Caregiver wellness matters more than most other things. Laughter is one step toward wellness, but healthy food, exercise, and time to yourself doing what you want to do is essential. We have to be creative here, because many of you right now are thinking, “yeah, right. If I had time to eat well, exercise, and do enjoyable things… everything would be ok.” So let’s make it so. No more excuses.
Let’s start simple. Take 10 minutes for yourself every single day. Find peace, serenity and joy in those 10 minutes. Reset.
How do we start?
- Identify the challenge to finding 10 minutes in each day. The best way to solve a problem is to really understand the root of the problem (in this case, time).
- Call a friend or family member and ask him or her to brainstorm with you on ways to find these 10 minutes for you every single day. Some ideas: Can you get up a little earlier than your loved one like my mom does? Can you find an activity that entertains your loved one for 10 minutes? Can you recruit help from another friend or family member to sit with your loved one so you can escape for the necessary time?
- Write down your plan of action and keep a record of your 10 minutes of wellness every day for 21 days (a simple sheet of paper with the day and a check mark when you follow through will do). This will help you build a habit and make it a part of your life. Once you nail 10 minutes, start to add 2 minutes to it each week until you have an hour that is YOURS.
Then the question is, when you find that 10 minutes, how do YOU best restore your energy? If it were me, I would do a few yoga poses and some breathing. Others may want to simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Perhaps read a chapter in a book. Have some ideas so that you don’t waste any of your precious time when you get it. And no chores or errands! This is just for YOU.