Saturday, October 23, 2010

When Aging Parents Make Us "Crazed," Suggestions for Regrouping

Sometimes--more often than sometimes with older parents--stuff happens; you feel used up, there's nothing left to give or share.  Who takes care of the caregiver?
Perhaps we need to look for ways to do it for ourselves.  Can we turn the "on" switch off for a time and regain our equilibrium?
The following suggestions have worked for me and for others I know.  Basically they provide a time out when our mind can go into neutral and our thoughts float free. For multi-taskers, health benefits accompany some of the suggestions below.
  • I like to walk on the high school track near my home.  8 times around (2 miles) definitely does it. The repetition of walking clears my head, untangles tangled thoughts that seemingly have no answers. Suddenly problems fall into place and I have answers and a plan of action. (Obviously walking has an added bonus: good exercise.  While it may seem daunting when fatigue prevails, the repetition necessitated by walking on a track never fails to clarify problems and illuminate plans of action.)
  • Some people relax in the shower or tub. Their mind floats free and they have the experience described above.
  • Others say mindless hobbies can allow your mind to float free---ie. knitting, (one person who used to hook rugs tried it again with the hoped for results), jogging, weeding the garden, playing piano...
  • And sometimes a short break for something pleasurable, promotes uncluttered turning off, then restarting the computer.
When you need an uplifting, heartening short break, click on the link below, watch to the end. This older parent--an 80-year-old great-grandmother actually--seems to have aged well indeed. The video will take you out of yourself; you'll be able to smile, relax, and regroup for a few minutes.  And isn't that necessary at certain times as we try to help our parents age well.

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