Caring For The Caregiver Within: A Caregiver's Perspective

700 votes

I would like to share how I am taking care, to take good care of myself as a caregiver. It is important to look after yourself we all know, to function at our optimal best. And no doubt it is doubly important when you are also caring for others. In this day and age, almost everyone is taking on the task of caring for family members, whether it be your elderly parents, that you don't want in a nursing home, or grandchildren you are having to raise, or even your own children.

Being a baby boomer myself, I did not think that I would still be taking care of anyone but myself at my age, but the universe had different plans for me.

I have always been somewhat of a loner and after my youngest child went to college and got her own place, I have stayed like that and continue to live happily and somewhat in my own little world. In doing so, I have learned to relieve a lot of stress with simple techniques.

My Perspective On Things

Aside from getting quality sleep and eating foods that are Organic and GMO-free, your state of mind is something we sometimes neglect to make sure is healthy as well. I like to read Eckhart Tolle, "A New Earth" and "The Power Of Now" has helped me to stay present and to realize I am not the voice in my head that talks all the time. It helped me understand myself better so when I would be in a way of thinking that wasn't conducive I could change my train of thought and or perception, which helped me immensely in all kinds of situations that would pop up in life.

Being Spiritual and vegan, being in nature for me is rejuvenating and grounding. Walking in the woods or just around the yard in the grass, and when weather permits, barefooted! Just breathing in fresh air when you have been indoors will get your blood flowing and wakes up your mind. We are blessed to have animals, our extended family that brings us both joy and comfort many times a day.Between 7 cats and a dog, blood pressure rarely gets high in this home.

Reminiscing good advice

When I was in my twenties and thirties I used to feel bad when I would spend a little money on myself, but learned over time that you have to do nice things for yourself sometimes because you are worth it. Good Caregivers tend not to give themselves enough credit for all they do. Taking care of another life and being responsible for their well being is not easy, and if you are not in an optimum state of mind you could do more damage in trying to help someone else. So being kind to myself is an important rule I follow.

Speak kindly to yourself. I am the hardest on myself and sometimes I would talk down to myself. But no more. I have sticky notes in random places in my house reminding me how awesome I am. I always tell myself that I am a wonderful person who is filled with love and compassion and that I am worthy of all good things, which come my way daily. Be your own cheerleader. My youngest daughter and I are close and I am lucky to have at least two close friends to talk to when I need it.

A friend of mine who also has a grown child with Downs Syndrome told me that they picked us to be their parents before they were born. That makes us special in itself. I will never forget that and will try every day to be the kind of person, my daughter knew I would be. That's why she picked me to be her mommy and forever caregiver. She has taught me how to keep going when I do not think I can go any further. She has shown me that I have a strength that I never knew I had. Giving up is not an option. I wear that title as my badge. You caregivers out there do the same, you are worth it too. Wishing you all love and happiness!