“Take time for yourself,” I tell caregivers. The usual response is a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘How?”Some recognize the need to take care of self. Others never see the need because they are so busy being a martyr taking care of everyone but self. It does not make an impression when I mention, “If you go down, who takes over?” These caregivers assume they are invincible, like teenagers, they believe they can handle anything that comes along. I stand in awe of them. When they fall, I hope there is someone to help get them back on their feet so they can go back to their passion with a new attitude.
For me, I found that I could make it six months going full tilt. Now that I am a bit older, I give out a lot sooner. Like on an airplane, you are told if the cabin looses pressure, put on your own mask. What will it take to make you realize that you cannot do it all? Maybe I can give you some hints to help make your life better, even if you don’t think you need it. Give it a read. You cannot be on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is not possible. You have to sleep sometime. You need to rebuild yourself so you have something to give. If your bucket is empty, you have nothing to give to the one you care for. Replenish yourself. So you don’t feel you can take off an afternoon, can you manage ten minutes? Get up early in the morning and take some time for yourself. Make you feel better? Then find other ten minute segments to take as your own.