Stepping Into the Caregiving Size that Fits

Anna Stookey joined me yesterday on Your Caregiving Journey for our monthly chat. We discussed the importance of accepting today’s reality so we can wake up tomorrow in a good place. You can listen to our show via the player below.

Anna shared a great example of what it’s like when we resist the reality of our today. It’s like how we may feel when we’ve gained weight, she said, and yet we don’t face the truth about our real weight.

When we accept our weight, then we accept our size, then we wear clothes that fit. That acceptance means we have a chance to be better because we accept who we are. And, when we accept, we can change. We can lose weight, incorporate exercise, make different food choices.

We all know what it feels like to be at a weight we don’t want. Because we don’t want our weight, we continue to wear clothes that don’t fit. We start each day in a battle with our closet because we can’t find anything to wear, simply because we refuse to own anything that actually fits. So, we squeeze into our past, feeling awkward and uncomfortable in our present, dreading what we face tomorrow.

It’s the same with caregiving. The experience gets harder and more intense. It’s important to adjust the amount of help, support and time off you receive as the experience grows bigger. If you still have the amount of help you needed when the experience was smaller, then you’ll be stuck in a place of exhaustion, resentment and anxiety. You’re not wearing the caregiving size that fits.

To make sure you stay right-sized in caregiving, Anna suggests picking a day each month to check in. You can ask yourself a question like, “What can I change or adjust or modify so that caregiving fits better today?”

As you accept today’s reality, be compassionate and gentle with yourself. Accepting with compassion means giving yourself the chance to feel good wearing the size that fits.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com 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.

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