November is National Family Caregivers Month, and in that light, we at Breathing Spaces are taking this time to celebrate the amazing role you are or have played in your loved one’s life. Every day you have given of yourself in some way, and it is crucial for you to recognize that. It is indeed, a labor of love.
Many of you get caught up in the daily cycle of doing making it critical to take the time to stop and breathe. I saw my naturopath doctor today, and she said; ‘You don’t strike me as the kind of woman that sits idly by and lets the day slip away.” My reply was; “True, but I always find time to step away from what I am doing and pause, walk outside, think about….nothing. I am surely grateful that what I do fills me up, but it is always important to step away.”
If you are always doing without pausing, one day you will turn around and ask yourself how your life passed so quickly. I know very well that the days of caregiving can be constant, whether you are actually ‘doing’ or not, your radar is always on and shutting down is near impossible. I am reminded through talking with other caregivers throughout the week that shutting down is much easier said than done.
Here are a few points to ponder:
You have limits, respect them
Talk with other family caregivers who understand what you are going through and can offer support without judgment. That in itself gives you breathing space, to know you are not alone.
Acknowledge all you are doing/have done. You are AMAZING!
Journal - it is the best way to release emotions in a safe place and sheds light on otherwise overlooked feelings.
There is no perfect solution to how to be a family caregiver and find time to care for yourself too. You’ve got to find your balance and answers when it comes down to it. But I can almost guarantee that finding a way to fill up your tank will help. For now, know that all of us at Breathing Spaces are celebrating all that you do, every day.