UNPLUG – Why Caregivers Need Respite

Caregiver Help Photo of 3-year-old Leah in a corn fieldCaregivers need respite like they need air. It’s easy to get tied up in meeting the needs of care receivers and forget all about the importance of self care.

I’ve spent the last three weeks at my computer with my brain was tied up in knots. Yesterday morning I unplugged from from my work so Alex and I could accompany our three-year-old granddaughter on a pre-school field trip to a pumpkin patch. We witnessed her excitement on a hay-ride to an apple orchard and her glee as she picked an apple for each of us. We laughed as she lifted one pumpkin after another until she found the one that was just right. But the thing that was most fascinating to her, was what we found in the corn maze.

I said, “Leah, would you like to see what’s hiding underneath these shucks?” She was interested, so I pulled back the husk expecting to see even rows of yellow corn. Instead I revealed a very fat, very green worm. I squealed in disgust. Leah squealed in delight. We drew a crowd of other 3 and 4-year-olds who were mesmerized with our discovery.

When I came back from our little outing I was refreshed. Unplugging from my work allowed my mind to rest. When I went back to computer my mind was open and I was finally able to understand and apply the new technology I’d been struggling with all week.

Today I hope you’ll find a way to unplug from your caregiving duties. Spend a little time outdoors, and if you can look at the world through the eyes of a child or a pet, I suspect you may also come home with a clearer mind and a lighter heart.