Caregiver, is your bucket full?

New Year’s resolutions, it’s hard to escape hearing about them this time of year. It’s really something we should do more often, though, not just at the turn of the calendar. It’s too bad we don’t take the chance more often to look at our lives and take steps to make the changes we need to live life more fully.

This is especially true for anyone who is taking care of others.  Caregivers are filling_a_bucketconstantly supporting others, drawing down on their own energy.  It’s hard to keep your bucket full. The very people who probably need the most self-care are the ones with the least time and energy to do it. On top of that, self-care may be even more important for caregivers than most people, because their well-being affects not only them.

So, caregivers, please take a small step, any small step, or even two that will make a difference.  Even the act of taking five minutes for oneself can be empowering.  It will make it easier to do the next time.  Stretch your arms above your head a few times a day when you would have stayed hunched over. Have a joke sent to your email every day.  Pet the dog or cat for an extra minute.  Find a way to add a little space and once you feel the difference, you may see a path to add a little more self-care in bigger ways. With a little more in your bucket, you can live more fully.

Know, too, that you aren’t alone.  There are options online and in our community to connect with other caregivers and with resources to support you.  One of the options is SRC.  We’re happy to help and you can reach us here.  Through May, we’ll also be offering a series of caregiver support classes, the third Thursday of every month.  You can find more details here.

Whatever steps you take and whatever resources you use, take a new step to care for yourself.  You owe it to yourself and the benefits will go so far beyond you.