Self-care is not selfish, it is a necessary maintenance plan for yourself that in the end, lets you provide a higher level of care and love to those around you. So, as you step into spring, will you make a commitment to add yourself to your list of things you do?
Each person will find self-care looks a little differently. Just because another caregiver you know loves to pamper herself occasionally with a night out on the town, if you’d rather snuggle with a good book in the corner of your basement, that’s okay, too.
The main thing about self care is that it’s really all about your “SELF.” It’s the one time you need to put away your concerns about others and do what you need to give yourself the care and love you deserve. Looking for some ways to get started? We know, sometimes you care for others so much you forget how to even start caring for yourself. Here are a few jumping-off points to get you planning some self-care times and activities.
For many, food is the language of love. If enjoying a particular item brings you joy and reminds you that you’re worth pampering, then maybe your self-care item will be food-related. It might be as big as treating yourself (either alone or with someone) to a lavish dinner at a high-end restaurant. Or it could be as simple as running to your local donut shop and picking out your favorite donut to enjoy with a cup of coffee out on the porch. The same can be said for beverages. If you have a favorite splurge coffee drink from your local coffee shop or if there’s a wine that you reserve for special occasions, take some time to enjoy them while you celebrate yourself.
The receiving of gifts is another love language many people appreciate. If receiving a gift from someone you care about reminds you how special you are to them, then give yourself a gift to remind you how special you are to yourself (and those around you). It might be a bright and vibrant bouquet of flowers, a new earring set, or something a bit more extravagant. However, you decide to thank the caregiver in you, find a gift that has meaning and heart.
As a caregiver, finding time for yourself can be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish. Show some self-care by actually scheduling some time in your day for you. Block it off on your calendar, turn off your phone, or do whatever you need to get that window of time that’s only about you. What you do with your time is completely up to you – take a nap, go on a walk, visit an art museum. Just remember, it’s your time and no one else at that moment.
You deserve the ability to give yourself self-care and your aging parent and those around you will actually reap the reward as well when you come back with a renewed and refreshed spirit.