Taking Care of the Caregiver
Bird With A List is about supporting the caregivers to take care of themselves and it’s a subject very dear to me. I am a caregiver and love many wonderful caregivers, so I want to offer little tips that have helped me keep my sanity after a long day of being in high demand!
I still catch myself not allowing enough margin in my life.
What? I can’t do everything? Why is this such a shock?
I don’t always take my quiet time meditations as often as I should, but I have developed a simple way to make sure I have something left to offer my family at the end of the day.
Every day at 2 pm I have to be home. Period. When I say I’m a stay at home mom it is kind of a joke. I am rarely home when my kids are at school.
But every single day at 2 pm I am home from running around doing what needs to be done to keep my house in order. The first kids start trickling in at 2:30 pm so that gives me 30 minutes to change gears. I consider it my commute!
If I don’t take this time to regroup I tend to feel behind on things the rest of the day.
5 Ideas for a Caregiver Curfew
I think every caregiver would benefit from a caregiver curfew! It obviously doesn’t need to be at 2 pm every day- that’s just what works for me. Here is a list of 5 simple activities you could do once your curfew starts.
- Quiet time. Quiet time is what some call meditation. I do a morning meditation most days and when I’m really adhering to my “curfew” I do an afternoon bit of quiet time before Spencer walks in the door. Sit in a chair and be quiet. It’s hard, but worth the effort!
- Write. Keeping a journal is a great stress reliever. We have a lot of resources dedicated to this idea on Bird With A List. Check out our Journal category for some fun ideas. If you’ve never written in your journal on a regular basis I recommend starting with the 4 G’s.
- Read something inspirational. I love daily meditation books, but anything that is uplifting and positive would be a great way to spend your curfew time.
- Make a list. It’s no surprise that I live my life by lists. The 30 minutes before my kids start coming home is a great time to write out my menu for the next day, look at the calendar of appointments, and think ahead to the next few weeks of deadlines to see what needs to be worked on ahead of time. I have a trip next week so I put on my list today to write my packing list and research a bit about the town I’m visiting. I’ll be glad I did that next week when I’m trying to fit packing and laundry into an already busy day.
- Inventory. I like to do a quick little inventory of how the day is going and how my energy is holding up. Sometimes just acknowledging that it’s been a tough day will allow me the opportunity to get past what happened and not let it effect the time I have with my family in the evening. Other times it reminds me that I need a quick nap before the second half of the day begins!
Who has time for a caregiver curfew?
Everyone needs to set their own “me” time. I call this my curfew because it makes it seem non negotiable. It’s an appointment I can’t miss every weekday.
I refuse to set an appointment at 1:30 pm that will get me home right at 2:30 when Spencer gets home. It sets me up for feeling stressed, rushed and grumpy with people who don’t deserve my attitude!
What time would work for your schedule? Try out a few different times. Early morning before everyone else is up or 30 minutes before you normally go to bed may be the only times that work. Maybe you can’t fit it in every day, but could reserve Sunday nights as a free night where you don’t go anywhere and it’s set in stone.
When will you set your caregiver curfew?