The Self-care Journey
In honour of November being National Family Caregivers Month, I want to highlight how self-care is a journey and how this important journey starts with one step at a time.
My wish for you is to START the journey.
Trust me when I say that I know all of the excuses that we can tell ourselves as caregivers as to why we can’t find the time or have the resources to do self-care. We tell ourselves this make-believe story that it’s simply not attainable due to our circumstances and/or that we’ll have time later to focus on ourselves.
I told myself these lies for three LONG years! I told myself that I was selfish to want to take time for myself when I had two kids who needed my attention. I told myself that I was too tired to go to the gym and that it would be better to stay home. I told myself that this was my life as a caregiver and that I had to get used to it.
Then one day I reached the point where I was not sleeping well, I had restless leg syndrome, I was impatient with my kids and bitchy with my husband. That was the day when I made the decision that I needed to make going to the gym a priority – and unknowingly, thus began my self-care journey.
The self-awareness that I needed to make a change was the first big step, and after that, things got easier.
Things got easier because I noticed the difference within one week of going to the gym on a regular basis.
Because I already had a gym membership and the gym was close to our house, the transition to scheduling regular gym times was simple. That being said, I did choose to go to the gym at 8:30 pm at night and 8:00 am on the weekend to minimize the disruption in our family life.
Often times, caregivers believe that self-care activities cost money and require a lot of time.
This is not true. Thankfully, some of the best self-care activities are free and can be done from the comfort of your own home. These include breathing exercises, meditation, stretching and keeping a gratitude journal. Walking is wonderful physical activity if you are able to get out of the house.
Do you feel relieved now to know that you could start your journey today or tomorrow? If you already have self-care activities, is it possible to add a new one to your day or week?
I give you permission to take time for yourself. You are worthy.
I would love to know what you decide to do. Please email me and share your self-care activity.
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I am grateful that I get to spend this time with her and her brother. I will honour this time of a more relaxed schedule.
Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand.