Thursday, April 30, 2015

60-Second Focus

 Each morning you should lie in bed for 60 seconds longer and do two things. 

First, do a physical self assessment.  Is the stress of caregiving manifesting itself in physical ways?  

If your jaw hurts first thing in the morning you may be grinding your teeth at night.  If your hands hurt you may be clinching your fists as you sleep.  Are you more irritable, nervous, tired, or emotional?  The answer to the question is almost always going to be “Yes.”  

If so, how can you find a positive way to respond to the stress and possibly lessen it?  One answer is to concentrate on the second part of the 60-Second Focus.  Find one good thing about the day to which you can look forward.  Even if it is only that the sun is shining or you are still breathing.  Look hard and you can find one good thing about the upcoming day.  

If you can’t find one good thing . . . stay in bed another 60 seconds.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Choose New

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Thursday, April 2, 2015

STOP THAT!! Stop Beating Yourself Up!

One of my best friend's mother is slowly sliding downhill while my mother is on a plateau. When my friend told me about her mother's health I thought, "Wish that was us."

Now, if your first reaction was, "Oh my God! I can't believe you'd say or even THINK that?!" then you haven't been in the caregiving world long enough and it hasn't made you crazy enough yet.

 Lots of us get to the point at which we want our loved one's suffering--if that's what it is--to be over. We want our own suffering and sacrifice to be over. If you're feelin' me about this, and you have the same thoughts, and you're beating yourself up about it...stop!

Your thoughts are natural and, in most cases, based on loving the caree and yourself, and that's a great thing.

Yes, there are some folks who are simply selfish and and self-centered and they see the caregiving experience as a burden; a negative but necessary exercise that gets them closer to inheritance.

But, most of us aren't in that group. We love the caree and have wonderful memories of the life we had with them, but life now, for them and us, has become something much less than what they would want.

My friend Elaine's dad was 93 when he passed away in February. He was ready to go. He understood that his life was not what he wanted it to be. His family wanted him to ease into his final rest in the way he wanted to go, and that's what happened.

So, if you're being hard on yourself about thinking that everyone, especially the caree, would be better off if the inevitable happened, give yourself a break. You aren't crazy.Your thoughts are based on love.