. Let me know how it goes.