Thursday, April 22, 2010


As a caregiver, you've got your Mini-vacations and your Pauses-of-the-Day. Now let's talk about GOTM, the Gift-of-the-Month. This is a break of at least 3 hours, half a day or more, to do something fun, something for yourself. I call this the Gift-of-the-Month, but if you can arrange a morning or an afternoon off during each week, take the opportunity.

A GOTM is an extended breather, time completely away from caregiving.

I do realize that as a caregiver, when you can arrange several hours away, your first thought is to "catch up". There are errands to run, maybe a seminar to attend that will increase your knowledge of your parent's condition and the resources available to you, household tasks you've let fall behind. And if finishing a list of errands relieves your spirit, there's nothing wrong with that.

Just remember the fortifying power of a GOTM that is a complete gift. A gift to you. For you. For no one else.

Remember this the next time someone asks, "Can I help?" or "Can I do anything for you?" or "What would you like for your birthday?"

Be prepared to say, "I'd like you to help me take an afternoon (or a day) off."

Right now, brainstorm a little about what you could do if you had several hours or a full day free. Then you can ask for help in arranging that time off. In the next few posts, we'll talk more about what might be part of those gifted hours.

Blessings on your caregiving!

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