“Here is your morning latte”, I said handing the steaming cup of coffee and frothy almond milk to our adult daughter Cari who returned home yesterday for some care after nasal surgery. This is the gentle kind of caregiving, the short term, non-tragic type that makes the caregiver feel good.
Just in time! After all, November is National Family Caregivers month. This is the month to honor all families who have been, continue to be, or will be suddenly brought into the role of caregiving that is much more long term, possibly unplanned, unexpected, and could be infused with life changing circumstances.
Some caregivers may even feel there is no end in sight because caregiving on top of your normal life duties can be extremely tough and taxing. It can be thoroughly exhausting–emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and even spiritually.
And the holidays, which are extremely stressful for caregivers, are upon us.
In addition, this is the busiest time for first responders as accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other ailments spike during the holidays. This holiday brew…. you guessed it…. creates many sudden caregivers. If this has happened to you or someone you love, I have three very important tips right now that will help you make it through the end of the year.
#1 Love Yourself First. As a former Flight Service Manager on a major airline, we were instructed to put on our oxygen masks FIRST or we would not have been able to provide any assistance to anyone else whatsoever. That one truth is what I want to stress to caregivers above all: it isn’t easy at times, but you must give yourself permission to breathe and also maintain that boundary!
#2 Understand it is more than okay to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. Yes, really, (gasp!), it is…and it’s also really important to actually voice your feelings so you can work through them.
#3. Take some spiritual time daily. However you commune with that something greater– whether it is mediation, breathing, walking out in nature, praying, meditating, visualizing, or asking for strength, help and guidance~take a few minutes or more each day to call in some peace.
Blessings and Love to you and yours this very honoring month of the holiday season,
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
~ Lucille Ball