recharge: With Rest, Retreats, Rejuvenation
& Avoid Caregiver Burnout
"Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply
good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth
to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the
care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others
whose lives we touch." — Parker Palmer, author of "Let
Your Life Speak"
This quote above is worth repeating. You HAVE to take time for YOURSELF to
rejuvenate, relax, recharge your batteries...FOR
INSTANCE: a minute
of meditation in the car, a hot bubble bath, 30 minutes of
heart-pumping, lung-clearing exercise, a laughter-filled night out with
friends, a massage or a pedicure or a Healing Touch session, a quiet
weekend away, a whole week on a beach or somewhere where someone will TAKE CARE OF YOU.
You deserve the time for YOUR OWN HEALTH because (1) you are worth
it and (2) more than one life depends on it, first of all yours.
How can you FIND WAYS and MAKE TIME to recharge?
- Ask your social worker or chaplain for local resources for retreats,
respite care, or other programs for caregivers
- Search on the Internet for "cancer caregiver retreats" or "respite
care" and include your local city/state/region to narrow your search
- Look in the Yellow Pages or ask for recommendations to day spas
- Ask at your place of worship if they know of free/cheap/donation-based
retreat centers that may or may not offer spiritual direction as well
as gourmet meals, a cheap room, and plenty of solitude. For instance,
monasteries and convents offer such space.
- Ask your friends and family to take care of your loved one(s) so
you can get away. If it's for a few hours, a few nights, or one "slot"
of the time you'll be gone, I'm sure they'll say yes. Tell them it's
a matter of life and death.