The Idea of Having Help Helps


The Idea of Having Help Helps

spring-276014_640The other day I read another article about how individuals can take care of themselves as they care for a family member or friend. The article made its way around Twitter, with lots of retweets (or shares) which caught my attention and led to me click its link to read. I expected to read something insightful, inspiring.

Instead, the article included the typical suggestions: Eat right, exercise, blah, blah, blah.

On this day, the day I read the article, life was breaking around me. Nothing was going right, everything was going wrong. I felt like the breaking was getting the best of me.

Because I felt like I was breaking, my stress level was through the roof.

So, when I read that article with its 10 tips of how family caregivers can take care of themselves, I wanted to throw the article and its list out of the window.

On that day, what I needed wasn't on the list.

Yesterday, I realized what I needed: The idea that I had help if I needed it.

It wasn't so much that I needed help right there and then. In the moment that I felt all was breaking, I needed to know I had people in my life who had my back, who could help me put the pieces back together. The idea of having help was the help I needed because the idea calmed me, comforted me.

When I know I have support and encouragement, I have hope. With hope, I won't break. With hope, I can keep the faith that I will be okay. With hope, I can take the time to eat right, exercise.

We can keep going when we know that we have help if we need it. With that insight, I've revised our weekly care plans to include an expanded idea of Energy in your "WELL":

  • Wisdom comes from being attentive, grateful and curious.

  • Energy comes from my food, my exercise, my support system and my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional breaks.

  • Laughter comes from within myself, from my relationships and from my entertainment.

  • Love comes from within myself, from my relationships and from my passions.

To help you think about your sources of energy, your care plan includes the following prompts:

  • If need encouragement, I can:

  • If I need help, I can:

  • If I need to vent, I can:

You may think: But I don't have help! Know that you have help because:

  • you have a website like ours (and there's many more out there) where you can ask for suggestions and ideas;

  • you have help because you have Google (a way to search for answers and resources); and

  • you have help because you can vent with what you can find in your house (writing in a journal, typing on your computer).

Most important, you have help because you have our support. We truly believe in the value and importance of what you do. We believe in you.

During challenging and stressful times, we constantly face new situations in which we can't know what to do. That's absolutely overwhelming. When we know that we have help, encouragement and support if we need it, we immediately receive a boost in our confidence. We have hope.

Hope springs eternal. With hope, we take care.


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