It’s hard to believe we are in summer and about to celebrate the 4th of July holiday here in the states. In a very odd way, the time has flown by amid the pandemic. The after-effects may linger for some time, and imbalances in how you are caring for yourself or underlying stress that you may not be aware of are hidden mines that can erode your foundation.
Life isn’t perfect, and there are so many ways to overcomplicate an already full and stressed life. Freeing up brain space in any way that you can is helpful to relieve a bit of pressure. There are days when I look at my to-do list and the piles of paper with sticky notes screaming for my attention, and I have no idea of where to start. I can feel the tension start to mount.
Prioritizing in the morning can ease tension and the darting about from one project to the next. I could feel the overwhelm attempting to settle in today, so I made an action item list, got up and did my walk, and ran to the grocery store so that I could focus on the task at hand when I came home.
Doing something that fills your spirit up needs to be part of your daily to-do list as well. As necessary as deep breaths and exercise are, so, too is filling your heart with joy. When is the last time you felt truly alive and fulfilled? What activity allowed you to feel that way? I’m guessing it wasn’t plugging through from chore to chore but instead an activity that filled your heart. Though you may not be able to skip off to Maui for the day, there is likely something that will give you a lift.
Stress is toxic regardless of the caregiving role you may be in, especially when you keep it bottled up. So having connections to other caregivers and hearing their stories can be invaluable and give you a lift, too. The ability to interact with a group of people who have or are walking the same path can provide insight and support that can change your life. Being able to discuss, listen, scream or cry can be a breath of air that you’ve needed among others that get it.
Our online retreats sponsored by our Care Partner Bay Area Cancer Connections are open to anyone nationwide, and our walks sponsored by our Care Partner Curves of Los Altos are available to anyone in the Bay Area. Both are wonderful opportunities to connect and gain support.
Celebrate YOU moving forward. Thank yourself for all you have done, and whatever else you choose to do, don’t feel you need to do it alone. Reach out, find resources, remember to B-R-E-A-T-H-E, and remember to find joy.