A lot is written about self care for caregivers – arranging for respite care, taking steps to maintain a life of your own, and other ways to plan to nurture yourself while nurturing another. Sometimes, though, opportunity and need coincide, and a caregiver goes AWOL for a little while. Apparently, the same is true for bloggers.
I didn’t plan to take a long holiday break from my regular schedule. I didn’t feel particularly stressed or blocked, but life presented distractions, and I followed. Our Christmas and New Year’s festivities were simple, but there were still shopping and cooking chores to be done, and there were lots of loved ones to visit with and love on. There were books to be read and old movies to watch, and the laptop simply remained closed. It was a good time of relaxing and refreshing, but I am ready to get back into the routine of sharing my thoughts on a more regular basis.
From my experience, caregivers would do well to follow a similar pattern. Planning regular periods of rest and self care are a necessity, but it’s also important to keep your eyes open for the unexpected opportunities to nurture yourself. If a friend stops by and says, Can I do anything to help, don’t be heroic and say, No thanks. Instead, say I’ve been wanting to (shop, walk, see a movie, get a haircut). Would you mind sitting with Mom for an hour or two. You will enjoy the time away so much more if you don’t wait until you are ready to explode. Your friend will feel good for having helped, Mom will survive, and you will come back relaxed, refreshed, and ready to get back to the routine.
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