Episode 42: The New Year Can Be Annoying

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You made it through the year! Congratulations

I know it might not feel like a time to celebrate for you. Maybe 2020 was one of the worst years of your life and you don’t see how this year will be any better.    

Even if for just a quick second, congratulate yourself for making it through. Take a moment to look back at what you survived, fought for and learned. 

As a caregiver the beginning of the year can be annoying. Everyone talking about resolutions and how they are going to change their lives. While you’re just trying to keep up with how to get your spouse to doctors appointments during covid.  

Side note here - I know I’ve said it before, but PLEASE go to your appointments. I know for a fact that Cancer does not wait and neither do other conditions and diseases.  

You might find yourself stuck in conversations with people about how they are going to eliminate things from their lives so they can be healthier and feel better. And that just leaves you feeling like crap because you don’t have the energy to do any of those things and even if you could you don’t really see why you would. Don’t feel bad. It’s always a good thing to try to make your life better but doing it by eliminating and denying yourself things isn’t always the best way to go. I’ve worked in gyms for many years and I can tell you at least 75% of those people give up by valentines day.  

I find that not only the beginning of the year but multiple times a year it is good to reassess what is going on in my life and find ways to make it better by adding something. Not a resolution where I’m eliminating things but a way to make life better. I take some time to find things I can do for myself. For example. February in the midwest is horrible for me. I am tired of the snow and being stuck indoors plus throw in a couple of dreary days and I’m done. So I add light and fresh air. I use a light therapy light that I bought online on the days there is no sun. On the nice sunny days I make sure to bundle up and step outside. How long I do that all depends on how many degree below zero it is that day. If my nose hair freezes two breaths in I guarantee you it won’t be for long.  

As a caregiver there are many times during the year when I worry more than usual. Before doctors’ visits and scans is one of those times. So I add on time in those days to relax more. Maybe it’s a mid day break to do something fun for me. Sometimes I’ll just sit in a quiet spot of the house and breathe. Other times I’ll veg out on Pinterest or a magazine. I’ll do something that gets my brain to focus on a fun activity instead of worrying about things I have no control over, like test results.  

Maybe I realize I’ve been 80% caregiver and 20% wife. I’ll make sure to spend more time just hanging out with my husband doing things that are fun for both of us together. Maybe we’re both exhausted and yes maybe there is a sink full of dishes but they can wait a while longer and I can lay down next to him and watch a movie.  

Other times I find I’ve become too serious. All the things I’m trying to juggle at the same time are taking up too much headspace and I’m not present at home with my family or even myself. Maybe I’m trying to research a new diagnosis or I’ve been trying to get an appointment made for two days and everything seems to pile up in my head. When I catch that happening everything needs to stop and I do something fun with my family. Most times it’s doing or watching something that makes us all laugh.  

Maybe I have a tension headache. Or my shoulders start to hurt and my body begins to scream at me that it’s had enough of the stress it is under. That’s when I know I have to breathe. It always amazes me how I can go through a day without taking a full breath and how crappy that makes my body feel.  

So where do you start? First you have to find what isn’t feeling right. Once you find it figure out what is negatively impacting your life and find a positive way to counteract that.  

If you’d like help problem solving ways you can take a break from what is stressing you out send me a message and we’ll work on it together.

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