How Do You Care for Yourself?

Denise

How Do You Care for Yourself?

Denise
pier-349672_640One of our newest members posed a great question in our The Healthy Caregiver group:

I am finding it challenging to make time and not feel guilty about taking time for stress relief and fitness. I’ve always struggled with weight, especially in times of extreme stress (like now). I know it is important, but how are others managing the caree’s needs along with their own health needs?


Her question reminded me of an experience I had last month. I traveled to Oklahoma City to present two seminars at a conference for family caregivers. The conference opened with a presentation from Bruce McIntyre, author of Graceful Transitions and caregiver for his wife, Kathy, who was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease after the birth of their second child. His presentation, "Caregiving and chronic illness: 10 Lessons in Ten Years," was particularly interesting because Kathy was also his co-presenter.

During their talk, Kathy shared how she takes care of herself. She takes a warm bath in the evening which helps her relax. She stays in bed on Saturday mornings. She spoke of these rituals without any guilt; she's learned what she needs to do to protect her health and then simply does it. Drama doesn't enter into her self-care routines in the form of guilt or lengthy explanations or the need for a stamp of appoval. She communicates her needs with Bruce and their two children and then follows through on what she needs. Her baths and her Saturday mornings keep her in a good place so she can be the best mom, wife and person she can be.

I thought that was awesome: Self-care without any guilt.

How do you protect your time for your good health? Do you struggle with taking the time you need for your own exercise or quiet time? Do you have enough time in your day for what you need? What's the biggest challenge you face in trying to find time for yourself and your good health?

Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

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