So many caregivers hear that they should be spending time doing things for themselves, but the mechanics of that are a mystery. How do you go about taking any time just for you?
Postponing it Won’t Work
Your first instinct might be that you’ll worry about taking time for yourself after you’ve done all the other things that you have to do. What you’ll quickly find out, though, is that your needs will continue to be at the bottom of your priority list. When you put them at the top of the priority list, you’re more likely to get what you need which allows you to give others what they need.
Starting small is a good rule of thumb with all sorts of habit changes. It’s equally important when you’re starting to schedule time for yourself. Figuring out how to eke out an hour for you right now is likely not feasible. Five minutes, on the other hand, can be a different story.
Make it an Actual Appointment
The next step is to make this an actual appointment with yourself. Putting an appointment in your day planner or in your electronic calendar for “2:00 PM – 2:05 PM: Tea on the back porch” makes this a real event. When you leave time for yourself in the realm of vague events that might happen, they stay vague and probably won’t happen.
You Can’t Do a Chore
Whatever you do during the time that you schedule for yourself, don’t do any chores. That’s completely the opposite of what you’re aiming for with this, so no folding laundry or unloading the dishwasher. Your only job during that time is to do something for yourself.
Get Some Backup
Something that helps quite a bit, especially when you’re working up to longer periods of time away, is to get some backup in place. Homecare providers are able to take on your caregiving duties so that you can shift your focus. This can be immensely helpful when you’re starting out and taking five minute breaks, too. When you know you don’t have to worry about your aging family member, you can take that time that you need.
If you’re not scheduling in time for yourself already, you need to be doing so. It’s something that you really can’t keep overlooking if you want to stick with caregiving for very long. When you do make self-care and time for yourself a priority that one action is going to benefit every area of your life, not just caregiving, so it’s worth the effort of figuring all this out.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.