The summer weather is here. . .
And it is a great time for you to focus on your own self-care while you love on your family member who is living with mental illness.
Here are just a couple of things to remember this month:
You have to put your own oxygen mask on first. Just like when you are flying, in order to be able to help someone else, you have to help yourself first. We've said it before and we'll say it again ... we really believe this at Courage to Caregivers and we live it each day! This mindset can be the difference between you staying healthy and your own health suffering while you support your loved one. . .
Get some sleep. You might think that you only need a little sleep to function well, but health experts say adults need eight hours of sleep a night. If you aren’t getting it, you might find yourself feeling moody and confused when it is time to make decisions. A best practice is to go to bed a half hour earlier than you do normally. (AND, for me, I've put into practice our breathing meditation skills, they've been a sleep-saver!)
Feel the love. There is nothing like being in a supportive environment so you have people to talk to, problem solve with and love on you during the process of caring for your loved one. Group support can make a huge difference in your own ability to make decisions and have the energy for the intensity of caring for someone who is living with a mental illness.
Speaking of which, we will be piloting support groups starting later this summer. Let me know and I’ll add you to the list as soon as we have a schedule!
Founder and Executive Director