Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Giving the best of me will always equal giving the best to you! This week I have been taking a massive dose of my own medicine. My health is first and foremost again. It’s true, when you are a carer and have so much on the go it is easy to lose sight of yourself, how you are feeling, your own health (physical and mental). So quickly can aches, pains and niggles start to rear their heads. We go on, ignore the subtle signs from our bodies and ‘get on with the job at hand’. I have gone from being in a rather active occupation (personal trainer) to sitting for long long periods behind the computer, especially when the kids are at school or Matthew is having healthier periods. I became less active due to an Achilles injury in both the left and right legs which led to poorer food choices too. Being less than mindful of what is happening for me and the creeping in of old habits has led to a number of issues. Some include: Neck and back pain, pain in my hip joints and in my feet Increase in weight – not just a few kilo’s either Less quality sleep due to later nights or ‘fitting in the work when I can’ More glasses of wine & coffee Increased tiredness and decrease in energy levels Poorer food choices for a ‘quick fix’ The list goes on. I am sharing this because my message to you is strong: ‘Take care of your own health and wellbeing otherwise you simply cannot give the best of you to...
Mama You Are Not Alone!

Mama You Are Not Alone!

You are not alone. Being a carer as well as a parent has got to be one of the loneliest jobs in the World. I lost it this week. Completely. Totally. I’m talking crazy-person, screaming type of losing it. I’d finally hit rock bottom and knew with certainty that I’d failed as a mother. I couldn’t do it anymore. I have tried so hard, fought so hard for my kids, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had completely and utterly failed. I’ve never felt so alone. How could I reach out for help and admit that at this very moment, I hated being a mother? I could barely believe that I had thought it – let alone admit it to anyone. The fear of judgement and the hatred of myself was tearing me apart. I crawled into bed and didn’t move for hours. How had it gotten to this point? Sure, my kids have special needs and require a lot of patience, help and support… but others seem to handle it with aplomb. Why is it that I can’t handle it? Why do my kids manage to trigger my anxiety and send me into a depressive state, in just a single moment? Why was I the only mother who couldn’t cope with what I’d been dealt? Why was I such a failure? I finally got the answer to my question the next morning. In a heartfelt conversation with my ex-husband, I admitted how I felt. I let it all out – and braced myself for the judgement that was sure to follow. Instead, he admitted that he...
8 Reasons Why You Could Be In Overwhelm & How To Overcome The Trap

8 Reasons Why You Could Be In Overwhelm & How To Overcome The Trap

The Overwhelm Trap! Often as parents and carers, we are so busy coordinating and caring; that we aren’t mindful of our own behaviours and emotions. Or if we are, we attempt to suppress and ignore them. With strict care regimes and the necessities of treatments, medications, appointments, specialists, therapies, endless paperwork and advocacy; there just doesn’t seem to be much time left for anything else! Over time, we inevitably come to accept the emotional ups and downs and take them as a ‘given’. We convince ourselves that this is just ‘life’. We find ourselves putting our needs last and accept the fact that what we want and need doesn’t matter anymore; or that no one understands.  It’s so easy to arrive in this place, and it can sneak up on you without you even realising it. Are you caught in the trap? Have you been struggling with any of the following? Decline in physical or mental health Trying to be everything to everybody Uncertainty over the future Little or no support from family and friends Adjusting to the perceptions of your role as a carer Guilt over trying to find time for yourself, or not finding any time at all Financial difficulty, or Finding the right care, resources and support? If you have answered “Yes” to any of these, then you could be headed down the road of overwhelm and heading straight towards burnout. But, here is the good news: it doesn’t have to be that way! Be aware of the signs and symptoms In my experience, characteristics of overwhelm and burnout are different for everybody, but can include: Tiredness/lethargy...
Why self-care is not about you!

Why self-care is not about you!

“…okay if I don’t have space in my cup then I’m not actually able to serve these people, my children, the people that I’m caring for, the way that I want to and I need to” Emma, Tree House Family Counselling     Personally, I believe that the term “self-care” is thrown around so much in the health & wellbeing circles that it has, for the most part, lost its meaning and impact. If I were to ask you to think about the following questions “does self-care mean anything to you” or “what does self-care mean to you?”  What conjures up in your mind?  Does your mind wander to bubble baths, glasses of bubbles, massages, long lunches and day-spa’s?  OR Do your eyes glaze over and your mind shut off?! What conjures up in your mind?  Does your mind wander to bubble baths, glasses of bubbles, massages, long lunches and day-spa’s?  OR Do your eyes glaze over and your mind shut off?! OR Do your eyes glaze over and your mind shut off?! Do your eyes glaze over, roll into the back of your head and your mind shut off?! As much as those luxuries would be super welcome in my life, are they realistic and achievable every day for most of us? NO. The term “Self-Care” by its nature suggest’s it is about “self” but in a caregiving context and even as a person who has responsibility for nurturing & caring for other humans it is anything but. As a carer or parent, you are on call 24/7.  The responsibility is enormous and the stakes are high. What happens...