Friday, November 25, 2016

Keeping Up with Caring

Being a Carer of a loved one (LO) is hard.  At times it can be physically taxing, mentally exhausting, and fraught with all kinds of emotions.  You ride two emotional rollercoasters, yours and LO's. As the support person, you hold their hand as their mood swings from happy, to sad, anxious to sanguine and everything in between.  While doing this you are experiencing your own feelings of joy, sorrow, frustration, fear, grief and excitement.  Everyday can include triumphs and challenges.  Caring is like juggling two lives, yours and LO's.  Often Carers have so many "balls in the air" that they drop things simply to keep up.  Unfortunately, they stop caring for themselves.  They forget that if they are not firing at 100%, it is not only their world, but LO's world that will come crashing down. 

Are you thoroughly confused by all those metaphors yet?  My point.  If you are a carer you need to care for yourself as well.  Emotional/ Mental wellbeing is just as important as Physical wellbeing and as carers this is a difficult subject to discuss with others.  It makes sense to do exercises for your back or learn techniques to preserve your physical strength when assisting with transfers, hygiene, meal preparation and medications.  For many of the 'older' carers out there - let's face it, the majority of us are over 30, over 50, over 60.. etc - emotional/ mental health is one of those 'we don't talk about that' topics.  I'm not saying you have to shout it from the roof tops when you are having a bad day; in fact, you would be standing on the roof a lot if you did that.  I'm just saying, it isn't indulgent or silly to take time for your soul as well as your body and mind.  Here are some quotes that help me to stay calm and carry on (so to speak). 

"You can do anything.... but you cannot do everything!"

"Caring is being there, even when you want to be somewhere else."

"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does." - Hagrid from the Harry Potter Series

"You cannot pour from an empty cup, look after yourself first."

You might also like to check out my new Pinterest Board devoted to CARING

Everything really will be okay.