Guest Post – Susanne White, Founder of Caregiver Warrior
Caregivers are the salt of the earth. They do everything in their power to make sure those they care for are safe, warm, happy and pain-free. What they do to accomplish this is sometimes astonishing and miraculous. I have seen caregivers consistently turn themselves inside out to make those they love comfortable and comforted.
Caregivers are Angels on Earth.
I have also seen first-hand how many caregivers, myself included, are so dedicated to those they care for that they lose sight of their own welfare.
We must be aware of this and make sure that we too are comfortable and comforted. Just as we are instructed to put the oxygen mask on first before helping others in case of an airplane emergency, caregivers must be able to breathe before they can help someone else.
Caregivers are so focused on those they care for they sometimes neglect themselves.
During my caregiving Journey, I learned that taking care of myself was one of the most important things I could do not only for myself but for those I cared for.
Here are 3 powerful tips I used that can provide ways to make sure self-care is at the top of your list:
If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, take the appropriate measures to feel better. Stop and eat something healthy, take a break and calm down, reach out and talk to someone, take a rest. It’s vital you are in touch with your feelings and your state of mind and body so you take the necessary steps to feel better.
- Ask for help.
Do not try to do it all alone. Caregiving takes a village. We all need a helping hand. You deserve to get all the relief and help you need and are entitled to ask for it. So often others want to help but don’t know how. Speak up and tell them how they can.
- Talk to someone.
Reach out to family and friends who love and support you. Having a sounding board or shoulder to lean on is not a luxury but a necessity. See if there are groups for caregivers in your local community where you can share your experience and feel connected. By sharing your thoughts and feelings you can reduce stress and feel less alone.
As you travel on your caregiving journey, be sure to stop along the way and take care of yourself. The way to survive the stress and enormity of the caregiving role is found through self-love and kindness. Being kind and generous to yourself helps you be kind and generous to others.
Susanne White is the founder of Caregiver Warrior. She was blessed with the opportunity to care for her parents and ventured out on a journey that would change her life. She blogs about this journey on her website and shares her experience, strength and hope with others so that they too may survive caregiving with grace and empowerment. Follow her on Twitter @caregivewarrior and on LinkedIn.