Ahhh summer. It’s all about days at the shore, barbecues, and lighter schedules, but for so many, it’s also about hands-on caregiving for a loved one.
At the time of year when people are sitting by the pool after work, or taking a vacation, you are at your second job as an adult caregiver for someone in your family. What about YOUR summer? What about time for YOU? Will you ever get a day off for YOURSELF? Well, I have some good news. You WILL have a great summer. You WILL get time to do all the things you love and you WILL feel happy and at peace about it. How?
As a psychotherapist and author, I am committed to providing you with the tools and strategies to TAKE BACK TIME FOR YOURSELF when you are caring for an aging or physically challenged parent or spouse. The goal is to help you learn to take as good care of yourself as you do of the people in your life.
This is a process that takes practice, patience and perseverance.
The first step is to acknowledge what you want and need. (Do you even know?)
Next, are you willing to communicate that to others?
This can go smoothly and the other parties may be receptive, or you may get pushback. Pushback is a common occurrence. You may find people get angry with you for changing the rules or they do not take you seriously. Or they think that if they ignore you long enough, you will change your mind.
When this happens, BREATHE and focus your attention back on you. Remember your feelings and your time are just as important as everyone else’s. Stand your ground. If you need to take a break from the conversation DO IT, and pick it back-up another day. Your needs are about you, not the other person.
Ready to carve out more time for yourself this summer?
Another BIG issue that we deal with in our caregiver support group is the difficulty of asking for help. You will learn to:
- Ask for help AND be open to receiving it. Getting help must be coupled with your openness to hand over the very important job you do to someone else. Even if it’s just one day or night a week.
- Let go of the belief that ‘I am the only one who can take care of Mom’ (or Dad or spouse). Someone else is capable of stepping in and helping…even if it is different from how you do things.
- Let someone else be on call.
If you are a caregiver who could use life-changing and time-savings techniques, coupled with the loving, caring support of someone who has been in the same situation as you, please join me for a complimentary 20 minute phone session. You will receive tips and strategies so you really can have a nice and enjoyable summer.