May 31, 2017 ~ Self-Care

I have written elsewhere about the stress caused by others’ expectations of how caretaker’s should care for themselves. Everyone, kindly, reminds you to ‘take care of yourself.’ When you are in my position, which is not nearly as dire as so many others, being reminded to take care of yourself is like adding another item to your list of tasks. My loving family and friends get a crooked smile as I say, “Oh yeah, sure, I’ll work on that.” WHEN?

Day-to-day self care, if I can manage it, is getting into bed by 10:30, keeping ahead of the paper tsunami that comes with mom (because if not, anxiety skyrockets), and just recently being able to get out into the garden, or take a walk a majority of days.

Today was a win. I spent time with my grandson, daughter and son-in-law, took myself out to lunch, successfully and easily found mom spring/summer clothes (I really, really don’t like to shop), met my RN daughter at our hair dresser’s to pass off the clothes, and got a hair cut to boot!

Self-care isn’t something that caregivers get to schedule. My husband and I have had to rescheduled a camping trip twice due to overriding considerations surrounding mom, and until we take off on Friday morning, I do not consider the trip a ‘done deal.’ While getting back to my mom’s Island home for a week isn’t a likely candidate for a self-care award, I’ve had to re-schedule that trip three times. However, getting back to, and attending to tasks on the Island will quell the growing anxiety that a four month absence has born. So, in a twisted way, it does qualify as a self-care move, just not an award winning one. Seeing mom’s amazing friends and neighbors definitely falls into the platinum self-care silo.

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