Last night I heard my friend coughing all night. I’m concerned that she’s not taking care of herself as she splits her time between caring for her dad and her children. With each visit, I see more of her time being eaten up by the needs of others. Acquaintances say, “Oh you’re so good to your mother.” Yes, she is—but I also want her to be good to herself.
Caregivers feel drained. It’s a tiring and energy-robbing role. In the midst of feeling exhausted you must sneak in ways to regain necessary energy. Try these three suggestions:
- Go for a quick walk around the block or into the woods. Breathe in the fresh air and imagine the oxygen filling up your brain.
- Crank up the music and dance. Both the physical movement and the energy of the music will give you energy. (My dad and I often break into random dance. As you can see in the picture, we enjoy!)
- Talk with someone about a fascinating book you’re reading. Get into it and share feelings and ideas and research even more about the topic.
You need energy to give care. You also need energy to enjoy the parts of your life that are not about being a caregiver.