This post brought to you by Elizz. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Being Tazim.
My mother has been a caregiver in one way or another for my entire life. While most of the years and time she was a caregiver for family members, she also gave care to elder members of the community and family friends.
It can be hard to see yourself as a caregiver, whereas it is easier to see yourself as a daughter, sister, spouse, or friend. As such, it’s important to take care of yourself as well as the person you’re caregiving. My brother and I would often give my mom breaks during the day as we visited with our aunt. Watching movies together as a family and enjoying take-out meals are just a few of the things we most enjoy doing with my aunt and mom.
When my mom had surgery, I was my aunt’s primary caregiver (with help from my uncle and brother) for almost one month. It showed me how exhausting and time-consuming caregiving can be, first-hand! But I also saw how everything I did made a difference in my aunt’s life and well-being, so it all seemed worthwhile.
Here is my mom and her older sister who needs 24 hour care. They’re going out to a special community function.
Here are a few 5-minute self-care suggestions that anyone can add in to their caregiving schedule:
-Do some stretching
-Meditate in a quiet room
-Practice deep breathing
-Turn on some music and dance
Check out this article on the Elizz website for plenty more Creative Ways to Take Caregiving Breaks broken down in to time blocks up to 60 minutes.
What the article above makes clear is that caregivers need to take regular breaks, even for just 5 minutes.
It wasn’t always possible and may never be for you, but my mom was able to take time off from caring for her sister during the week to visit members of the community whom she was a caregiver for at nursing and private homes. This may not seem like much of a break, but my mom enjoyed talking and sitting with elders who needed less care than her sister. She was at a different stage of caregiving with these elders, so her duties with them were far less stressful.
Providing her sister (and her mother before that) with care for over 20 years, my mom has gone through several of the 5 Stages of Caregiving:
Are you familiar with the 5 Stages of Caregiving listed above? Find out which stage you’re in by taking the 5 Stages of Caregiving Quiz. Support needs change depending on which stage you’re in. Which Elizz caregiver services are right for you?