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It's not just for other people
I’ve been home all week this week. I’ve been feeling some issues with my throat for weeks and have been band-aiding it with essential oils, tea, extra water, and just powering through. It’s what we do, right? Focus on everything else. Put our own needs last. Push through. We can make it. Until we can’t.
Last Thursday I felt like I was coming down with something. I did my usual oils, water, push through routine. But my body said that was enough. The universe seems to know that I’ll keep working through just about anything. Unless I’m absolutely unable to do what I need to do, I’ll keep moving forward. Then it gets tired of sending me hints and pulls the rug out from under me.
I’ve been talking about how I could use a week off to catch up on sleep, cleaning, my house, personal business, and other things. Work has been busy, my extra commitments have been busy, my schedule has been packed. I feel like I can’t disappoint anyone so I just keep going. My body and the universe decided that this was the week. Last Thursday I had lost my voice by the time I got home. I figured a day off would get me back on track and back to life. A week later, I’m still mostly voiceless.
Why am I sharing this? We’re all living this life. Too many things. Too much to manage. Not enough time (or so we think). Until time is made for us. When caring for someone with memory loss, we are always thinking about what they need and making sure they are OK. But what happens when the caregiver is sick? What happens when the universe decides for you that you need a break? Then what?
I know can be challenging to take care of you when you are all someone has. I get it. I also get that you are the most important person and need to be taken care of as well. Please, don’t ignore signs of illness, strain, or excessive stress. These all can snowball and leave you out of the game longer than the little bit of time it might take for you to take care of these concerns now. Paying for someone to relieve you for a few hours sounds expensive and luxurious now, but is it more affordable than being debilitated by sickness or a hospitalization later? Putting off physician visits or tests may make sense in the moment because your loved one needs something more, but in the end they really need YOU the most.
My voiceless point today? Take care of you. Follow the “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” mindset and find the time to take care of yourself. You and your loved one will thank me for it.