It’s okay. Listen you are human; you have a lot on your plate taking care of someone else or sometimes two family members. You are running around picking up prescriptions, buying their groceries, reading mail, paying their bills, organizing their prescriptions, making sure they take the medicine, cook, clean the house and sometimes clean the family member.
It can get overwhelming and depressing especially when you have to go home and make sure your own house is in order. The loss of your personal time and basic rest can cause anyone to lose-their-cool. There are no secrets to avoiding anger while caregiving. The thing is; you don’t want to end up repeating the cycle that’s not good for you physically or your family member(s).
When you get angry; ask yourself why am I angry? If something is not working; take a step back to see how it can work better for you (the caregiver) and how it can benefit the family member.
If you’re feeling angry from being overworked; ask for help. I know I sound like a broken record, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help. You are one-person; get over the superhero complex; know your caregiving kryptonite and learn to take a break.
Taking a break from caregiving is not a sin. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about the family member or members. You will be surprised how much better your mind will work when you look at the problem from a different angle.
What ways have you discovered that helped you to deal with the caregiving anger dilemma? Let me know in the comment box.
When you think about the all the genres of music there are in the world; which would you pick as your personal favorite(s)?
My personal favorites are Gospel and Jazz. When the two are combined; I am in listener’s heaven. That is why I enjoy hosting Sunday Morning Rise radio program on WNUR; a radio station located on Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus. I love what I do because being a program host has its advantages.
Let’s go back to the first time I was introduced to Gospel Jazz it was through my friend’s father. Their house was the teen hangout; our parents knew that we were safe; so us being there was never an issue. The hosts were welcoming and for some reason enjoyed having a house full of teens. We’d gather in the dining room to play board games, card games, talk, and of course eat. My friend’s father was always in the living room listening to records and watching our every move. My friend’s mother was in the kitchen watching us from her angle. We were well-supervised.
It was common to have their father’s music selections playing in the background. One particular night he was playing a song by Billie Holiday; for some reason the song caught my attention. I went into the living room and asked about the song. He showed me the vinyl’s album cover; we talked about how she looked, but the thing that stood out (to me) was how she sounded. He listened to my interpretation of Billie’s song and said; “let me play something else for you; I think you can handle it.” I sat on the floor close to the speakers and watched as he carefully slipped the album out of the jacket and placed the album on the turn table and gently placed the needle onto the album.
The moment the song began to play the love was immediate. The song was familiar, but new to me at the same time. I closed my eyes and could see the music. I asked him what the name of the song was; he told me it was “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane and that it was a Gospel Jazz song. I was hooked and never looked back. I will share more of my young journey into Gospel Jazz next time.
If you want to hear “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane look it up on Google and let me know if you like the song.
There is something about being in the house when it’s raining that I never got over as a child. I love the sound, the smell and even the noise. To me, it’s peaceful and romantic except when I have to go out in the rain. Then it’s a different story.
I’m not a fan of getting wet especially my shoes and feet (to me, that’s the worst). I give up on my hair because I know it will fall flat; then balloon into something only a professional can repair. Traffic is a mess; I am uncomfortable. What happened to the wonder and splendor? It’s the same rain I had so much affection for; why am I not enjoying the moment in the rain?
That’s the way it is with life’s situations. It’s better (for me) to watch and quarterback from a safe place where I won’t really have to touch or deal with what’s going on because it’s messy; I don’t feel warm, dry or safe. Being in the rain is uncomfortable and challenging. Is it the same for you?
I have to work when I go out into the rain. Watching where I step, being mindful of not only my movement, but someone else’s movement there is responsibility when I’m in the rain. I will question “why am I out here?” I scold myself “I should have done this when the weather was nicer.” When I am about to give up and into my emotions the rain stops. I quiet my thoughts and move on with the day’s tasks.
When I get home it starts to rain again; I’m relaxed, quiet, warm, dry and safe. My hair is still a mess, but that’s okay; “it will be fine;” I tell myself because it’s just something about the rain.
There is no denying it any longer. Now that summer is over; school, home and work lives are in full-swing. Some mornings run smoother than others; whether you are a family or single. Everyone has struggle mornings. Here’s a quick way to get fed and out the door.
You already have everything you need. Here’s how to prep:
Clean Mason jars.
Typically, Sunday night prep for the week works well for my house. Once the kitchen is clean; get out the different cereals and Mason jars. Fill the jars with the different cereals and before you know it breakfast is prepped and ready for the week. All you need to do is to add milk, spoons or bowls.
Feeling fancy? Let’s amp it up a bit if you or someone in your family has more time to eat add a quick piece of toast and fruit.
The thing I love most about this idea is that it seems crazy, but it works. Go ahead give it a try and let me know how it works out for you and your family’s busy mornings.
Every morning just as the day is dawning. I open the front door to look out; not really expecting to see anything in particular. It is my way of starting the day knowing that I am grateful extremely grateful to see another day. It doesn’t mean that the day will run as smoothly as I wish or that I will get everything I want or done on my checklist during the day. It simply means that I choose gratitude every single day. Sometimes it lasts throughout the day and other times it is a struggle to stay positive, but I know a new day is dawning and I get to choose gratefulness for another day.
You knew it was coming (no pun intended). Let’s dive in: when you are a caregiver of a family member or members wanting to be intimate with your mate is the last thing on your mind.
A majority of the time the caregiver is thinking “please, Lord, not tonight; I just want to shower and go to sleep.” Although, the caregiver may not say it verbally to his or her mate the sentiment is there, but the mind is not connected in that area enough to allow the caregiver to want physical intimacy.
How can you clear your mind over things like their medicines, their appointments, their insurance battles, their needs, their needs and their needs? It is draining and if you’re not careful it can and will drain your desire because let’s face it; as a caregiver you see too much and the last thing you want to see at the end of the day is another one.
Here’s my advice to bring intimacy back into your life. When you go home; you are home. That’s your time to do whatever you want to do with your life. Turn the caregiver switch off. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but the more you practice the better you will become turning off the switch.
Take a bath or shower to wash away the day
Brush your teeth it seems silly, but you will be surprised how your mood lifts as well as your confidence
Make the bed
Put on some nice music
Go fancy with the meal even if it’s take-out serve it just as if you made it yourself
Sit with your mate; have a conversation (nothing serious, just carefree banter)
Flirt with your mate during the meal
Give your mate hugs and gentle kisses on the cheek and neck
Sit on the sofa and watch television while holding hands
Finally, go for broke! Tell your mate that you’re still in love and want to make love! Even if you don’t feel like it; fake it until to make it!
I found something I thought I lost nearly 30 years ago; almost to the day! It is amazing; it is my “Faith Study Guide.” I remember I began writing it for a teaching series and for my future magazine I was planning when I was in the pastorate, but I never had the opportunity to teach it in church. When it was nearing completion everything blew up in my life. My marriage ended, I was lied on, my ministry ended, friends chose sides, job gone, car repossessed, house gone, and monies were gone seemly overnight. Talk about needing faith during that situation (teachers teach thyself). I was an absolute heartbroken mess! The icing on the cake was when my apartment caught fire and I lost the last remaining evidence of physical wealth you know (designer clothes, shoes, purses, furniture, and computer with all my writings). Your girl was stripped bare! I was in survival mode and yes, I was angry real angry, but I’m much better now (ha)!
How did that Faith Study Guide survive all those catastrophes? How did it end up in my box of “old stuff?” I thought I lost it, but my Faith and Faith Study Guide survived to be printed 30 years later in FLM Magazine! Wow, talk about full circle! Below is an excerpt (may not be reprinted without my expressed written consent)
Can you think of a moment in your life when you didn’t hear music playing the background
I can’t either; every joyful moment, every sad moment, and even during the bored teenage years music was playing. There were times it seems as if the singers were looking into my window, singing my feelings even when I wasn’t sure of what I was feeling at the time.
How many of you out there are willing to admit when your favorite song played you grabbed the nearest object that quickly became your microphone. You sang the song better than anyone in your imagination (being on key didn’t matter); it was about the feeling of freedom and being transported to a different place. Those of us who are of a certain age will know when we were younger; we had to use our imaginations while singing along. We didn’t have to use our imaginations if we were fortunate enough to catch our favorite singers on variety shows (back-in-the-day); and shows that kept our faith elevated like Jubilee Showcase (how old and I?) that’s not the topic. We are talking about the transformative power music can have on us. Do you remember when music videos started? We no longer had to use our imaginations. The music was right before our eyes.
According to my mother music is and has been in my life since conception; (I have always thought the last part was too much information). It came as no surprise to her when in my later years I became a radio DJ; she looked at me and said “you are your father’s daughter.” Meaning, I inherited my love of music from my father. I enjoy the process of programming; interacting with artists and listeners. Sharing new music on New Music Sunday, walking down memory lane with sweet soulful gospel music, and pulling out the best gospel jazz I can get my hands on. I still get the jitters the night before my program; I’m almost certain that I will continue to get excited before a program. I’m looking forward to sharing music with you on Music Monday. Every Monday I will share new music as well as lifelong favorites. My most recent program was dedicated to the music memory of Aretha Franklin. You can catch my radio show live Sundays at 6:00 am CST on WNUR www.wnur.org and rebroadcasts on Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/wendy-leighton/
How do you silence the outside noise that interferes with your life? How do you silence the noise in your head?
The noise level in our culture is a bit much at times. Current events are noisy, the news cycles are noisy, our work lives and co-workers are noisy, and let’s not forget that our loving families are noisy.
There are so many distractions in our culture today that are designed to “take your mind off of it for a while;” but you’re really substituting one level of noise for another. How will your faith survive all the noise?
This Faithful Friday let’s discover a few fun ways to maintain our faith when the noise wants to takeover.
Tell the noise to leave a message: you don’t have to listen to everything that comes your way. You don’t have to bury your head in the sand either, but you have the option to choose when you want to listen to outside noise.
Think about the kitty’s litterbox and what goes into it; if the noise is on that level…well you know what to do!
Take a wonderful bath!
Have some astonishing sex (with your spouse); leave your mark on his or her world! My husband loves number four; when I am stressed and searching for a quiet space he is one happy dude. If I do it right. He’s quiet for the rest of the week. I’m almost certain he can see God and his faith is renewed (ha)!
Go for a walk; log some miles on that fancy Fitness Watch. I did that recently and it was amazing. I had forgotten how nice it was to take a simple walk in nature and pray. My faith was renewed, my mind was clear, and it felt good.
It’s Friday. Enjoy the weekend, keep the faith, and block out the noise.
I asked for help. I had no other choice, but to call in the reserves from my hospital bed. They came through. I was and still am eternally grateful for those beautiful souls who came to the rescue.
Listen, if you are a caregiver build a team with family members. Create schedules; create a phone-tree. Using today’s technology you can have a team assembled and reachable in an emergency or when you simply need to take a break (everyone needs to take a break it is not a sin). Of course, some family members will not want to do the daily tasks, but it is important that you have people that are willing help when you need help. Did I say help enough times? Let me say it again, ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness; asking for help does not mean you can’t handle caregiving. It means you are human. You are one person. You cannot take care of other people and not take care of yourself. Remember from the last post “you have to put the oxygen mask on first, before you can help the person next to you.”
If you are overwhelmed and family members are unwilling to help there are agencies that can cover for you while you take a break. Go to https://www.aarp.org/caregiving they have great information and tools to help you get started building your network. In addition, check into your family member’s insurance. Just know that insurances vary, but they do have relationships with home care agencies that can help you when you need help.
I’m still recovering; I still have a lot on my plate caring for my mom and brother. It stretches beyond making sure they are bathed, fed, and medicated. I still have to buy groceries, get prescriptions filled, take them to doctor appointments, cook, and clean; but I’m not alone (not anymore). I learned the hard-way; I have help. Things are not perfect and I’m okay with that; I don’t try to micromanage how things are done when a family member pitches in; I let them run the show. They are in charge during that time not me. I know they know what times meals are eaten and they have medication schedules. It is not easy letting go, but I do; because I need to breath.