Helping shouldn't hurt: Self care for care providers
“… if I say more, I would be insulting my father.” My friend’s voice trailed into silence. We stay hung in eternity. I understood what my sister would once in a while share with me amidst tears. She is the care provider for our father.
Care giving could be physical, financial, or both. More than anything you are the emotional support. They feel stronger because you are there. They feel wanted, cared for and sometimes, loved.
The toughest job description is when you sign up to be a care provider for a parent. Parents love to run the show. When the roles reverse, it could turn unpleasant. If the child has other responsibilities it gets worse. The saddest scene is when you have to always respond to “how is your ____ doing?” We forget to ask “How are you feeling? Is there anything I can do for you?”
In the beginning you are happy that people care about your responsibility. As this continues your job assignment bears its toll on your subconscious.The one you care for makes demands of you as an infant would. You unconsciously begin resenting your role. You seek escapes yet morally feel obliged. You feel trapped.
Remember when you are running on empty you cannot fill anyone’s cup. Self-care is of utmost importance for care-providers.
Here's a list of what self-care isn't:
Throwing money and pretending things will get better
Wishing, hoping, and believing that your sacrifices will be rewarded in an after-life
Binging on food and drinks and promising yourself that you will go on a diet or detox later
Here is a shortened list of effective self-care:
Rest is the best medicine. Every pump slows down with time and stops working, yes? There’s a pump in your body which undergoes this too. It’s your heart. Give it a break in a way that will help it auto repair and be strong till the end. These yogic postures rejuvenate your heart so you can rest with honesty.Use a support to keep your legs up in the inverted pose. It helps you heal your heart, calm your mind and relax your body hundred percent.
Laughter is the next best medicine. If there is nothing to laugh in your life, watch a funny animal video every day and laugh.
Fluids will keep you in flow. Soft drinks and alcohol are not included here. Seventy-five percent of your body is water. Do you want it to be old and stagnant or fresh flowing?
Nutrients come from food (less than three days old). Enjoy at least one meal cooked by you or someone who cares about you.
Meditate – Sitting in silence helps you get in touch with your strength. Do it for a minute before bed and right after you wake up.
Do one thing that makes you happy for 1-15 minutes every day. Take care of you, so you can be better at your role as a care provider.