Hospital Life – The Parent caring “Yo-Yo” effect

It had been a crazy couple of weeks for me. I had thought that through it all, I would have found time for myself ! Well sadly, I did  not. I had very tight schedules with many crazy deadlines to meet. I also had early mornings, late nights and everything in between. What I needed was some me-time but that was impossible to get. I used to be able to steal this me-time within the chaotic days but not these past few weeks. I could neither consistently put down as much as a scribble on paper nor could I even go for a walk. It was absolutely chaotic and left me feeling very messed me up!

I always feel that we have it in us as humans find deeper sense in our lives by engaging our hands and feet. I know that it sounds silly but somehow by engaging these two parts of our anatomy to varying degrees and at different times, we secure some time within the nearly impossible schedules we have as parent carers to be by ourselves and therein lies the hope of some sanity for us.

The more we are able to steal this me time, the more possible it will be for us to create more order and gain more control over the rest of our day and hopefully our lives. With our hands, we write, colour, sew, do the washing and so on. With our feet, we simply walk (notice that I did not say run because that may be stretching it too far for already exhausted carers like us!). Those of us  who can perform these two activities nee to pause now because there lies one thing to feel very thankful and fortunate for. Do you know why I begged you to pause? Well, It’s because if you are a parent carer like me, you will know that within our chaotic lives, it can be nearly impossible to ever find something to feel fortunate about.

It is during these seemingly mundane activities that I find for example that it is possible for me to steal some of this me-time.  That alone time can be 5 mins or less. It just allows you organise your thoughts, make plans  or simply stay quiet. This me time does not necessarily mean that you have to be physically alone to enjoy it, you can still grab it even during activities by shutting everything out and relaxing your self even for as few as a few minutes at a time. Such peace and serenity can be all you need in several bursts throughout your day to restore some calmness and orderliness to different parts of your upsey, downsey or what I like to see as the yo-yo emotions that sits within most of us carers.

So for example, a typical day in a carer’s life may start with needing to do administer medicines and give the child a wash. As a carer, you can practice some relaxation by taking deep breathes as you perform these simple activities.

Time is one thing that is precious and never in abundance especially where carers’ needs are concerned. It is the most sought after companion that is never accommodating to us. So one helpful way to create time for us amidst our busy lives is learning to make that time within the activities we perform. Learning to take deep breathes even as we perform all our activities can drastically improve our well being. Here are some tips that I practice and find useful:

  • Multi-tasking is good but the downside is that it can leave you stressed.
  • Break down all the tasks for the day into segments before working through them.
  • Reduce your self exertion by performing and completing the task(s) only a few at a time.
  • Remember to breathe and focus your thoughts on each task(s) you perform. This makes you perform them better with more focus and stops your mind from being overwhelmed by everything outside the task at hand.
  • You can sit still in time clusters. So throughout the day, you can sit for 3 mins in every 1-2 hrs just catching your breathe.
  • When you start to get worried and stressed, writing your thoughts in a book can help declutter your mind.
  • In the end, what you may find is a more relaxed you amidst your day.

There are many other ways that parents find to cope through the stress of caring for their children. As long as the method is safe and the end result is some level of calmness and stress relief to that parent, then fire away! Every parent will find their own way in the end. No one has any formula but hopefully hearing about different strategies adopted by different parents will help you formulate your perfect method.

Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series.

Photo credit: Pixabay



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