In the last two blogs, we’ve covered unique practices for balance and sanity: Reach Out and Delegate, Limit Your Social Media and News to 15 Minutes or Zero, While Driving, and Driving With Kiddies.
Pick It Up: Keep your home-space picked up. Have your family help, especially if they are the ones responsible for some of the mess.
Do the same with your vehicle.
Seeing clutter and living in clutter subconsciously influence our actions and feelings. We don’t have to be neurotic about neatness or cleanliness, just tip your hat at the biblical phrase, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” for a state of mind that helps you be more effective.
Guidance from a Smarty-Pants: Locate, get a referral, find a professional who knows how and why your beautiful brain and mind work the way they do. The myth that asking for help is a sign of weakness, is bullshit no matter the circumstance.
There are people who show up for you, just like you show up for other people, so where in that compassionate action does this show weakness of any kind? It doesn’t; therefore, get ideas, get support, listen to suggestions from qualified people to help keep your wagon from veering off into a ditch.
No Purpose At All: Time spent with no purpose at all sounds crazy and lazy. It isn’t. Giving yourself a mental and physical break from continuous doing and thinking is crucial for a brain re-boot, clarity, energy, rejuvenation, and survival. Yep, survival. I’m not kidding.
This means; recreation, diversion, fun, sleep, sports, reading, games, watching a favorite episode on Amazon Prime or Netflix, etc. "Are you kidding me??!!!" I hear people say. "I don't have time for this!!" says the person sitting next to their wagon that's veered off into a ditch.
Everything Takes a Break:
Nothing in Life is continuous or never-ending. Why then, do we rarely, if ever, not consider giving our brain and mind a break??
If we look at Life, everything takes a break, stops, pivots, changes, or evolves, even in nature or the animal kingdom. We run, walk or workout for a finite amount of time. We stop, drink water, and eat a little something to re-fuel. Planes, trains and automobiles do not run forever. They run out of fuel, or electricity, and need to be replenished. Mealtime also has a beginning and an end, although my yellow lab, Marco, would argue he could eat forever…and ever and ever. We also don’t (and can’t) sleep forever, though as caregivers, sometimes we wish we could!
And on that note…
Solid Restful SLEEP: If you need medication, or a natural supplement, take it. Melatonin, Valerian Root, Lavender, CBD, and Magnesium are natural supplements. Talk to your physician about what it will take to get a good night’s sleep e v e r y night. Be honest with him/her about your role as a caregiver and what your day looks like.
If you are tired and not sleeping, if you are not getting the rest you need, everything in your world - e v e r y t h i n g - turns to shit. Everything. And in our world of caregiving, lack of sleep could be deadly. Sleep is the key to our brain functioning properly. Period. I cannot stress enough how important this is.
Confession time; I used to take Tylenol PM with a NyQuil chaser. Yikes, I know, but I didn’t know better. This combination worked until it didn’t work, probably because I over-used it for an extended period of time. The ingredient, “Dextromethorphan” backfired. I wound up awake and jittery. When I told my doc what I was taking to sleep, she talked about the negative long-term effects of these products which I had experienced myself. She then put me on different, safer medications and supplements.
Please be honest with your physician. Get on the right medication(s) so you can receive a solid restful sleep e v e r y night. * I’m not a physician. Consult your doctor for help.
What Is True For Me
Every one of the suggestions in Parts I, II, and III have, over time, been integrated into my life. Doing this has made all the difference, not only with my patience and approach in caring for Mom, but towards everyone and everything.
Just for today, consider choosing one thing from the last 3 parts of Practicing Balance and Sanity to integrate and practice. Just ONE – two if you’re feeling extra ambitious.
One thing I have come to know with unwavering faith is that when we want something badly enough, the Universe/Life/God will always make room for us.
Part IV is the final chapter. Meet you there…