“You need to take better care of yourself.”

Caregivers keep hearing this, yet we feel we’re doing the best we can …

(Mary Tutterow, Moultrie News)

Transformational Self-Care  – The Kind of Care that Changes Everything

If you are caring for someone with a chronic illness, disabilities or age-related issues, I know you hear this all the time, “You need to take better care of yourself.”

It feels like a slap in the face to be told as a caregiver that “you need to take better care of yourself.” PHOTO: Fiona Henderson, CC

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I don’t care who it comes from, it feels like a slap in the face. After all, we’re doing the best we can, given our particular circumstances, right?

But we know It’s true. There’s statistical proof that caregivers tend to neglect their own health, suffer stress levels equal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), experience depression and have increased mortality risk.

If we hear it once, we hear it a million times … 

My husband and I have raised two children. Our son is out on his own now, but we still care for our adult daughter who is mentally and physically challenged and has seizures each day.

For a while there, we were also caring for my mother-in-law through cancer and early stages of dementia. If we hear it once, we hear it a million times from loving friends and family, “You need to take better care of yourselves.”

But where to start – the gym, a doctor, a vacation, a therapist, a bubble bath with candles? Where to find the time? Where to find the support to be free to do the self-care?

We are overwhelmed with important but relentless doctor’s appointments, therapies, hospital stays, special diets, paperwork, runs to the pharmacy, as well as companionship, entertainment, and research.

I’ve read the books, joined support groups, downloaded checklists, set up flow charts. I must confess the books, charts and checklists just stressed me out even more, reminding me of all I wasn’t doing. Guilt, blame, fear, anger, resentment, and self-pity were oozing into my formerly upbeat psyche – affecting everything. READ THE FULL STORY AT MOULTRIE NEWS.