Updated: Feb 3, 2021
There are a myriad of needs presented to caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of young children, a partner caring for your spouse, an adult caring for your elderly parents, a home health aide, a teacher, firefighter, nurse, doctor, respiratory therapist, or one of many others always essential, you likely feel the weight of many demands upon you.
Supporting others is what you do, yet the many unexpected challenges of development, illness, disability, financial strain, the current pandemic, and an overall lack of time leave you drained, questioning your priorities and emotions. One common emotion is guilt. The nagging feeling that despite all you’re contributing it’s never enough. We’re often caught between the necessary considerations of caring for loved ones, balancing the demands of employment and home, and also taking care of ourselves.
Decision making can feel excruciating when filled with so many difficult choices. Doing our best sometimes feels as though it falls short. In reality, our best has limitations. We, and those we care for only function optimally if we have the necessary reserves and supports we need. A difficult truth to accept is the reality that we can’t do it all, all the time.
The concept of “finding” quiet gives us the false sense of security that it is something we’ll happen upon. However, finding something is more passive by nature. Consider the times you’ve found a quarter, a dollar, maybe even a five on the sidewalk. While this is a welcome surprise on the rare occasion it’s occurred, it was happenstance and required little effort other than simply walking by.
“Finding” occurs somewhat unconsciously, such as finding a chair when we bump into it at night. Conversely, the concept of looking is what happens when we actively seek something, develop awareness and actually see. The latter is powerful, tangible, and can become a mindset that allows us to gradually extinguish negative self talk, and provides direction. By taking a proactive stance that makes our needs visible, we can create quiet amongst life’s chaos with an active and sustainable plan for self care.
Taking ownership of our needs allows us to acknowledge ourselves and create necessary outcomes versus waiting for something to possibly...maybe...hopefully happen. When we turn our energy towards identifying solutions, we create what works.
This may mean creating at least one behavior you do consistently that preserves opportunities for calm, ie. walking before dinner, journaling positive affirmations, setting weekly goals. It might include claiming a quiet room to meditate, pray…escape, waking up earlier for a few coveted moments alone before your shift begins, before the kids wake, before preparing specialized meals…before being present to support your loved one. The list of potential to do’s is endless, as such we need to be reminded of our limits, the value for supports, and the need to create our own experience of quiet.
Make Time For Healing,