Happy International Self-Care Day!
 
That’s right, July 24th has been declared as a day just for us! Created by the International Self-Care Foundation in 2011, International Self-Care Day brings worldwide attention to the benefits of self-care and its impact on our overall health. The foundation advocates self-care as a lifelong goal and a vital part of well-being.
 
We certainly couldn’t agree more. As you probably know by now, Courage to Caregivers was founded on the premise that caregiver self-care is your oxygen mask. It’s a critical part not only of your own survival, but also of your ability to provide care for others who need you to be your strongest, healthiest self.

Another important part of our vision is to create a community of support for caregivers – and to build connections. We believe social connections are an integral part of self-care.
 
For me, without my own community of support – all of those wonderful people who both support me and hold me accountable to my goals – I would not be able to navigate this journey of life successfully.
 
We realize that isolation is a common problem for caregivers. The responsibility of meeting the constant needs of a loved one may limit your interactions with other people. Your feelings and perceptions of your loved one’s illness may also cloud your ability to be social.
 
But the road to self-care does not have to be a lonely road. Social connections can help us all by:

  • Providing mutual emotional support in good and bad times. Both giving and receiving support is beneficial.

  • Helping us learn from the experiences of others.

  • Offering practical day-to-day support, including respite care.

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression as we realize that we are not alone.

  • Helping us feel less isolated, lonely, or judged. When we spend time with people who “get it,” we become part of a special community.

So, part of my celebration of International Self-Care Day will be to thank YOU for being an important part of MY special community. You are NEVER alone!