Hello dear, wonderful caregiver!
I’m giving you big pats on the back for your heroic efforts. I’ve been a caregiver too. I know how challenging it can be. These days I’m caregiving my 87-year-old blind mother. It can get heavy, depressing, and can feel like life isn’t as sexy and sensuous anymore. Thankfully my forty years of life experience working in sexuality, love and pleasure have come in handy to lift my spirits and make me feel better. Here’s a useful tip that works for me, and I hope it works for you.
When we are caregiving, we can put other people’s needs far above our own. It’s not at all uncommon for caregivers to find their sex drives change, they can feel disconnected from their partners, and sexual habits can change radically. If one’s partner is ill, or in treatment, the partner’s sexual energy can be limited or utilized for healing. But we don’t have to wait for partner sex, or a “hot moment,” to feel really delicious and to enjoy our sensuality, our bodies, and our passions. My motto is “let there be pleasure on Earth, and let it begin with me!”
First, expand your idea of what “sex” is to include all kinds of your favorite pleasures. Think of these pleasures as part of your sexuality and sensuality too. Stimulating your senses, sparking your intellect, doing things that give your body delicious sensations, can all be deeply yummy and satisfying– if let yourself and you throw yourself into them.
Take a break from your caregiving responsibilities for just a moment and figure out what exactly brings you the most pleasure. Write up a list of the top ten most pleasurable things you like to do (other than partner sex.) Today is not yesterday. Keep it real. What do you enjoy NOW– these days? This list likely will change month-to-month, year-to-year, and decade-to-decade. I try to make a list myself at least once every year.
I’ll do my own list right now as an example:
- Getting a hot oil massage
- Naked cuddling
- Walking my dog in the redwood forest
- A hot bath with scented bath salts, candles and incense
- Spending time by big bodies of water
- Going to an uplifting movie– 3D is a plus!
- Attending an interesting conference, schmoozing and learning new things
- Reading the Sunday NY Times
- Eating a bowl of ice cream
- Listening to Indian music
Review your list, then put it up on your bathroom mirror where you read it regularly, like while you brush your teeth.
Then, simply do the things on your list as often as possible, and you will be insured lots of pleasure. Treat yourself to something that feels good a.s.a.p. Take yourself on a date by doing something on your list! Be real good to yourself and love yourself up. You’ll avoid the dreaded caregiver burnout and perhaps you’ll even discover YOU yourself are the awesome lover you need right now. You deserve lots of pleasure and ‘sexy’ fun.