Care Givers Blog

Familiy Care Givers Now - Caring for Family

Does a working Family Caregiver ever relax???

I wear a number of hats.  I have an employee hat.  I have a daughter hat.  I have a sister hat.  I have an entrepreneur hat.  And the relational hats of cousin, friend, neighbor and acquaintance.  But I think the most important at the moment is the family caregiver hat.  I always feel like there is a demand on me.  I always feel like there is something to be completed to be checked off of one of my many "to do" lists.  And if I am not doing something, I feel like I am a slacker.  I even schedule time with nothing on my calendar.  That is supposed to be my "down time'.  I actually had to have a friend of mine tell me it was ok to spend the weekend doing nothing. - meaning not reaching a new goal or crossing something off of my list.  I had to get permission to not feel guilty for just being myself for a short period of time.  I should probably self-regulate better than I am doing right now.  I feel like everything is piling up in every area.  So, I feel like I should be working every waking minute but I know that this is not good for me.  I need to take a different approach.  I need to allow myself to have a day off without feeling guilty as if I don't deserve downtime.  And I shouldn't have to have someone outside of myself confirm for me that it's OK to chill for a minute.  I think I need to more clearly define and set aside work time in order to clearly define and set aside off time.  And I need to be true to myself and speak my truth.  I am spending too much time doing things that really are not important to me just because I was asked.  So, instead of being 100% in the moment, I am thinking to myself, "I really should be doing something else right now".  So, I am creating this anxiety.  It's time to turn it off and shut it down.

Sitting here writing this blog is step one.  This is one of the things that I really should have been doing.  I know I am not the only person on the planet who feels like I am overwhelmed because I try to do too much and make others happy.  But I have to consider myself in this scenario and make sure I stay happy too.  And blogging (clearing my mind) makes me happy.  When I start the day doing something just for me (pray, reflect, write down my dream from the night before), I feel a lot better than days that I start with a fire drill of any kind.  It's hard to get back to my place of peace.  When I start on the "what do I have to do" path, it's hard to step off of it and I end up exhausted a the end of the day because I found many things to answer that question.

Yesterday, I sat down and organized bills first thing in the morning.  So, I am straight going into next month.  That takes a whole lot of stress off of me.  If I don't organize, everyday, it seems like I am playing catch up and I don't know where I stand on due dates or dollar amounts.  And then I feel bad for not organizing and I feel bad for not caring enough to organize and I feel bad because I am not being responsible. On and on and on.

So, I am talking myself off of the ledge and going back inside the window - no longer threatening to jump.  It's a way better feeling.  So, friends - I hope you understand if I decline a few of your offers to go out.  I will take a rain check hoping to catch you next time.  I am trying to do a better job of not spreading myself too thin.  Getting myself back on track and balanced. And to answer the question, "Does a family caregiver ever relax?", I believe the answer is YES.  But just like getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes practice, practice, practice.