As we begin another year, many people pause and reflect on the past as well as make resolutions for the future. Some of you may be so blindsided by new or current events that you can barely see in front of yourself.
Are you prepared for what may come next in your life? You may be so caught up in caring for your loved one that you aren’t thinking about what may come next for you or what you may want to happen. Life passes us by so quickly that in the midst of caregiving we have a tendency to put ourselves second which is understandable. But I encourage you not to do that all of the time because you can’t care for your loved one without caring for yourself, too.
Start by setting goals of things you want to accomplish for yourself and in the relationship with your loved one. What is working, what’s not. What would you like to see changed? You need to be able to identify the barriers regardless of what they are so that you can work through them, improve them or make peace with the way that they are.
Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or seek outside professionals to help relieve some of the tasks that need attention. Can you hire someone to clean the house, do gardening or have a friend do some grocery shopping for you? Are you able to talk with a counselor about what’s happening? Join a support group? Breathing Spaces offers a closed Facebook group that gives you an opportunity to speak with others going through similar circumstances in a private setting. Whatever you may choose, it can often provide you with enough ‘air’ to keep you going.
Finally begin the practice of not beating yourself up when something goes wrong, because it will. Instead, find a way to balance yourself so that when things occur, you don’t spin out of control. Do something good for yourself. Take a walk, start an exercise program, go to lunch with a friend, start a hobby that allows you to ‘create’ while being close to your loved one. Remember, this is your life too. Do something that will set your soul on fire. You're worth it.
One day at a time, find happiness.