Care for the Caregiver: Breathe In…Exhale!
I was recently sitting in yet another pre-op room with my daughter, Kaelin, waiting for the umpteenth laser surgery spanning 33 years! Interesting lightbulb moment as on her phone she had a screensaver that said, “Breathe In”. We started talking about the different ways we handle stress and my go-to is to remind myself to “Exhale” because I forget to exhale and usually hold my breath. Interesting how we all respond to life as it ebbs and flows over a lifetime! I believe especially in this day and age of I’m right and you’re wrong culture it’s critical to remember we ARE all individuals and whether you’re one to “Breathe In” or “Exhale” it’s all good unless we can’t accept that individuality or stay stuck in not evolving in our personal growth.
Kaelin has matured into such a remarkable young woman who is eloquent in stating her wants and needs and setting boundaries. It’s been a dance to be sure that we’ve had to practice and execute over the years (sometimes stepping on each other’s toes) as I’ve learned to take a step back and let her take the lead on her healthcare and life needs. Our children and loved ones living with Sturge-Weber syndrome, Birthmarks, and Klippel-Trenaunay remind us every day to live life in the present and to celebrate the least little success or joy. They also remind us to take care of our precious health!
I encourage each of you to be aware of your stress responses and take time to Care for the Caregiver. It’s ok and some would say crucial for you to take care of yourself first to ensure you have enough oxygen to keep everyone else going! The SWF is excited to launch our Care for the Caregiver program this fiscal year and to share with you several wonderful companies and resources that we hope you’ll enjoy and use to nurture yourself. I’d love to also hear from you on what you use or works for you!
Whether your child is a baby or still your baby at 33 years old, it’s the little things that nurture our soul and remind us how blessed we are to be their mama or daddy. This simple single sunflower was a surprisingly thoughtful gift from Kaelin recently after her morning walk and just like the flowers she brought me when she was little, this sunflower warmed my heart and soul! Let’s all commit or recommit to taking good care of ourselves for the long haul and share a sunflower that just might uplift a weary soul and spread some sunshine too!
Faith, Hope, and Love,