Wellbeing and creative caregiving are two different things, complete with two or more people where one person does the work for all and attempts to stay hygienically clean and sane while doing it.
One might think I am the least
qualified to offer advice on awareness of a caregiver’s needs. I submit
that as I am one, it is possible to only focus attention on the care receiver
instead of keeping the needs of the one receiving as well as the one providing
care in focus.
It is also a matter of choice in how one wants to see what is before them. You could look at the change as a crushing life issue for yourself and the one needing care or you could become more accepting of where you are, your (insert the care receiver’s current situation here) condition and learn and grow from it.
Humans create habits, routines that simplify tasks and duties. Disruptions like new life experiences upset imposed order and creates frustration.
Throughout, caregivers remain human and experience emotions and feelings. Sometimes it feels as if there are not enough hours in the day or there is no help which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. This sense may lead to the desire to control, to accomplish what is perceived as needed because control may appear to eliminate uncertainty and fear. The demands of caregiving cause other kinds of stress which can manifest as:
Stress is considered “normal” and may not be treated beyond complaining but consistent postponement of medical needs leads, according to research, to compromised immune systems; clinical depression; heart disease; diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
Wellbeing and creative caregiving intentionally drives the caregiver to artfully solve issues for the self and the other or others.
A healthy place for a caregiver is to acknowledge how and what you are feeling. An acceptable level of stress permits you to work comfortably. However, if any of the above results, it is best to have it checked.
The ultimate in God’s, or whatever name you give to the Divine Being, Plan is that we learn while here and from each other. As your care receiver shuts down and refuses to answer questions, what is he or she teaching you? If they develop unusual habits, unlike anything you’ve seen them do or have been told they do, or have a temper tantrum, what is he or she teaching you? As you scream and rage about what your care receiver is doing, what lesson are you teaching him or her? Ask yourself: is that the lesson I would like them to learn from me? A beautiful question I learned from one of my spiritual teachers is: “What would Love do?”
Practice “fitting in” to improve health and wellbeing. Examine how time is being used and mine where minutes can be collected to create “nuggets”. I suggest during the time your child, or wife sleeps is one place to schedule alone-time.
· Attempt to schedule alone-time. The quality of a 10 minute
gold nugget of time will be more valuable than the quantity of 1 hour.
Attempt to set aside the time while your cared for is engaged in something
else. For mothers and in my case, it may
be during your child’s nap or when my husband sleeps during the day.
· Attempt to make time for what gives you pleasure. If it is reading, a couple of pages a day will support that enjoyment. As you get better at finding time, you will be able to read longer and maintain your responsibilities.
· Have a cup of relaxing herbal tea during the day or before bed. There are available teas of single or blended herbs that relax and eucalyptus, for example, lowers blood pressure. Sampler boxes provide a variety to find the ones that suit your taste.
· There are many ways to use meditation. There are recorded guided visualizations or music created specifically for this. It does not have to be long. Meditation’s goal can provide clarity or answer a question. Combine thought with breath and you are meditating.
Begin practicing breathing into your belly if you are not used to it. Stress causes you to take shallow breaths into your chest which becomes a habit. Breathing should be deep, slow, rhythmic, and through the nose. For cleansing breath, inhale a slow deep breath for a count of 7; hold your breath for a count of 8, then release your breath for a count of 7.
Be mindful of your body.
Become aware of how you breathe and when you hold your breath. When you
become aware of shallow breathing, change it by deepening the next
Talk regularly with friends or
relatives. If you feel that your life is out of control, talk to friends, or
seek professional help or counseling.
This provides vents for the steam to escape. It may only be the need to express the
feelings and it is over.
My friend who is caring for her mother and her sister has had her days as have I. We used to call each other periodically and we moved into calling each other weekly. It’s a little funny; when we think of each other one of us is on the phone calling. And at other times, one will call first. I will tell her to hang up, call her back and thank her for telling me when the most appropriate time for me to “call”. That helps us laugh. We find we need it. We let it out, pour our words, tears and feelings through technology.
I Violet Flame her and her home, she chants a healing meditation for me and mine. We listen and understand what the other is going through. We share ideas about care and products that help make things easier. We not only remind the other of things we should do, we acknowledge that we are reminding our own self as well.
Remember that “there is time.” The world will not end tomorrow. Breath can improve health and wellbeing by slowing you down. Breathing is probably the greatest and cheapest thing you can do because it is free, it detoxifies, strengthens muscles and the immune system, improves metabolism, and changes your body’s reaction to stress, to name a few. Breath helps us to release blockages to allow energy to flow through the body.
Wellbeing and creative caregiving coexist when a relatively calm state of being is maintained. There will be ups and downs when responding; planning, and executing responsibilities. A useful image could be a sine wave. Rather than see the graph increase in amplitude or height, it is best to keep the curves as close to the x-line as possible.