"How best can I take care of myself?"

For those of us with an elderly parent/s dealing with the challenges of their deteriorating health and shifting needs can be overwhelming – as we cope with our own issues. I have just moved my mother to a care facility in a city nearby and I am preparing for a move, myself. At times I feel like I’m juggling 6 or 7 plates in the air and trying to prevent them from crashing to the ground! I was talking about this recently with a friend who is experiencing a lot of intensity in his life, too, and I told him one of my strategies for staying sane (!) When I’m feeling overwhelmed and ready for a meltdown I stop and ask myself, “How best can I take care of myself in this moment?” Sometimes it means addressing a task on my “to do” list. Sometimes it means making a cup of tea and taking half an hour to read a book. Other times I need to reach out to a friend for a walk or a hug. I am careful to avoid distractions such as turning to shopping, alcohol or over-eating which take my mind off my overwhelm but do not truly serve me in a healthy way.

How do you deal with overwhelm? What are your favourite ways of taking care of yourself? Please share your stories!

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