Can You relate?
Do you ever feel like you are expected to be a smiling super-hero but you feel like a little kid in nothing but your underwear, being held together by painters’ tape? Do you feel like you are expected to soar – but your cape is really just a thin, disposable piece of plastic?
Well, turn your back on all those perceptions and refuse to wear expectations (yours or anyone else’s) that cause you to lose sight of who YOU really are.
If you are a family caregiver, I do believe you are a super-hero. But I also believe you are human – and often tired – and overwhelmed.
I believe YOU MATTER!
Please take off the cape once in a while and just be YOU. Sometimes the most heroic thing we can do is say “NO” or ask for help. Take care of yourself: It will renew your super-Powers.
Valentine’s Day: Cupid and candy and hearts and flowers – and caregiving. When you are providing long-term care for someone you love, February 14th can be full of so much emotion.
While there may no longer be fancy romantic dinners, bouquets of flowers, or boxes of chocolates, there are still those special moments. Moments of seeing into someone’s soul and knowing – just knowing. Moments of tenderness. Moments of holding a hand, touching a cheek, or stroking their hair. If you are caring for someone you love then you know what I mean and you know just how precious those moments are.
Valentine’s Day isn’t really about romance. Its about letting someone know that you care. To me, its a time to celebrate kindness and human connection and love. Its not about the greeting card industry, but about greeting others with words of kindness and love. Its not about giving flowers but about giving a smile or a hug.
I think family caregivers really express the heart of Valentine’s Day every day. Thank you for all the things you do for those you love, and all the ways you do them, and all the heartfelt effort you put into caring. You are amazing. You are sweeter than any chocolate, more beautiful than any flower, and more valuable than diamonds. You are a caregiver. You are the perfect Valentine.
(The gift in the photo was created by a man while at a Senior Care Center and given to his sweetheart as a gift – the best one she says she has ever received)
Holidays can be an especially hard time of year for family caregivers.
I hope this post doesn’t seem too negative. So many people crossed my path this year who were struggling through the holidays that I wanted to give them some recognition.
I have this love/hate relationship with the holidays…
and absolutely love being with my family and friends, keeping holiday traditions (like baking day) and seeing the grins on my grandchildren’s little faces. However, I hate the commercialism and stress and need to please everyone. Forced smiles and feelings of inadequacy abound during the holidays. Parents spend beyond their means because giving that perfect gift has become a symbol of love. That makes me sad.
For many family caregivers, the holidays are a REAL mixed bag.
They can be a time of blessing and connecting, and giving, but they can also be a time of sorrow and disappointment and added pressure. They are a time of remembering – and wishing – and loss. There is this expectation of joy and cheer that often leaves them asking, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I feel it?”
The ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future can be especially haunting and daunting for family caregivers. Feeling exhausted, sad, guilty, and hopeless are all understandable emotions. So, if you can relate, and are glad to see Santa head back to the North Pole, taking the trees and lights and shopping frenzy with him, please know that I understand.
My New Year’s wish for you is PEACE, REST, COMFORT, RESILIENCE and true inner JOY.
If you have found ways to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas while caregiving, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if I can share them. I will put them together and share them before next year’s holiday season rolls around.
But for those family caregivers who find the holidays a struggle and for those who have experienced loss and feel something is “missing” this time of year, I hear you!
Give me a call if you just want to talk: 702-706-4707 or schedule a free session through this website. I really do care.
We live in a culture of ‘never enough’. There’s never enough time, never enough money, never enough help, never enough resources, never enough…
For caregivers, this philosopohy can seem especially true. It often feels like there just isn’t enugh of anything.
However, all of this ‘never enough’ thinking can leave us feeling frayed around the edges, spread too thin, and scared. We can buy into the belief that ‘We are not enough.’
Consider this idea instead: THERE IS ENOUGH. WE ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH!
When we believe in the idea of scarcity, when we buy into it hook, line, and sinker, we find ourselves living in this small box that seems to be closing in on us. I want to encourage you to expand your thinking. Start thinking in terms of ENOUGH.
There is enough time. Although you may have more duties than daylight, we all have 24 hours in every day and there ARE ways to prioritize, delegate, and set boundaries that can help those hours become enough. They simply have to be enough: They are all we have. Just the simple act of changing your perspective and believing that there is enough time can change the way you see, and spend, your days.
This same idea holds true for every area where you find yourself saying, “There isn’t enough…”
When you catch yourself thinking and feeling that there isn’t enough, try this: Acknowledge your feelings of stress and struggle – but counteract those thoughts by consciously telling yourself, “There is enough…”
This is especially important when you feel that YOU are not enough. When you feel like you are inadequate and/or lacking in any way as an individual, I want to encourage you to say out loud, “I am enough.” I have these three little words written down so that I see them often. I need to remind myself. There is a big world out there that’s sending me messages that say I am not
enough and that there isn’t enough and that I can’t ever DO or BE enough.
If you think about it, this whole concept of ‘scarcity’ puts us in the passenger seat. It creates a type of victim thinking. It also downplays real scarcity in our world. There are places and people on the planet who truly don’t have enough.
Believing that there is enough and that we are enough, even in the midst of the most difficult situations, provides a better, more positive, and more optimistic approach to life.
Try it! Just try replacing thoughts of ‘not enough’ with ENOUGH! See how consistently changing that one area of thinking, that one belief, improves your outlook, replacing lack with sufficiency. (And don’t forget to be thankful for ALL that you do have. IT IS ENOUGH!)