Empowering Yourself: Respite For The Caregiver

Life, at times, can seem a day-to-day struggle. While we all dream of doing certain things, it seems we never have enough control of our lives to make time for the things that fulfill us and give us enjoyment. Much of that comes from a lack of empowering yourself.

Empowering Yourself Through Respite

Empowerment simply means feeling strong and in control of your life. It’s easier said than done. But a few simple steps can help set your feet on the path to empowerment. Consider the following.

Take Time For Respite

The first hurdle to overcome on the road to empowering yourself is to know you deserve time for respite, reflection and rest. Short, consistent breaks can help you feel more empowered and in control of your life. Hope Grows offers short respites that include horticultural therapy – a way to reconnect with nature through the process of gardening and caring for plants. They are offered in a variety of ways, including one-hour weekly classroom projects, themed programs that involve brief eight-week sessions scheduled all year around and other ongoing programs.

Hope Grows also will take programs to a variety of care facilities. These include adult day centers and senior centers, assisted living and long-term homes, hospice and palliative care, physical rehabilitation and mental health facilities and the Veterans Administration.

Let Go Of Guilt

Whatever guilt you might feel, and whatever you feel you might have done in the past that made you deserve that guilt, are all water under the bridge. Living in the present is what leads to empowerment, not dwelling on the past or feeling anxious about the future. Many also are kept back by the feeling they shouldn’t take time for reflection or respite. Sometimes it helps to write down why you feel guilty, then rip it up and throw it away.

Know Yourself

Rather than get caught up in day-to-day activities, take the time to list the activities that truly bring you joy, peace and empowerment. This can range from exercise to reading a book or working in the garden. Whatever it is, make sure to build time into your daily and weekly schedule to do the things you enjoy. It’s an empowering practice.

Remove The “Shoulds”

Everyone does this. “I should spend more time with my family.” “I should take that afternoon off and enjoy some free time.” All the “shoulds” can pile up when we focus only on doing tasks and not taking time to enrich our own lives. A great first step is realizing when you say “should” and whether it’s something you need to do, not just think about.

Set Personal Goals

We all know when we are not taking care of ourselves well enough. It’s important to think about the issues above and also to set goals for ourselves that are positive and attainable. Many people end up never setting real goals or being too vague in their goal-setting. Empower yourself by taking the time to set down goals you want to accomplish for yourself. It gives your life purpose and direction, two things that can make you feel much more powerful and in control.

Keep these simple but powerful steps in mind as you seek to become empowered in your own life. Remember that only you can do these things for yourself – and that you are worth taking the time to do them.

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