“I’ve feel like a constant caregiver! I’ve been the caregiver for my mom who just died, my kids, my spouse, and now dad. I’m so tired of caring for others. Do you ever just get tired of caring for people?” – Ramona from Decatur

Thank you so much for your honest sharing and for your question.

To answer your question, YES we do get tired! We are human – and although are caregivers by professional choice – we get tired as well. It can be difficult – especially when our personal lives get complicated and our job does not get easier.

Caregiving for others, whether it is within your own family or professionally, is one of the most difficult jobs out there. It is often without breaks, unpaid for the amount of hours put in, not on your schedule, emotionally draining, etc. You can feel like you are almost smothered in one moment and completely alone in the next. You might look around at others with their completely normal lives – while finding yourself  being pulled in a million different directions and struggling to accomplish even simple tasks. Oh, and the saying “when it rains, it pours” – I think a caregiver was the first to coin that phrase!

All need to find respite from their responsibilities as a caregiver. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines RESPITE as a “short period of time when you are able to stop doing something that is difficult… an interval of rest or relief”. Now, I can hear your thoughts… “YEAH RIGHT! Rest?!? Relief?!?” But, yes – rest and relief  – this can look very different to each person.

So, take a few minutes to sit with your own thoughts and dream what respite would look like to you. For some – it’s a pedicure, a massage, or a walk outside. For others – it’s literally a nap, a date night, or some time with friends. Then, ask yourself… how can I find my own respite for 3 minutes, 3 hours, and 3 days? In the next month, be conscious to allow yourself 3 minutes a day, 3 hours a week, and 3 days a month that are yours alone. Life will not open up to make this happen on its own (believe me) – thus, you have to carve out the time yourself knowing just how important this is. Ask for help. Share responsibilities with others. Be still. Be “un-caring” for a moment. Find your own rest. It’s hard – but, please don’t forget that the care of yourself is just as important as the care you give others.

Wishing the best to you and yours!   Lisa

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