I sit here, waiting on news about my boyfriend's father in the emergency room at Starbucks - hot cocoa in hand. Living through a scenario that began last night, I've been through many times before with my parents. A coughing spell led to chest congestion that he swears he didn't have. When he came close to falling last night, it became clear that at the age of ninety-one, a trip to the doctor would be in order.
Speak your feelings when situations occur rather than letting them rise like yeast in bread! The other person may not even notice what is happening with you - not intending to cause you any harm or anger - so, speaking up can quickly clear the air. If you're hurt, say it. Don't let it fester. Something else will happen, and then suddenly, there will be an emotional explosion!
I recently found a different way. The caregiving after-effects can run long and deep. Just when you think you've got it neatly tucked away, it whirls back up like a tornado. Perhaps it's the 7th anniversary of mom passing, approaching along with the recent (and somewhat unpleasant) dealings of my brother's estate when he passed late last year. Perhaps, it's those little, tiny emotions that are tucked neatly in the back of my psyche that, even though I continue my practices, were still knocking. None of this was ruining my life, days, or decisions, but it was a constant, subtle, poke or prickle.
The holidays are upon us, which adds yet another layer of responsibilities. Whether it's baking cookies or coordinating a gift for your mom from the family, this time of year has its own pressure. Or perhaps it's navigating the grief of a loved one no longer with you. All of this can have an additional impact this time of year. Speaking to a friend about this recently, we referred to this as "emotional whiplash." You might feel emotions and deep-seated feelings that others won't understand, side by side with the demands of what needs to be done.
Fall brings on a sense of change and is a time of year that I look forward to. I am in awe of the colors changing, and the temperatures getting cooler gives me a nudge to turn inwards. A time of reflection and the ability to clear out what is no longer serving me.
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.
There is an elephant in the room. He's HUGE, yet we somehow seem to overlook him.
Are you so exhausted that you don’t even notice it? When you wake up, you do you go straight into the tasks of the day?
As caregivers, we often feel like we are running on empty and giving from an empty well. We often do not have time for ourselves.
Shutting down listening mode in the middle of someone talking to you, happens. Whether we are busy multitasking, or perhaps we've ‘heard it all before’, I'd be willing to guess that all of us have been guilty of this. My way is better, don't ya know?