Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take out the Trash

Being a caregiver is difficult even when you have a good day.  You have to think about your energy level as a daily tank of gas.  The best way to conserve energy is to try and go along smoothly.  When you try to drive 90 miles per hour you deplete your energy.  We can't avoid all stress but it's important to conserve everywhere you can.  Find those things that help to refuel you.  For me, it was walking outside.  I could even walk with Tyler and decompress which was a great bonus.  There is just something about the sun, fresh air, and saying hello to neighbors that comforts me and recharges my energy.

Another important way to save energy is to no carry around heavy loads of "trash".  What I mean by trash are the things that are not adding value to your journey.  Those things that are occupying your time and space but are just taking up your resources.  There are all kinds of clutter in everyone's life and we can all benefit from losing some of it.

Some of this clutter may be in the form of your schedule.  Try finding even small ways to consolidate appointments or errands.  Also try very hard to leave a day each week that is free from extra obligations.  One day that remains blank on the calendar can be very therapeutic.

Clutter can also be in the form of physical items.  A stress relieving tip for all walks of life is to keep your living and work spaces as open as possible.  When spaces are crowded your anxiety level is effected.  Open up your spaces, give yourself room to move, and take out the trash.

The last thing I will mention is relationship trash.  This can be the most energy-sapping clutter of all.  We know that not everyone can understand the special needs that we deal with, in fact most people don't, and that is ok.  But if you have someone in the dynamic that is working against you and is draining your energy source, you need to reevaluate that relationship.  Simply put, you have no room for negative energy in your life.  And if you allow the negativity to rob your resources, you are also robbing your person in need as well.  This is easy to say and hard to do, but sometimes you have to either place the relationship in a certain context or let it go all together.

Let me be clear...if you have someone in your life that is unwilling to accept your situation, or your loved one, or you and role, you have to address it, and if necessary make changes.  In the caregiver world there are the hurdles we cannot control (and plenty of them) so it is crazy to allow room for someone who adds more.

Treasure the people in your life that care.  Maybe they can't understand and relate but they care enough to walk with you the best they can.  Stick with those that lift you up, make you stronger, encourage you, love you, and spend time with you any way they can.  When you concentrate on those positive relationships, the negative will begin to fall away.  Maybe it's best to let it.

Be well and God Bless.  Tom

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