by Joy Loverde What I wish I knew about caregiving early on is that the 24/7 ongoing responsibilities never let up. If you’re a caregiver, you’ve also learned a thing or two.
Imagine you could go back in time and give your younger caregiver self a bit of advice on the caregiving and eldercare process.
What would you say?
I’ve thought a lot about this topic lately and how I’ve changed from the person I was when I began to manage the care of aging parents to the person I’ve become now.
Caregiving has become more and more integrated into my life – personally and professionally -- and the lessons I’ve learned along the way (and the ones I’m still learning) seem like something my younger caregiver me would like to know.
Here in one thing I’ve come up with for advice to the early version of me and the caregiving process:
Never underestimate the power of a creative outlet.
I say that having a daily creative outlet to rely on is essential. Feed your joy. No risk. No pressure. Something you love doing. Put creative time on your calendar; then show up every day. 15 minutes is good enough if that’s all the time you’ve got. Do what you can.
What holds you back from doing something creative? If it’s fear that your creative pursuit is not be good enough, and you fear what you create is useless or ugly – be kind to yourself. You are taking a step most people are too afraid to do. Give yourself the credit and love you deserve.
Here is one of my most recent creative outlets. I decided to jazz up the large windows in my living room by creating window panes. The end result transformed the entire room, and it cost less than $30. It took me about two months to complete, and I was in heaven every minute. My caregiver stress melted away.
Start something. Anything. Create what you enjoy. If you don’t finish your project – so what? Move on.
Until next time…