Spring is finally here, and I've never been so excited for it after a month of being mostly indoors with my young daughter, who had double hip surgery early in February and has been confined to a wheelchair since. The forced cocooning has been refreshing in some ways -- now and then it's good to step away from the busyness of the world -- but the limitations are weighing on us too. Spending a few minutes in the sunshine the other day reminded me that winter will soon end, and that this stage of recovery is also not forever.
Here are this month's tips and tools:
TIP 1: Do self-care. You never outgrow the need to play, rest, or work at a hobby. When you're devoting time and energy to caring for another, that need grows -- though it's easy to ignore in the midst of meeting your care receiver's needs. Be intentional about your self-care needs; be creative since time is limited. Take a vacation day from making the bed and doing the dishes. When the person you're caring for is occupied with an activity, don't fill the time with ticking more things off your list. Instead, just sit and "be" with a cup of coffee or tea. Need more self-care tips? Read this article.
TIP 2: Find a mentor. Friends and family are great cheerleaders: They'll give you pep talks and remind you of your value when you're worn down by caregiving. But a mentor -- someone who can advise you from a place of understanding and knowing -- can do so much more. Think of people you know, respect, admire. Think of people who have walked a similar path. These are ideal mentors. Reach out and ask for their guidance and support. Need help finding a mentor? I can help.
TOOL 1: CareLinx has been called the Match.com or eHarmony of caregiving sites. Find a home care provider that's a fit for your family through their simple share-pair-care process: SHARE your budget and daily needs with a care advisor who will PAIR you accordingly with the CARE you require. Learn more here.
TOOL 2: Peapod makes grocery shopping so much easier when caregiving keeps you close to home. Initially it may seem intimidating to search, point and click on each item you need, but once you've created your shopping list, you can easily refer to it next time. Find a delivery or pick-up service near you.