Talking the Reality of Breaking

This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Holly, who blogs about caring for her husband, Dave, joined me for Table Talk. Holly recently took a weekend trip with girlfriends so I suggested we talk about the trip and how she leaves without taking guilt. You can listen to our show via the player, below.

To help manage her time away, Holly breaks out the trip into three parts: The planning, the trip and the return. For Holly, the planning can become overwhelming, which can tempt her into not believing the trip is important. When she’s feeling like she has too much to do, she remembers she has an Effort Knob, which she can dial down. And, she asks herself: Am I making this harder than it has to be?

She also reminds herself:

  • I want to go.
  • It’s best for me.
  • What’s best for me is best for him.

We then talked about the trip itself and being in the moment of the break, rather than taking on a moment of worry (“I wonder if everyone is okay at home?”) which takes away from the purpose of the trip. We also talked about how family caregivers can get caught in the thought that staying home can prevent terrible things from happening. We worry about leaving and something awful happening. The idea that our presence can prevent can trap us into never feeling like we can leave. Holly reminds us that it’s absolutely okay to take a break.

Finally, we spent a few moments discussing what it’s like to go home after a trip. Going back home can sometimes be hard. For Holly, she has a realization of the reality of her life: “This is the marriage I have in my 50′s.”

And, that thought (“Oooooooh, this is my life”), which often comes after taking a break with others in a non-caregiving situation, will be the topic for our next talk with Holly. I’ll let you know the date when we’ve schedule the show.

After you’ve had a chance to listen to the show, I’d love to know: Which of Holly’s comments could you relate to? And, what’s been helpful to you in planning and enjoying breaks from caregiving? Please share in our comment section, below.


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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

One thought on “Talking the Reality of Breaking

  1. Bette

    I enjoyed this show very much – definitely one to listen to again and again.

    I was very appreciative of how Holly talked about: after the time away. There is comfort in knowing we are not alone in similar struggles, that is for sure.

    I also liked how the importance of all will be okay, is accepted. If we do all we can to ensure safety and coverage at home, we should leave (really leave) to enjoy the time away.

    Time away from caregiving seems to go so quickly: thank you for the wonderful tips to help make it better.

    I look forward to the continuation (:


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