On the heels of last week’s invitation to press the “pause” button to reflect upon how your first half of 2019 went, let’s prepare for your summer vacation in a different way.
In 2018, I urged you to consider how much of your precious holidays you choose to devote to care-giving responsibilities out of obligation or long-standing unconscious family patterns. I still do. What we’re going to add today is a focus on three important sectors – your pleasure, self-care and personal growth.
Before anything else, get out a calendar. Deliberately plot out the fun activities you plan to enjoy alone and/or with friends. Notice I did not say with your family – immediate or certainly extended. What? You mean you’re actually suggesting I take time just for me? How selfish is that? If you conclude that scheduling above all else what you define as fun is self-indulgent, then best you read the next paragraph right away. You’re in worse shape than I thought.
With caregivers, it cannot apparently be stated often or strongly enough that self-care is neither selfish nor luxurious. It’s a necessity! This is especially true when you’re the product of Un-cope-able Parents. Here’s the proof. If we asked how much on a scale of 1 to 10 you want to spend time with them during your average two weeks off, what would we find? Is your answer in the negative integers? All the more reason to create fun! See the first point.
Now, on this suggestion, I need to be careful to not impose my own priorities. I recognize I am very high on the scale of those who derive nourishment from reading, journaling and solo learning-oriented pursuits. So, let’s draw from the accepted Coaching wheel that cites Learning & Growth as one of 8 sectors denoting a balanced life. Personally, I count reading a magazine associated with a hobby as an example. What do you seek to learn more about?
I certainly realize the above might seem like a tall order. It’s probably why colleagues who recently ran a 5-day challenge presented their caregiver action items as “baby steps”. We all recognize you feel like you have no time!
To help you release such old belief systems, you may want to check out my coaching and self-study package at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/product/nurturing-self-burnt-caregivers-burden-relief/