I was sitting in the sand yesterday and the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean and November breeze filled my ears... and my whole body was soaking up the sun, there was a calm and contentment running through my bones! You see, my month prior had been filled with work conferences, family visits and travel, continued house renovations, evolving work goals- all in addition to my patient and family care. And like me, your list of "you" things may grow smaller and get over run with the other "to dos" and I wanted to address this very issue that the miles of beach reminded me of.
I meet families every day who add to that ever growing list taking care of aged and sick animals, often requiring extra trips home from work, home cooked meals, many medications 3 to 4 times daily and added physical mobility support. All of that in addition to taking care of their human family and other animals, maintaining the household and juggling the emotional work of facing end of life care. You do A LOT! And I know you do it with love and wouldn't budge on giving your best.
As I was sitting under the Carolina blue sky and recognizing all that we do, I wanted to remind you, gently, that your self-care is so important too. I share with many tired and stressed families every day- don't forget to do what you need so that you are ok too. No one person can do everything all of the time and maintain that momentum without reaping the costs. We all need our "ocean getaways" of self care, however that may look.
So while I can' make it to the ocean I love every week... I can walk to the Ohio River, I can take a break and step into the sun, and I can remember to take moments to take care of me.... We can all find that bit of self-centered (YES!) gooey middle in our day, week, and month.
As I started the walk back along the beach to my car, I thought about my journey back home, where I would happily and restfully step back into my role of caregiver, personally and professionally. The oceans cathartic waves recharged and reminded me of just who I am and what I want. One of those wants is for all of us to take our moments to remember the good in ourselves and nurture that- so that our families, both human and animal, will have their beloved caregiver be the best they can be to both their selves and their loved ones. Truly... Take Care of YOU.