This is an excerpt taken from “Nurture Your Soul: The Importance of Self-Care for Caregivers” by Theresa Cloud Eagle Nelson.
Stress is a word that is very prevalent in our vocabulary these days because most people are operating on overdrive. Through the years, I have found a profound hindrance in our society. This behavioral hindrance is that most people do not make nurturing or pampering themselves a necessary part of their lifestyle; particularly caregivers – mothers, dads, nurses, doctors, therapists, volunteers of all sorts and the list continues on. It is so very important that we take time out for ourselves — to relax, rejuvenate, and replenish our bodies, minds and emotions from the challenges and stresses in our lives. We wonder why we have stiff shoulders, headaches, pain in the lower back, pain in the neck, and literally, feeling as if our peace of mind and energy has run away for good. Worst of all, we don’t believe we can do anything about it. The good news is we can! We just have to help our minds and bodies remember what it is like to be peaceful, healthy and whole, without pain or discomfort, and with an abundance of energy.
First Step — Acknowledge we are in need of restoration. We must be mentally prepared to accept the fact that something is out of balance and in-harmony is ruling our lives. No one else can truly relieve the stress we continually endure, but us. By accepting the personal responsibility we have to ourselves, we can begin the journey. Most of us know what we must do, but don’t take the time to even help ourselves. Acknowledgement and acceptance that a condition exists is the first step toward renewal and rejuvenation.
Second Step — Design goals and measures to correct the initial error we made of neglecting our bodies. The initial error of self-neglect allows stress to build in our bodies. Once the unhealthy kind of stress is present, and goes unrecognized and uncorrected our energy vanishes and our health deteriorates. A written solid plan of action allows clarity to be established in our minds. When we have something written down it typically motivates us into action.
Third Step — Put those goal and measures into action. Determining to make a change by putting one foot in front of the other, moving us in to position is proactive. Moving on our plan keeps us on track. Having someone to keep us accountable helps us to succeed in achieving our goals. We are then able to see the light at the end of the tunnel which is our improved health and increased energy.
We all want to have a positive impact. But how can we be effective when there is weakness and sickness in our bodies? When we are in need of restoration or healing of some sort, how can we successfully help anyone else?
The important thing is to do one thing at a time. You didn’t get this way overnight and it will not be resolved overnight. One thing I know for sure is that the Creator desires us to live in good health, totally restored in body, mind, emotions, and spirit. I encourage you to get started today by establishing your plan of action to a healthier life of caregiving.