My journey as a caregiver has seen much progress. In part 1, we ended with some useful recommendations on caregiving. From those recommendations, I have since learned how to pace myself preventing a burn-out. Here, I will explore and share a few.
The first Sunday evening of that first weekend I was frazzled. With the house chores, cooking, washing, grocery shopping, banking etc all left me burnt out. It took me two consecutive weekends to understand how to manage things efficiently.
Remembering, I have my own family, I had to find a way to balance all the added chores. By the third weekend, my time management skills had to come into effect. This was the plan I had to work out:
- Cooking: I started preparing for the weekend from Friday night for the weekend cooking by taunting out meat for both Saturday and Sunday dinner, for example.
- Washing: I had to devise a plan to manage both my washing and that of my parents. The first two weekends, I took some of my washing with me. That was a bit of a disaster. It became too tiring even with help from my beloved. He too got tired from the added weekend activities. So during the week, I would do my personal washing, and then on the weekend, my parents if the need arose.
- Other Duties: Time management became prudent for efficiency, all the activities had to be accomplished within a timeframe. The clock became my best friend. In the end, it worked, and I was able to complete all I had to, without the burnout. I learned fast.
Self-care I had to strategically manage. Because I managed my time, all the task and duties were accomplished, and by 3:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon, my family and I would visit the beach to soak up some warm sea water.
Talk about therapeutic. The sea water totally did my aching body a whole lot of good. The calmness of the water, alone, brought me a peace of mind.
Another destresser was admiring nature and taking time out to breathe. I took pictures of the beautiful nature around. Just to admire the colors and how the sun hit the petals calmed me, giving me a perspective that life is short, and we must not waste time worrying about things we can’t fix, like an ailing parent, child or friend.
Over the past seven weeks, I watched my ailing parent gradually improved. And as healing comes to him, I too am given a chance to really appreciate life and its small insignificant benefits, which in the end are not so insignificant.
Exploring the idea of caregiving has led me to live a life of gratitude. Appreciating health, and respecting the sacrifices of my parents when they were taking care of me.
I am living a grateful life, going forward.
Photographs – courtesy of @keggiee