For the Caregiver Warrior – you know who you are. You stepped up to help. You makes self-love a secondary priority just when you really need it the most. You put YOU on hold while you care for someone you love. It might be a temporary situation – or one that was supposed to be and just never stopped.
This is for the Caregiver – the one lost in the quagmire of caring for dependent adults who need and deserve more than we can give. Your inner circle isn’t always who you thought it would be. Friends don’t always step up to help. Family sometimes alienates themselves. And what you learn is your family becomes a unique inner circle by choice, not by proximity or by bloodlines.
We, the Caregiver Warrior, must find ways to stay strong in spite of it all. We must find ways to honor ourselves. No one else can do that for us. We are not weak for reaching out for help. We are strong. We are smart. We are flexible to the snapping point.
When overwhelmed with the stress of starting over, overblown by the demands of caring for a disabled husband, and stunned stupid with too many huge decisions looming bigger than life itself (yes it is that bad), the self desecration builds up until it explodes.
Some days, I can easily remember the value and worth of me as a contributing factor. Other days, it is a fight to want to live – to want to get up again after being kicked down. Some will say: “Well, don’t let yourself get kicked down”
The truth is life sometimes happens before you realize you got sucker punched.
It’s how you pull yourself back up that matters. We are all human. No one is immune to loss. No one is more deserving or less deserving. But as humans, we have an innate ability to survive.
The first thing we have to do is remember who we are. That takes some work, but by doing – not by analyzing – we will get there faster.
On a daily basis we must focus. We must practice. The way to do it is to use some healthy life guides.
Establish a routine: 8 Top Priorities for every day joy
- Daily Visioning of what you want to become
- Daily Gratitudes – make them meaningful
- Daily Exercise
- Daily Daylight and Fresh Air
- Daily pondering of your personal value
- Daily breath: Breathing deeply at least 3 deep breaths per hour
- Daily Meditation in silence everyday even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you think you don’t have time, double the time. This is your conscious contact with a power greater than you – regardless of what you choose to call it.
- Laugh Daily even if there is nothing funny, just laugh out loud. Literally
Establish Your Inner Resourcefulness:
- Know your personal worth and value (there is always something. If you draw a blank, think back to your favorite personal accomplishments. For me, this action always lifts my spirits. There are always some things on this list that mean something to me)
- Gain self respect by setting meaningful goals and doing things that bring you closer to reaching them
- Be willing to be open to receiving good, embracing change
- Declutter your surroundings – get rid of things that no longer serve you. Yes, even if it has sentimental value, if it has any kind of longing or pain, let it go.
- Know that where you are and where you have been does not define you.
Patience – with yourself and others.
- Acts of kindness – Do daily, especially on your darkest days.
- Forgiveness – forgiveness is what sets you free to move forward. It’s for you.
- Gratitude(s): make time every morning to focus on that which makes you feel grateful to be alive
- Have a Compass – know where you want to be and create a roadmap to get there.
- Know what is in your sandbox – and don’t allow others to dump their stuff into your box. You can say NO.
- Rest. Rest. Rest your body and your mind. Stop being in constant activity.
Establish Your Ability to ReConnect with yourself
As best you can, find a daily reason for being
As best you can, remember who you are, what your true source is
Connect with Spirit, seeking knowledge of your purpose for this day
Be at peace with yourself, knowing that God or Source does to make mistakes. You have a reason for being, whether you know what it is or not. And accept that maybe you don’t have to know today. You only need seek something good that you can give for the day – even if it is something you give to yourself.
Follow the Four Agreements as taught by don Miguel Ruiz:
- Be Mindful of your Word – What you say to yourself is essential. What you say is essential. There is power in your word. Keep your word aligned with who you are.
- Don’t Make any Assumptions – ASK for clarity. Always. Even if it sounds great, ask for clarity. If the person gets upset, that is their problem. You are just checking on reality versus imaginary meaning.
- Don’t take Anything Personally – it’s just not always about you. In fact, most of the time, it isn’t about you at all. Learn to look inward but don’t assume other people have any clue at all how what they say or do affects others.
- Always do your Best – always do the best you can but don’t over do it. No one asks you to be superwoman. Do the best you can and lighten up a bit.
Be present. Be in the Moment. Be Here, now!
Meditate daily and if you don’t have time, meditate even longer. Twice daily.
Recognize the good that surrounds you now.
Let in those who love you and treat you with respect and kindness. Remove those who do not.
Nancy Lamb is an Integrative Health Coach and since 2013 has specialized in wellness for caregivers. With corporations coming to grips with a growing need for caregiver support, Nancy works to help solve the growing problem older workers are facing.
Want more: Call for a discounted clarity session where you can talk for an hour and leave with clarity 425-246-8685 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
©2015 Nancy Lamb, Ramblin Lamb Wellness
…helping families thrive while providing care to adults
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