When you think of valuable resources maybe you think of fossil fuel or precious metals. Depending on where you live in the world valuable resources may be water or food. It Western, industrialized nations, the most valuable resource aside from money is time. Have you ever heard someone ask, “How much is your time worth?” Our culture thinks about time constantly; so it shouldn’t be a surprise that time for a caregiver/wellness partner is a valuable resource.
One of the iconic books related to Alzheimer’s Disease is The 36-Hour Day. For many, it has become the guidebook to sanity when it comes to caring for a loved one with dementia or memory loss. The book has been around a long time and has saved the sanity of many a caregiver.
When caring for a loved one with a chronic or life-threatening illness there is so much to do that a couple of extra hours wouldn’t be so bad. In fact, the extra time might even make you feel as if you’re accomplishing a lot of territory. Unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day. It doesn’t matter how much you hope and pray; the day doesn’t get any longer.
Where am I going with all this? Since time is a valuable commodity, it’s important to treat it in that fashion. It may require that you become a bit frugal when doling out time to others. I say this because when push comes to shove, you are in more need of your time than anyone else on the planet. How can you hold back some time during the day or the week just for you. Even if you don’t do anything momentous; having that time for yourself is a life line.
Where’s the catch? It means you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the word “no”. This is probably the hardest word in any language for caregiver, but it’s the equivalent of performing emotional CPR on your soul. It will give you the space to regroup giving you greater ability to tackle all the challenges that come with being a caregiver/wellness partner.
How have you rationed your valuable resource of time? I’d love to hear what you’ve done to take some time for yourself and at the same time you can inspire others to do the same.