If we feel like we’re always caring for others, what might finding time to care for ourselves look like?
Whether we’re a business professional responsible for a team, a parent, a teacher, a caregiver by profession, an adult caring for our parents, or it feels like we’re all of these simultaneously, it may seem like there’s not enough time and energy left for ourselves.
Can we ever recall feeling like we want to jump off that daily hamster wheel to have quality time with our family and have some time to relax before ending the day? What feels important about this?
It might feel like we’re stuck in a one-way mirror and no one can see all the overwhelm we feel or like we’re wearing so many “hats” that we’re uncertain who we’re supposed to be at times?
So…who takes care of the caregiver?
There are 53 million American caregivers in the U.S. and one out of five of these people are unpaid family caregivers, many of which have full-time jobs1. Which one of these groups might feel familiar?
- Executives and pros who are responsible for a work family along with their own family at home.
- Parents with kids of various ages.
- Teachers who have the responsibility of their students, the students’ parents, and families of their own.
- Professional caregivers on the job and at home.
- Adult children who are responsible for elderly parents.
- Young adults may feel overwhelmed by the unexpected responsibility to help out at home.
- All or any of the above! We all likely have someone we feel responsible to care for.
“Caregivers are at increased risk for having multiple chronic diseases as they may neglect their health needs while providing care to others3”.
Fifty percent of those who feel alone, sense that caregiving has made their health worse2. How might we want to reduce that risk?
Life seems to feel busier than ever before…for everyone.
Regardless of which scenario may feel most familiar, it may seem tough at times to find any downtime and even more so, “ME” time.
“ME” time! WHAT? Impossible! Can’t happen! Have we ever said any of these statements?
If we feel reluctant to plan time for ourselves or worry about what others may think if we do, how might it feel to just briefly disconnect as a first step?
The last 20 years have fast-tracked our technology forward creating a daily life that makes it feel almost impossible to disconnect and focus on ourselves. School officials are trying to figure out how to keep students off their cell phones. Families and couples go out for dinner and many seem engaged with their phones instead of each other. More than ever before, especially during these unprecedented times, it might feel like there’s no way to leave work and, in some cases, home.
If we allow technology to guide our daily lives, it might feel easy to overlook the value of prioritizing ourselves for our mental and physical health and the personal interaction on which true, honest, trustworthy relationships are built, even our relationship with ourselves.
As we’re reminded of the importance of making time to disconnect, what small steps might we take so we’ll never forget to do it?
If you could jump off that hamster wheel mentioned earlier and disconnect for a period one day each week to enjoy “ME” time, how might that feel?
Once we break through that mirror, who might everyone see then? Who might benefit from this? Why might this feel important?