This month’s blog on self-care comes to you from Joan Lubar, The Sassy Sage.
From Surviving to Thriving – Self Care for the Caregiver
Those of you who follow me on social media, read this blog, attend my support groups, or are my clients regularly hear my reminders and tips about self-care. This month’s guest blog on this topic comes to you from Joan Lubar, The Sassy Sage. She is the author of “Rock & Roll at Any Age”, is a speaker, writer, and nutrition and wellness consultant. Her mission is to help people create strategies for life, health spiritual wisdom.
As a caregiver for my husband who has Parkinson’s, my attention was always on how he was doing and if he needed anything. When I realized that I was exhausted and stressed to the max, I took stock of what was happening to me.
I have taught people how to stay healthy through their choices of foods, supplements, non-toxic products, and a healthy attitude for over 30 years. I forgot that I need to also take care of me. Kind of like the shoemaker whose kids have no shoes!
So, my question for you is, “How are YOU doing?”
Let me ask that again, “How are YOU REALLY doing?
Most of us will suffer from exhaustion, frustration, and burnout and, not to alarm you, over 30% of us will die before the one we are caring for.
(Note: over 60% for some types of dementia!)
Why do you think that is? As I said before, our minds are on those we care for and it is so easy, as I did, to forget our own selfcare.
Here is an abbreviated list of my 8 Steps to Successful Self Care:
1. Self reflection - It is a rare person who does not have some feelings of resentment, anger, guilt, sadness, or depression, no matter how much love there is. Do you need outside help to cope with these feelings?
2. Attitude - Is this a challenge or a life sentence you are stuck with? What are you doing to remember that the cup can be half full, even in the worst of times. What are you grateful for?
3. Movement - Exercise, walking, and dancing to music can be great stress relievers and incredibly healthy for your body.
4. Respite - Do you have a support system? Do you have a way to take time off, go to a movie, get a massage (this is NOT a luxury), or have dinner with friends? Do you know where to get help to assist you?
5. Do you have spiritual support?
6. Facing reality - No matter how good your attitude and uplifted spirit, you are still living in chronic stress. This affects your whole body, including lowering your immune system. Exercise, extra stress and body building, supplements and meditation can make a huge difference.
7. Emergency button - Do you have a button to press if there is an emergency that will bring the fire department and an ambulance, if necessary?
8. Planning ahead - Have you put your papers in order, written down specific requests, and had finances taken care of? This can relieve a huge amount of pressure if you are in charge.
I wish you the best of health. If you are working with Bill Cohen, you are in the hands of a caring and nurturing advocate who can help you.
If you are interested in nutritional help to keep your body functioning well, feel free to contact me.