When your life is in chaos, with so many things happening simultaneously, it’s understandable to want it all under control. Ok, at least a little bit…..right?
Family caregiving is a time that having what you can in place (emergency contacts, legal documents, prescriptions, etc.) is paramount because I can about guarantee you the rest will be on its own spin cycle. The more you try to ‘control’ it the worse it will get. It is the time to let go of preconceived expectations and trust in the best outcome.
I’ve found that letting go of things you can’t control can be a powerful tool as you move through your days. There will be times when you have to be fully engaged; your loved one has just been rushed to the emergency room. You’ve got to jump in the car and follow the ambulance, make calls to family members or friends that need to know, once at the hospital be ‘on’ to understand what is happening and why. And that’s only the beginning of what can be a lengthy process.
The day to day caregiving may need to be looked at a bit differently. Continuing that emergency room ‘control' mentality will take its toll on you, trust me. You need to step back and take a look at what is happening in the background: What am I afraid of? Fear often is at the core of control, because you are so scared that if you let go something terrible will happen. This is your loved ones life after all, right? So you start putting yourself under a lot of stressors: trying to do everything yourself, doing it all ‘perfectly,’ finding yourself anxious for what may be coming next.
Give-it-up. Try doing something differently:
Find ways to silence the hamster wheel also known as your mind; stop in the middle of chaos and breathe. Big long belly breaths and make lists to keep yourself from running around.
Stop multitasking; be present and do one thing at a time.
If you're tired; stop! Seriously. When you’re tired, you cannot make rational decisions, and your tank becomes empty. No one benefits at that point.
Anytime we try and control outcomes of other people, we might as well smack our heads against a cement wall. It hurts and ultimately leads to anger, resentment, and frustration.
Trust in a positive outcome. Let go. Breath in, and out, in and out in and out. Be kind, be gentle to you.