By, Lindsay Hopper, Launch Manager Age Without Borders
When someone you love gets injured, or falls ill, everything stops. If you’ve had little kids you know the stress of having to take the day off of work or schedule last-minute care for a sudden fever or cough. But what about when something bigger happens, say with your aging parents, a dear friend, a spouse or a child?
In a moment, they are the only thing that matters. Everything else gets put on the back burner so you can be there to take care of them; work, plans, relationships, self-care all come to a standstill. Sometimes the situation is temporary, an intense period that comes, resolves and then you move on, other times, it seems to go on indefinitely; plane rides every month or two to check in on your aging parents, paid caregivers coming and going as they care for your husband, so much so that your house doesn’t even feel like your home anymore, plus are those caregivers even doing a good job? Frustrations rise within the family as everyone tries to manage care with their own idea of what’s best.
Your time is stretched thin, your patience is unraveling at both ends, and your own health starts to pay the price. Burnout sets in, you begin to feel like your life is falling apart, plus you’re not even doing that great of a job at caring for your person who needs you so much, you think, they deserve so much more.
I’m going to stop you right there – yes, If you haven’t already, you will undoubtedly, stumble into the role of a caregiver, and yes, caregiving is always challenging but you have more help and support than you ever imagined.
Yes, caregiving burnout is very real. But you’re NOT alone. You have resources in your community, both professional and personal, at your disposal that you can’t begin to imagine.
Age Without Borders has been working for over six months preparing a Global Caregiving Summit. I hope you’ll join us, you can get more info and a FREE pass here. You will find a true community there of like minded folks- from industry leaders to everyday friends and family like you and I – who have all been profoundly impacted by caregiving, and have innovated new solutions, tools, resources and inspiration.
That launches on Saturday, but for today, I have one amazing mindshift for you that can change everything.
It’s simple; love yourself exactly where you are, and love “your person” wherever they are. Sometimes when burnout sets in, the sick or injured person we normally adore, who needs us, relies on us and trusts us more than anybody else in their time of need, starts to get, well, annoying. Don’t worry, that is just the burnout talking! Burnout will tell you all kinds of things like, you’re not doing a good enough job, the person you’re caring for is needy, unappreciative, or not trying hard enough, the doctors and nurses and other caring professionals aren’t on your side or just don’t get it. I hear you. Anytime you hear burnout chatting in your head, and you start wanting people or circumstances to “Just be different already!” take a breath, then repeat after me “I love you exactly where you are.”
Now, objectively, what you’re observing is probably accurate, you’re not imagining things! Trust that what you observe is real. But, before you rampage or fall into an emotional puddle, (as burnout will have you do) take a minute, breathe, connect to your heart and love. If for just one moment, love yourself exactly where you are, don’t ask yourself to change. Love your person exactly where they are. Love your care team exactly where they are. Recognize we are all on a journey. None of us have arrived yet and this very experience is transforming us all, inviting us to become bigger, fuller, more complete versions of the person we’re growing into.
Take this moment to love them as they are… then take action. Trust me, this one shift will change the results you get when you do make the phone call, have the tough conversation or make the decision about treatment or choose a care facility.
Caregiving is a fire, you never walk through it unchanged. It is a catalyst for change on the deepest levels. You are being called. We are here to help.
Join us, starting this Saturday, January 20th. You can lean on us, we are here to support you in your caregiving journey past, present and future. We’ve assembled 50+ world leaders in caregiving to speak in their particular area of expertise. You’ll get support for your burnout, help to find the right facility and care team for your person, the inside scoop on new policy and how to take advantage of it, and activities, exercises and inspiration to help you connect with your person as a person, not just a care recipient.
These leaders and luminaries in caregiving have done seriously amazing things; we have United Nations speakers, policy influencers, a Pulitzer prize winning poet, as well as real caregivers who will share the story of their transformational journey with caregiving. Again, you can find all the details, and sign up for a FREE pass, here.
I look forward to seeing you at the summit! Here’s to you and your caregiving transformation.
PS Join us, starting this Saturday, January 20th, for our Global Caregiving Summit. Over the week we’ll hear from over 50 speakers who will share tools and inspiration to prevent and treat caregiving burnout. Register for a FREE pass here.
Lindsay Hopper is our Launch Manager here at AWB. She helps our big ideas get out to the people who need them most. To learn more about what Lindsay’s up to, visit her and say “Hi!”at lhopper.com.