Mental Health- 5/23 Topic
What are some ways you like to take care of yourself as a caregiver? Do you notice a difference when you take time for yourself and how it makes you feel? I've learned that "self care" requires me to ask honestly myself "what do I need?". Once I know what I need, I can find the right type of care for myself. For example, when I am tired, what I really need is to rest. Maybe I need a nap or a good night's sleep. That's often hard to get as a caregiver (when you feel like you're on 24/7). I could do every other form of self care I enjoy doing - let's say, exercising, painting, reading, but ultimately, I need to remember to match my self-care to the need I have for care. I need to sleep in this scenario. When I was a caregiver, I often felt really overwhelmed. A nurse I worked with told me that one of things that helped her most was to step outside a patient's room, close her eyes, take a deep breath, and pause for just a second. This was grounding and helped her regroup momentarily. The feelings of overwhelm didn't go ignored. She would take a break if she was able. I used to do this often- step aside, close my eyes, breathe deeply, ground myself. It helped. It was such a small thing, but it let me connect with myself and hit the pause button for a second. I remember one time, I shut the med room door at my facility and just let myself cry for a minute. It's okay to do things like this too. It's a needed release. Caregiving is challenging. You all are doing your very best - please remember that.