"An empty lantern provides no light. Self care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly." Author Unknown
There are so many things happening! Most of the things happening affect our schedules, changes in our routines and quite a few have meant major changes in our families routines. All of these things affect us and, probably, our care receivers. With everything that is happening, and changing, every day it is hard to remember we need to take care of ourselves. I have been known to ask a "primary" care giver "if you aren't taking care of yourself who is going to take care of your loved one if something happens to you?"
Taking care of ourselves is an important part of taking care of who ever it is we are taking care of. If we continue, and we do(!), to take care of all the things that have to be done daily without taking care of ourselves we are either going to "burn out" or have something happen to us.
Is it easy -- NO! Is it needed -- YES!! I am not suggesting (although it can be a good idea!) taking a long vacation or sabbatical. I am suggesting time every day to stop, and spend time with God - however it works best for you to take time with God. I, personally, have a space for my Bible, my journal, my coffee and I can listen to praise music. Some days I am blessed to be able to spend "extra" time there. Some days I cheer if I get 15 minutes uninterrupted. How are YOU getting the care you need? What do you do to take care of you?
"Remember that stress doesn't come from what's going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what's going on in your life." Andrew Bernstein
There are so many things happening, changing and being reported it is hard to keep up with what is going on around us let alone in the rest of the area (state/world). Depending on who your care receiver is they may still be "with" you or you may not even be able to see them. Family, especially with how spread out families are today, is probably at least several towns - if not several states - away. Each of these things alone could be the cause of stress but when all are added together it is easy to get caught up in them.
There are two things that need to happen as we feel the stress beginning to happen. First we need to remember Emmanuel -- God IS with us. This is what we need to think "about what's going on in your life." The second thing to remember is the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can take care of "our" people. One of the ways to take care of self, like above, is to strengthen our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We need to be thinking about God with us so we can reduce our own stress. This in turn will help with the stress level of those around us. What are you thinking about? Can you reduce the stress by changing your thoughts? Can you help someone else to reduce stress?