As a Caregiver, it’s hard to think about yourself. You are so busy trying to sort out what needs to be done for the one you are caring for that when you consider doing something totally for yourself it can feel selfish and even unkind. Ger over it. Truly, if you are not rested and feeling pretty good (let’s be real – you’re rarely feeling great), your stress level, your frustration and your ability to be patient will all be seriously impaired. One of the gifts I gave myself as my mother’s caregiver were twice monthly neck/back massages. It cost me about $25 and it was money well spent. I have never been a “spa person” so this was something new for me. All I knew was that I was getting more migraines and it felt like there were knives piercing the back of my neck and top of my spine. When I would spend 20 minutes getting a massage, it was just incredible how much better I felt.
I felt better on several levels:
- physically—the tight muscles were loosened and allowed to relax
- mentally—I could zone out and not think about anything else for 20 minutes
- emotionally—I felt pampered and that I was doing something very luxurious
All for $25 and in less than half an hour. How great is that?
When my mother was very near the end of her life and I was with her round the clock, literally checking her breathing constantly – I was wrecked – exhausted physically and emotionally. My saving grace was leaving for a short time to get a massage. This short respite allowed me to continue to care for my mom and be present for her in the best way that I was able.
So – whatever you need to do to give yourself some care. Do it. Get a massage, go for a walk, take a nap, sit outside alone in the garden – whatever helps you regroup and recharge. You have my permission. 🙂