Caregivers worry about the care and the health of those we love. For most of us, the next disaster can come at any moment and we are in constant fear of what will become our new “normal”. This stress and anxiety creates mental and physical health issues which are often aggrevated by the new demands of caregiving. The physical requirements in caregiving may include carrying heavy equipment, standing for long periods of time, squatting, bending, and pulling. These movements are usually highly repetitive. Over a period of time, the physical health of the caregiver will suffer.
For me, these caregiving realities are hitting hard today. Despite no injuries or significant health issues, my body is hurting today. No real explanation, just what I refer to as general aches and pains of caregiving. Some days, I move slower. That’s just the way it is. I am a spousal caregiver and I can’t call in “sick”. All I can do is take some pain reliever and hope tomorrow will be less painful.
I am a firm believer in the fragile balance between body, mind, and soul. When one is affected in a negative way, it’s very likely the other two will be as well. On the days when my body is in pain, I try to focus on my mind or soul to compensate. I will focus my attention on writing, puzzles, or meditation to divert my attention away from the physical aches.
Caregiving is brutal. We must find ways to stay happy and healthy as best we can. As we care for the body, mind, and soul of our loved ones, we must do our best to feed the body, mind, and soul of ourselves, too. We are no less important. Consider your own situation. Consider where your loved one would be without your help.
These questions make me think of the Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The movie challenges you to consider how your life would be if a situation was different. Without you being in the “movie” of the loved one, that loved one’s life would definitely be different, and probably not for the better. You are a positive influence in that life and you are extremely important. Some days are hard. Some days are painful. Be good to your body, mind, and soul. Stay happy and healthy as best you can, my friends. Loved ones are counting on you!