Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day for everything you have to do? Finding renewal through self-care, I’ll bet that usually falls off the to-do list for many family caregivers, and probably parents of littles, too.
So, we prioritize and give our attention to what we think matters most, and that usually isn’t self-care. Family caregivers tend to put the needs of our loved ones ahead of our own. But I get it. Some days, there truly is no other choice. Tomorrow will be better.
On the one hand, this selfless behavior is admirable. But on the other hand, it can wear us down. There has to be a balance to prevent burnout, so today, let’s make it practical.
What can you do to practice self-care the time you have.
The gift of time for self-care
My sister usually spends a few hours with our mom on Sunday. That, a screen-free Sunday (that’s another story), and a couple of homemade meals my brother dropped off made provided an unexpected time for renewal through self-care. And I am so very grateful!
So, with a little extra time on my HANDS, I gave them the tender loving care they’ve been missing for a while. I’m happy I did. If you are or ever have been one, you know that caregivers wash their hands A LOT.
Put that together with:
- running out of hand lotion a week ago
- copious amounts of hand sanitizer
- not wearing my gloves a snowstorm, and
- frigid February temperatures
and you’re going to get dry, cracked hands. OUCH!
That’s not to mention the outlandish nails! I must have stopped paying attention. But it was the pain of a growing crack on my knuckle that got my attention again. Pain does that.
Pain protects us from further injury, puts us on alert that something is wrong, and prompts us to seek help.
Family caregiver, it’s okay to take care of yourself. But, please, pay attention to your aches & pains and don’t put off self-care.
Finding Renewal through self-care
Why not start with your hands?
- wear gloves in the winter (and when gardening and cooking/baking)
- use mild soap
- put hand lotion in places you’ll remember to put it on
- get yourself some pretty nail polish or get a manicure once in a while and
- rest your hands from the dishes, laundry, and hand sanitizer for a bit.
Making time for self-care is essential. Using the gift of time by doing small things, like a manicure, can bring that much-needed sense of renewal. Start there and see what happens.
Take time to renew your mind
Our most effective path to renewal is in God’s word.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2 (NASB)
Caregiver, I confess, it’s tough to find the right balance sometimes. But keep working at it because self-care is just as important as caring for your loved one. We are no good to them if we’re hurting or exhausted.
We cant do it all at once but keep paying attention. Caring for our mind, body, and spirit needs to stay front and center. I’m not shaking my finger in condemnation. (Did you see those pictures?) I’m guilty of not paying attention, but I’m working on it, and you can too.
So, before you start the day, give yourself the gift of time and improve your quality of life with a morning prayer and praise. Why not make it your renewal routine. There’s nothing better to put a smile on your face than a praise break and the Word of God.
So, take time for the manicure and the renewing of your mind. Your loved one needs it, just as much as do you.
Click here to get your FREE Devotional. (Psst…why not check it out?)
I participate in the following linkups most weeks: Inspire Me Monday, #TellHisStory, InstaEncouragements, Five Minute Friday, and Grace &Truth. Please click the links to pay them a visit. And be sure to follow me over on Instagram @myconcretedove.
You have good advice. I find that beginning the day with a scripture reading and prayer prepares me the day. My thoughts are in a good place.