As I watched them, it was hard to say who was demonstrating more patience, and who seemed more inspiring. Certainly, it was impossible for me to understand the depth and complexity of their relationship.
Three minutes outside will help put things back into perspective.
When we can’t shift the content of what’s on our plate or what our daily schedule looks like, we can at least pay attention to how we’re relating to these activities.
When our lives are full with day-to-day responsibilities and the ongoing demands of caregiving, emptying out—in one or many forms—is often just what we need.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed as caregivers, sometimes the best gift we can offer ourselves is to have compassion for the difficulties we’re experiencing, and to realize that it’s natural to feel the effects of our life circumstances.
I’m often struck by how great a gift it is to be able to laugh at ourselves and the predicaments we find ourselves in.
Yes, even those moments, in a strange way, were what I had been looking for.
This quote strikes me as the perfect phrase to discover inside of a fortune cookie on a day when, before opening it, we decide, “Okay, whatever this says, I’m going to take it as a sign—as a personal message meant just for me.”
In his book, “To Bless the Space Between Us,” John O’Donohue describes an experience he had when he was a young priest visiting a group of nuns.
After spending years studying psychology, I’m often humbled to see that the tools which seem most useful to myself and to others are usually very simple things—ideas that come from life experience as opposed to thick textbooks. This is certainly true when I think about my two favorite tools for reducing stress in day-to-day life: sticky notes and sighs!
Self-care, take care of yourself, self-care, self-care—okay, we get it. How many times can a caregiver hear this before s/he gets sick of the phrase? Self-care articles glance over the logistics (and financials) of respite care; repeat the same familiar directives (eat right, sleep right); or miss the point entirely. Walk a day in our shoes: see how easy it is to carve out time for ourselves, when our day is spent taking care of others. It’s no wonder many caregivers roll their eyes when the subject of self-care approaches.
So it’s with a considerable amount of sensitivity that I draw closer to this article’s focus: a book on self-care. Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit
When our lives are busy and we’re actively taking care of others, we can sometimes forget about the possibility of taking a break.
Guest post by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.