Finding Your Joy!
Author: Shannon Miller
By guest blogger Tammy Badida
Being a caretaker is an emotional roller coaster for sure. Personally, I felt the emotional fatigue was much more draining than the physical.
At the end of some days I could not even put a thought together. My mind was flooded with the well-being of my loved one, our future, and the kids. While this is normal in the process of everyday caretaking, it can become unhealthy and often times lead to depression and anxiety if you let these thoughts consume you. You will have to find some ways to occasionally release the thoughts and relax your mind.
What I learned through my own journey is that it was okay and also very therapeutic to cry. I would usually let go of the tears in the evening hours when everyone was already in bed asleep. Sometimes I would cry with my friends, but for some reason I felt like I had to stay stoic and strong in front of my husband and son. I know a lot of caretakers feel that same way. It is important to be able to find your time and place, where you can let go and let the tears flow freely. Many times I would feel a sense of relief after a good cry.
As with any challenge you face in your life, there are good and bad days. On the bad days, I used to try and find what I would call my “nuggets” of joy. Sometimes they would be as big as receiving unexpected, good news from a doctor’s visit and sometimes they would be as small as five minutes of quietness while the sun was shining down on my face. It didn’t matter what form they came in; I was on the daily hunt for my nuggets. I became determined to find some joy because I knew this would eventually help me and those around me.
I encourage you to look for and find your own “nuggets,” particularly on the bad days. Find some good stable, emotional support. Surround yourself with people that want to lift you up and encourage you daily. I easily became very guarded with my time, and I had to be careful not to isolate myself too much. Share your joyful daily finds with your loved ones, and it will bring them some much needed encouragement as well. You never know, they may have a few of their own to share with you too! The times that my son and I were most joyful and content were the times that my husband’s smile was the biggest. I hope you will share some of your “nugget” stories with me.
“Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.”- Helen Keller
I hope you will be back for next Tuesday’s article: “I’m Scared”
Article by Tammy Badida