It's easy to go through day-to-day events without stopping to think; "Is this good for me? Is this what I want/need?". However putting yourself first and honoring your wishes is the first step in a fulfilling and contented life, and it is not selfish.
The more you operate from a self-care mindset, the more effective caregiver you become for your loved one. This reigns true after your loved one has passed and you find yourself second-guessing your actions. Would have, could have should have.
Your loved one's needs often come first, which is understandable. And though finding a way to be ok with YOU in the middle of whatever that looks like can be a challenge, but paramount. It gives you footing when the situation changes, and it will.
See if this sounds familiar….. You're going along with your days, working, caring for your loved one and though there are a few ups and downs things seem to be ok (even in the middle of not being ok at all) and then one day it all seems to derail. How you thought things were going isn't the case anymore. Whether the doctor's office called and said that they misread the diagnosis or perhaps your family comes to you and tells you're just not doing things the way they'd like to see them going.
I'm sorry, what? Boom! In that very instance, your world is upside down. You find yourself in such a frozen state that either you respond abruptly or cower inward to self-defeat.
Are there situations in your life (caregiving or not) where you wish you would have spoken your truth? Stopped long enough to think about what would happen if you disagreed or questioned the moment? Wishing you had taken a bit more time to reassess how you wanted to do things; If only I had….I wish….I should have.
Decisions can become more difficult as your days of caregiving happen, reactions become impulsive because you're tired and neglected your self-care. Honestly, the most important person in the world is yourself. It's easy enough to get swept up into helping others or doing things for them that make them happy. That's all wonderful! As long as you don't put yourself into the backseat and neglect your own needs where the cycle begins, yet again. If only I had….I wish….I should have.
You have the power to make a change within yourself. The rest is out of your control. Change your thinking change your life. Stop looking in the rear view mirror of regrets. Journal your thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, and start making a change within yourself; the way you think, the way you feel and take charge of YOU.
Nurture yourself, because the impending storm will come, and being able to stand in your truth, knowing you've done the best you can, is good enough. Every day we have is a little life unto itself. Don't forget about, you.