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Living the Praxis for Care 

Carving Out Time for Myself

When I was thinking about a discussion for this week, I remembered that it had been a while since I talked about including yourself on the care journey. 

Including yourself is essential for managing a care journey, but it's also one of the most challenging parts. In our lives as family care-givers, we create routines that help us manage everything that we have to do. 

It's in managing everything that we have to do, that we often overlook what we need in order to continue doing it all. I wish I had a nickel for every time a caring, well-meaning person said to me, “Get some rest” or “Take care of yourself now!” 

I appreciate the sentiment and the support of having someone encouraging me to care for myself, but it's a struggle because oftentimes that encouragement comes without a practical, easily applied strategy to do so. 

In the 13 years of caring for Mom, I've learned that taking care of myself means consciously looking for time when I can do that. I've learned to look for time when she's quiet so that I can have a snack for myself, listen to music that I want to hear, or sometimes simply do nothing. 

This isn't to say that I don't miss those times when I had hours just to do only what I wanted to do for myself, but finding time in what I'm experiencing for myself helps me move through what I am experiencing. 

I've also learned to carve out time to do something together that we can both enjoy. Sometimes it's just as simple as sitting on the front porch watching the children run up and down the sidewalk. It's something we can do together that gives us time out from doing all of the things that have to be done.

Monotony is an energy vampire that can constrain how you choose to live your care journey. My encouragement for you this week is to stop and consciously assess your schedule so that you can carve out the time that you need in order to continue caring for your loved one and yourself. 

Remember, care-giving is what you do for your loved one. Giving-care is what you do for both of you.

Be well until next time.

Dr. Sheri


Dr. Sheri L. Yarbrough is an author, caregiver, and founder of Praxis Senior Care-Giving Solutions, a consulting business that provides care-givers with practical and easily implemented strategies that can be tailored to meet their individual care needs.

View Dr. Yarbrough's weekly blog on all things caregiving from a caregiver's perspective.

Listen to Dr. Yarbrough's Podcast: Straight Talk for Giving-Care.


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