The Caregiver Cup Podcast

Making Space as a Caregiver: Essential Steps to Reclaim Your Well-Being

June 11, 2024 Cathy VandenHeuvel Episode 217
Making Space as a Caregiver: Essential Steps to Reclaim Your Well-Being
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
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The Caregiver Cup Podcast
Making Space as a Caregiver: Essential Steps to Reclaim Your Well-Being
Jun 11, 2024 Episode 217
Cathy VandenHeuvel

Send Cathy a text:)

Ever feel like you’re constantly juggling the demands of caregiving without a moment to breathe? In this episode of The Caregiver Cup Podcast, we dive into the essential topic of "Making Space as a Caregiver." Discover why taking time for yourself isn’t just a luxury but a necessity. Through powerful stories like Emma’s journey from exhaustion to renewal and JoAnn’s transformation from guilt-ridden to empowered, we explore the profound impact of self-care.

Learn practical steps to set healthy boundaries, recognize signs of self-neglect, and implement small yet impactful changes to recharge your energy. From daily walks and connecting with support groups to delegating tasks and creating a personalized well-being plan, this episode is packed with actionable tips to help you thrive as a caregiver.

I’d love to hear from you! What do you do to make space for yourself as a caregiver? Send me a text and share your strategies and successes. Remember, making space for yourself is not selfish—it's essential. If you need help, I’m here to support you. Let’s continue this journey together, ensuring that we care for ourselves as we care for our loved ones.

Thank you for tuning in to The Caregiver Cup Podcast. Stay strong, stay well, and keep making space for yourself. Until next time!

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send Cathy a text:)

Ever feel like you’re constantly juggling the demands of caregiving without a moment to breathe? In this episode of The Caregiver Cup Podcast, we dive into the essential topic of "Making Space as a Caregiver." Discover why taking time for yourself isn’t just a luxury but a necessity. Through powerful stories like Emma’s journey from exhaustion to renewal and JoAnn’s transformation from guilt-ridden to empowered, we explore the profound impact of self-care.

Learn practical steps to set healthy boundaries, recognize signs of self-neglect, and implement small yet impactful changes to recharge your energy. From daily walks and connecting with support groups to delegating tasks and creating a personalized well-being plan, this episode is packed with actionable tips to help you thrive as a caregiver.

I’d love to hear from you! What do you do to make space for yourself as a caregiver? Send me a text and share your strategies and successes. Remember, making space for yourself is not selfish—it's essential. If you need help, I’m here to support you. Let’s continue this journey together, ensuring that we care for ourselves as we care for our loved ones.

Thank you for tuning in to The Caregiver Cup Podcast. Stay strong, stay well, and keep making space for yourself. Until next time!

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

Speaker 1:

Well, hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. It's Kathy here. Oh, I'm really excited about this topic because it's all about making space as a caregiver. And you know what? We don't do it very well, and I'm putting you into this mix as well. A common mistake I see caregivers make, including myself, is putting ourselves on hold, and it leads to the impacts on our well-being. Our well-being takes a hit. So in today's episode, I want to talk about how to make space or, better yet, recharge and find your personalized well-being, because we have to do this as caregivers. We can't just keep going and going and going and ignore what really keeps us going, and that's our personal well-being, meaning our physical health, our emotional health. It takes a hit. So I want to talk about the importance of making space because we know and I'm not, I'm really what do they say? I'm talking to the choir or singing with the choir.

Speaker 1:

Caregiving is demanding. We have chaotic seasons, we have challenges and we get wrapped up and consumed in every aspect of that life. In addition to we're juggling our regular life, whether that be, you're working, you're taking care of your family and you're dealing with your parents. Now, from a caregiving perspective, ignorance. Now, from a caregiving perspective, you have this other life and either over time, you are now caregiving more or all of a sudden, you are now wrapped up in this caregiving life and you're trying to juggle it all.

Speaker 1:

I want to just start out by sharing a few stories, and that'll kind of get us into the whole concept of making space. These stories have derived from multiple coaching experiences that I have done, and what I've done is I've made two fictitious stories up. I've made two stories up not using any names, that I protected the names and I've altered the stories to protect privacy in the hopes that you can relate to these stories. So the first story is about Emma.

Speaker 1:

Emma is a full-time caregiver for her elderly mother, who has Alzheimer's. She's devoted all her time and energy to caring for her mother. She often skips meals and is losing sleep because of either she can't sleep because of all of the things that are rattling in her brain or her mother getting up in the middle of the night, or a combination of everything. Emma believed that taking any time for herself was selfish and she felt guilty because she needed to really be devoted to her mom. Over time, emma's health began to deteriorate. She was constantly tired, emotionally drained and started experiencing these severe headaches. And obviously, when we get that way, what do we usually do? We think, okay, I'm not drinking enough water or I'm going to just take some aspirin and it'll go away. Well, the turning point came because one day Emma fainted while helping her mother and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctor told her that her body was under immense stress and that she needed to take care of herself to be able to take care of her mother. It was this come to Jesus moment. This was a wake-up call for Emma. She realized that by neglecting her own health, she was actually putting both herself and her mother at risk, because now, if she wasn't well, she would have to go ahead and look to a different situation for her mom. So making space for Emma looked like this.

Speaker 1:

Emma decided to set aside time each day for herself. She started small, taking on 30-minute walks, reading a book or enjoying a quiet cup of tea. She also reached out to her local support group for caregivers and found comfort in sharing her experiences with others, and they understood what she was challenged with. With these changes, emma's health improved and she found herself more capable and patient in her caregiving role. And so let's unpack this because really what she was doing initially was impacting her health. She wasn't taking time for herself. But another alarm for me when I listen to clients is skipping meals and their quality of sleep has changed, and there are so much studies when it comes to your quality of sleep, and if you're not getting quality of sleep, your body just starts reacting. But what her body was telling her, remember? She said she had severe headaches, she was tired and she was emotionally drained, and so those three things on top of skipping meals and sleep, just became this volcano waiting to explode. And really the turning point and really the gift her body gave her was fainting, because the doctor could understand that her body was shutting down. And so when she had to look at making time for herself and making space, she really looked at walks and she looked at. She came to the conclusion of taking walks and reading and quiet time were her best for her in the season and connecting with others to shift her mindset. What wasn't told in this story was her transformation, and it didn't happen right away.

Speaker 1:

I've coached so many clients and this one is similar to a client that I've coached. As I met with Emma, for example, she needed to make changes and it's not something you do overnight. You just okay, I fainted now. Oh yep, I have to make time for yourself. It's hard for her to see the simple things and a lot of times when we're so deep into caregiving, we can't see the simple things like a 30-minute walk and how that can go ahead and recharge your well-being. There's so much. I've been doing a lot of research on the fact too, that even like learning a new dance step or going to a community like there's line dancing or Zumba or something, you're teaching your brain to do something new and you're moving your body and it distracts you from every day.

Speaker 1:

But back to I got off on a tangent here. When I tell a client that they need to take two 30-minute breaks a day, they look at me like I am whacked out. They look at me, and I understand that, because in my situation too, how in the world am I going to take two 30-minute breaks? Well, in this situation, after two weeks, emma was able to go ahead and figure out and work through that. In this situation, in a similar client that I had when they were taking morning walks. She would take a morning walk before her mom woke up, or she would take a morning walk when her mom was all settled in her chair and she would take that 30-minute walk. Or afternoons, when she allowed help to come in for her mom, whether it be the cleaning lady or a family member she would sneak away and take her afternoon break and do whatever she wanted to do. Maybe it was reading or quiet time and she got away. Well, in conclusion, in this story, she now takes one hour a week as well and she goes ahead and tends this monthly caregiving community meeting. During the pandemic it was Zoom, now it's in person, and so she's feeding her body and mind. She's feeding her physical needs by going ahead and taking two 30-minute breaks, and it's one hour a day and then one hour a week. She gets out of the house and usually she uses that extra time to do errands or going ahead and whatever she needs to do. She kind of habit stacks that on top of it. I want you to start thinking about that. What does it look like for you? Here's another story that I've kind of altered and changed names, and Joanna and I call her. She's guilt ridden, she is, and for short I'll call her Jo.

Speaker 1:

Jo was the primary caregiver for her wife, who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or MS. She felt a deep sense of duty and guilt, believing that taking any time for herself meant she was failing her wife. Joe worked long hours, so she worked full time to provide for the family that they had and then spent evenings and weekends caring for her wife. Does that sound familiar to you? Maybe you're doing that with an aging parent. Maybe you're doing that with an aging parent. Maybe you're doing that with a spouse. She had no time now for her hobbies or socializing and she felt more and more depressed and isolated because she wasn't able to do anything but caregiving, work and take care of just the basic stuff, the urgent stuff. Work and take care of just the basic stuff, the urgent stuff.

Speaker 1:

The turning point for Jo was when a friend came to her and said you look like you are not doing well and she said I was in a similar experience and noticing that you're not out, your health is declining, and she intervened. She shared her story of burnout and emphasized that your self-care is so very important. She convinced Joe to connect with me and she said connect with Coach Kathy to start delegating some caregiver tasks to family members and professional caregivers. And Jo was so anti-help because she had this expectation and vision in her head that she could do it all. And if she couldn't do it all she'd feel guilty because that was what a wife does with their other wife or with what couples do. And so Jo reluctantly, but she did start making space. She reluctantly agreed and we spent a lot of time talking about shifting her mindset and taking these small steps and she started meeting with me. She found that talking to me helped her assess her mindset and see her situation. And we started out by saying take your situation and look at it from 10,000 feet, and then let's go ahead and look at it. And and she understand that she needed to make a shift because if she didn't, you know, things were just going to keep snowballing. She also began scheduling regular me time where she engaged in activities that she loved to do. She was an avid biker, she loved to garden and she loved playing musical instruments like guitar and different musical instruments.

Speaker 1:

Gradually Jo felt her energy and enthusiasm returning after she started delegating and then her relationship improved with her partner and she became less stressed and more present with that, with Jo. This is a situation that I love to talk about. She had to see that added responsibilities, or all of the things that she used to do, was overwhelming enough, and then she added caregiving on top of that, and then her guilt became heavier and heavier. I used to always take care of the lawn work. I would do the laundry. I can take on my partner's other work that she has, then adding on top of it errands, adding on top of it her job, the caregiving, appointments and all of that.

Speaker 1:

Then she began identifying what things she could delegate and how. I actually had her list out everything that she does in a week's time, everything from A to Z. I told her don't leave out anything. And then we started identifying things that could be delegated and it was really hard for her to put a highlighter over some of it, because it's kind kind of like me when somebody, when you give up, you do something your way and now somebody doesn't do it as good as you. That's the reason. That's the things that she dealt with. Or, oh my gosh, I'm I look like I'm just gonna sit down and relax tonight. I shouldn't be doing that and it was extremely hard for her at first, shouldn't be doing that, and it was extremely hard for her at first. So we did one thing at a time and we worked together and I said let's do one thing at a time. I'm happy to say, about a month after it I could hear Joe's energy come back. She is becoming this great manager in this space and we had to take off the guilt hat and get her to see that by managing everything, she was able to control it and she was able to ensure that the quality of care and everything underneath that manager hat was controllable. And she had to control also her own well-being and she was even more engaged now with her partner and her family and all of that. And you know what, when she started asking for help, it was almost like the floodgates opened. People were happy to help out and people were happy to go ahead and chip in. So these are just two examples that I wanted to share with you from a high level perspective. Now I want you to think about yours.

Speaker 1:

What are your signals that are signaling that you are neglecting your self-care? Or there are physical or emotional signals that your body is telling you, like physical symptoms, like fatigue, headaches, illness. Your behavior is off anger, resentment, whatever it is. What are your emotional signs? I think I crossed over by saying anger and resentment. Are you irritable? Are you sad? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you feeling isolated? What is it? These signs or signals manifest and it's important to acknowledge them early because they're just going to keep growing and growing and growing. It's kind of like going out to a weed garden and you need to go ahead and manage the weeds. And if you don't go out, that's because I'm flower gardening right now. If you don't go out every day and just pull the weeds that you see and you just leave them, they're just going to keep coming back and back and back. And sometimes you need to go ahead and you know, remove the for me from a flower garden perception remove the mulch and put some barrier between them so that they don't grow anymore or they come under control. I don't know, I got off onto a tangent there.

Speaker 1:

Some of the biggest signals that I recognize in myself is I am complaining. I know it's not a word. I am complaining about things more often. I am moody, I am frustrated over the simplest things. I start seeing more negative at anything and everything. I mean something as simple as I'm going for my morning walk and somebody has like their garbage can in front of the house and it's supposed to be out of sight in our subdivision and I start getting angry. It's like, okay, something's up, kathy, why are you looking at a silly garbage can and getting frustrated over that? Or you know just simple things like that.

Speaker 1:

Some others I recognize as a coach, and some really common ones I recognize as a coach is anger, resentment, anger, a blaming situation where they're starting to blame a situation, or they're doing that or they're going to settle for it. They might say words like it is what it is. I just have to live with it. And I want to say to you, first of all, you have to validate your thoughts, your emotions and your physical symptoms. You have to validate those and you should. You should validate those and really understand those, and if you're dealing with a coach, they should be validating those. I can truly see that you deserve to be angry. This sucks and this is a bad situation and I can't even imagine how much pressure you're under. That's a validation. You have to validate it because it's real.

Speaker 1:

But when you stay there and you stay in this negative space all the time. It feeds off of that, your energy feeds off of that and you become this humpty, dumpty, all negative person all the time. It's kind of like I go to Facebook groups out there for caregivers and people are sharing their emotions and their frustrations and stuff like that. But that's where they leave it and it's great to validate it. But then what are we going to do to shift and change? Because you don't deserve to stay in this space. We need to go ahead and look at your well-being and improve your situation, and not everybody's situation is going to be the same. I can't say to somebody in hospice care well, you need to go ahead and take a week off, and I can't suggest that because that might be the last week with their loved one. But on the flip side, we can look at alternatives for somebody in that situation. Maybe they find an hour out of their day and we get them away for an hour out of their day so they can recharge. Or every other night we look at getting them the quality of sleep that they need. You know that sort of situation. So every situation is different.

Speaker 1:

Other physical symptoms I've experienced is weight gain. I've never experienced weight loss which I wish I would have. I changed my appearance. I started just putting on the same t-shirt every day, the same sweatpants every day. Some days didn't care about what way I looked, because who's going to see me? It's the same situation day in and day out and I kind of lost my self-worth. I became isolated and didn't want to go and see anybody, because what do I have to share in a conversation when I'm like in this down and sad space? And then all of the new health issues.

Speaker 1:

When you are in caregiving space and you develop a health issue, you have to ask yourself what is the root cause of this? Is it because of added stress? Is it because of lack of self-care? You really need to look at it Nine times out of 10, it's because of that. So that's why we're talking about the importance of making space for you as a caregiver. Think about I want you now to think about practical steps to make space, because when you can go ahead and validate and understand and process your signals or your signs in your situation, then we need to and I need to, as your caregiver coach, advise you to implement healthy boundaries and make space for yourself and I get so the word healthy boundaries just is. It kind of makes me cringe a little bit. So that's why I like the word making space, because it's hard to set healthy boundaries as a caregiver. Be honest, it's chaotic. We never know what to expect. There's going to be change happening all the time and you're trying to juggle everything. But you can do and make practical steps to making space for yourself.

Speaker 1:

First of all, you have to start with the mindset of self compassion. Let me just drink a little bit of water here. Once you need to be kind to yourself and understand that it's okay and it's needed to take care of yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup. Self-care is essential for you to provide the best care for your loved one. I always have used the one. Think about my cousin.

Speaker 1:

Joey is a doctor and he does emergency room rotations, and so when he is doing this four-day rotation at the hospital, he doesn't stay awake four whole days. He builds in time for him to rest. You don't want an emergency room doctor to see you on day three with no sleep and he or she isn't taking care of himself. Oh my gosh, I wouldn't want them to diagnose me and treat me. The same goes for you. You have to be able to take care of yourself because you're going to go ahead and risk the quality of care for your loved one and yourself. You have to acknowledge from a self-compassion perspective. You have to acknowledge your efforts, recognize and appreciate the hard work you are doing. Every step you take to really taking practical steps, to setting boundaries is a step towards better health and better care. And so then, after that, you take small steps, just like Emma and Joe.

Speaker 1:

We didn't just go ahead and create this plan and the next day you're starting it. You're going to fail. You're going to have to try new things. Don't think Emma's 30 minute walk was the very first thing that she tried. No, she really wanted to go ahead and be involved, go back to the gym. She wanted to do her yoga classes, but it wasn't a good time for her to do that. So instead she's just doing 30 minute walks and she's putting on her music on her ear pods or she's listening to nature. One time she took a call with a friend and she talked to a friend while she was walking. What you want to do is take small steps, find one thing at a time. Start with setting just one small boundary, like taking a 10-minute break instead of 30. Gradually adding one more as you become more comfortable in your situation. Celebrate, then, the small wins and recognize and experiment with what things didn't work. Every little small step helps in going ahead and doing that.

Speaker 1:

I have one silly one that I did this morning. This is I'm recording it on a Monday and I am trying to go ahead and add more colorful vegetables to my diet because I feel like I need to go ahead and improve that. There's been a lot of studies like eating the rainbow. That's going to help your digestive health and your overall health. Well, today was the first day that I'm going to add more. I always have my spinach shake in the morning. Well, today I added an apple. It seems really simple, but it's okay. I'm going to add an apple after my walk to my morning routine. It's a baby, baby step. Notice I didn't say I'm going to go ahead and make sure I have eight colorful vegetables today. No, I'm going to do ahead and add on top of my spinach shake. Now I'm going to add an apple and then maybe next week. Now I'll add something else, or I'll go back and saying apple's not agreeing with me. I'm going to try something different.

Speaker 1:

It's baby steps, baby steps, and that's what we have to do. And then when you're taking those baby steps whether it be a 10-minute walk, whether it be joining a community group you have to communicate clearly that you're going to do this with your loved ones, your family and anybody that's impacted by it. Be honest but direct and say be clear and honest about what you need. Usually, simple language, being a little firm yet gentle, is going to work. Like I statements, I need some quiet time in the evening instead of the noise of the TV, and so while you watch TV, I'm going to go in the other room and read my book and have my tea, and you can communicate that. And if they question it, just saying I find that I can't fall asleep when I'm watching. Like my husband will watch like an action-packed movie or he's into all these serial killer stuff and I'm like, oh my God, I cannot watch that. Again, we communicate that clearly and by telling them what you need, then you can go ahead and communicate that.

Speaker 1:

Okay, now another one is involve support or an accountability group, ask for help. You know, thinking about when I talked to Jo and Jo was very leery about asking others to help because she felt guilty. Well, when you go ahead and ask family and friends or neighbors to help, be specific about what you need. I can't tell you how many times I needed a break from my mom or I needed a break from Dennis and I called my family up and said, hey, I want to go ahead and attend this thing, whatever it would be, but I don't want to leave mom or my husband alone. Can you come over and hang out with dad? Or can you go ahead and come over and bring a dinner over to mom while I go ahead and bowl, like I went bowling or whatever. You can be specific about it and they're like, yes, I can do that, and then you can start working through that. Or if you need accountability, maybe you need somebody to say how are you doing with your walks? Or how are you doing with playing your musical instrument, like Joe wanted to go back to playing her musical instrument. Your caregiver coach or your caregiver group or a friend can go ahead and say how are you doing, what's working, what's not working. They can offer practical advice and emotional support.

Speaker 1:

Another thing that you want to do is make sure you're realistic about your expectations, know your limits and be realistic about what you can and can't do. When I went ahead and shared with Emma and Joe what all they were working on and everything that they were due, I mean, when I looked at the day in the life or the week in the life of them, you could see how they were burning out. Getting up at 6 am all the way till midnight is just not sustainable. And when they were open to being flexible with their boundaries and making life changes, they were able to go ahead and release that. I mean, I remember something like hiring somebody to do their lawn now going forward or bringing help in the home for Emma to go ahead and get that break. You know the physical strain on Emma when she had to go ahead and do everything like from baths to memory care, to therapy and all of that kind of stuff. That was really hard on her.

Speaker 1:

You need to make time for yourself by scheduling personal time and prioritizing your health. Don't forget about the impacts of moving your body, the impacts of mindful practices like meditation and yoga or finding a hobby or doing a hobby and thinking about what is something that's going to make you feel better right now like playing guitar or gardening or painting or you know, finding you know something that you love to do and then it becomes routine and you can create this as part of your routine. When I went bowling on Wednesday nights from five to six that's all the time it was, but it was over dinner time my family like, okay, kathy, you're bowling tonight. So you know we had people assigned and my mom looks so forward to having somebody come over and bring her an Arby's sandwich, or they would go ahead and, you know, go to their local restaurant and they would have that time together and I would have that time away from mom and I would be able to socialize with people and my friend Julie.

Speaker 1:

Don't forget about using technology to your advantage too Setting timers on your phone for a break or personal time or appointments, using a shared calendar with other family members, accessing resources like apps or online resources to find support groups or information or respite care. And keep educating yourself. Keep learning, looking at reading books, attending workshops, listening to this podcast, so that you can go ahead and continue to reinforce in your mindset that prioritizing your well-being is what a caregiver needs to do to be effective, and understanding that as well and then, when things fall, when things are too hard, when you feel like you want to give up, you have to practice patience and you have to go ahead and say to yourself this is why I'm spiraling down right now is because life is a bit crazy and I didn't get time to myself today. And you have to go ahead and grant yourself grace, practice patience and it will become easier when you go ahead and take some time and pause, validate your situation and then look for solutions or options to go ahead and improve. Look for solutions or options to go ahead and improve Because, just like Jo which I'm so proud of, jo is she's able to manage. You know Jo does not do the lawn care, the shoveling, anymore. She does not go ahead and do a lot of the grocery shopping. She has a lot more delivered. You know she goes ahead and has a house cleaner come in once a week now so that she doesn't spend her Saturday mornings cleaning the house and being resentful of why things are all out of place. She has that time now so that she can go ahead and dedicate to her loved one and, most importantly, herself. So, in conclusion, remember setting healthy boundaries, making steps to or making space and finding practical steps is not about being selfish. It's about ensuring you have the strength and the energy to continue caring for your loved ones. By starting small and communicating clearly and involving you know, involving a support network, an accountability group, a coach, and prioritizing your own health, you can create a balanced approach to caregiving that sustains you in the long run. Oh, I thought it was conclusion, but that was just the conclusion of the ways to do the practical steps.

Speaker 1:

I want to still talk about recharging techniques. We talked about it. I want you to start brainstorming or thinking about ideas that could help you recharge and make space for that. Mindful practices like meditation. It could be something as simple as before you go to bed at night, the last hour is your wind down routine and you do meditation. You take a bath, you take a shower, you listen to soothing music. Think about your physical activities. Most of us just want to go to bed and take a nap, but think about what a walk around the block in the sunshine would do for you right now.

Speaker 1:

Suggest think about easy things that you can do. Don't think about having to go ahead and figure out a time to make to a specific class at a specific time. Unless you have that, maybe you do things at home. Maybe you get an app on your phone that has a HIIT workout or a yoga workout. Don't forget also about healthy eating. You know you need to think about what you're fueling your body with and really thinking about what can you do. Maybe this is the time where you go ahead and look at some healthy food services and have them delivered into your home and going ahead and there's so many options out there that or maybe there's a local place that goes ahead and makes crockpot meals or whatever. Maybe you look at that so that you try to focus on eating healthier, so that you can. It's so easy now to go ahead and buy a prepared salad or going to like the deli at the grocery store and looking at the healthy options that might be there for you.

Speaker 1:

You could do that as well. You need to personalize your well-being plan, and you need one more than ever with caregiving, and you need one more than ever with caregiving. If I could go back into my caregiving experience, that would have been my onboarding experience. I wish I could go ahead. I came from the onboarding space in the corporate world. I wish I could go back and I wish there was a magical switch. When you become a caregiver, you have to go through one day of onboarding with me. Oh, I gosh. I wish I could do that, because one of the very first things we would talk about is well-being and the importance of creating a well-being plan in this caregiving space Whether you know what are you going to eat, what's your physical activity is going to be, what are your mindfulness practices going to be and where can you going to eat, what's your physical activity is going to be, what are your mindfulness practices going to be and where can you fit those in and how little that has to be.

Speaker 1:

You don't have to have this big long two-hour morning routine. It can be five minutes in the morning of stretching and while you're brushing your teeth you're doing some mindfulness practice. It can be incorporated in and that's where, if you meet with me, I can help you with that. If you're looking for ideas, you wanna. When you're doing the wellbeing plan, you wanna assess your needs, you wanna set realistic goals, you wanna create some sort of routine that's easy and simple, and you want to track your progress and experiment if it doesn't work. So, as we end.

Speaker 1:

Now is the conclusion. Sorry about that. I had it in my notes and I changed it up because I wanted to go ahead and make sure I talked about just the basic pieces of setting this practice in place. But today we discussed the crucial topic of making space for you as a caregiver. We explored how important self-care is, and I used these similar but fake stories of Emma and Joanne, but my idea here was illustrating how neglecting our well-being can lead to serious consequences. We also identified physical and emotional signals and those signals that your mind and body will send to you if you're neglecting that, and talking about some practical steps to setting healthy boundaries and recharge, give yourself some ideas to think about. If you're going to appointments every day for your mom for the next week or your spouse for the next week, well, your self-care is going to look a lot differently, but you can control that. Then you want to think about how you can recharge and what that's going to do.

Speaker 1:

Now I don't want to forget about this text feature I have. I have a call to action for you. I'd love to hear from you what do you do to make space for yourself as a caregiver. What do you do right now, because I want to share those with others next week. And if you're willing to go ahead and do that, where's that text feature? Go down to the show notes, click on text and just share it. It's going to go ahead. Just type it in. I can't see your name. So if you wanted to share your name, you can. If not, that's perfectly fine too. Share with me what you do, any strategies, any successes, or if you're struggling too, share that with me as well and ask me a question and I can go ahead and give you that. So I look forward to hearing and seeing those texts come in.

Speaker 1:

My final thought, remember making space for yourself is not selfish, it's essential. If you need help, I'm here for you. You can go out to kathylvancom forward slash coach coaching, and then you can see on there that I have a free 30 minute chat. We could get a lot done in 30 minutes, trust me, and that's free. And then, if you want to continue to work with me, you can. If not, then you're on your merry way and hopefully you can start experimenting. If you want to work with me, let's continue this journey together and ensuring that we care for ourselves as we care for others, our loved ones.

Speaker 1:

So thank you for listening to another episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. As always, you know, think about what's going in your cup and how you're filling your cup, because when your cup is empty, what happens? You're looking for something to fill it with and you want to fill it with the right things so that you can sustain it. You don't want to fill it with the bad things or you don't want it to be continuously empty, because that means that your body and your mind is not getting what they need. So remember, keep making space for yourself and filling that cup Until next time. My friend, have a good rest of your day and we'll talk to you again next week. Bye for now.

Making Space for Caregivers
Importance of Self-Care for Caregivers
Prioritizing Self-Care for Caregivers
Creating a Well-Being Plan for Caregivers
Self-Care and Cup Filling