Thursday, January 12, 2012

Take it From this Caregiver: Take a Quick Break

It’s my busy time of year at work and in addition to being busy all day and exhausted by the evening, I’m stressing myself out because my to-do list for what I want to accomplish once I get home from work is several pages long.  I want to write more blog posts and finish a few writing projects.  I have emails to respond to and am not answering them as promptly as I normally do, I’m not as active on the social media sites that I’ve come to use to connect with people with epilepsy or caring for someone with epilepsy or other caregivers ( I think I need a “I Love Twitter” bumper sticker). 

Also on the list is taking care of a few tasks for Robert (such as lighting a fire under New Home to get cable for the television in his bedroom).  Every time I email them about it, they tell me they are “this close” to having it done. 
Two months later . . .

Still, no cable.  I’ve let it slide too long, although part of me was hoping the garage conversion would be done and he wouldn’t need cable over there.  Now that I realize the garage conversion isn’t happening, I can get back to hounding them to get cable so Robert can once again enjoy Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune in his room.

I get stressed out when my to-do list grows.  I also get stressed at work every year at this time (same projects with each new year) but I know the projects will end and the stress will pass (although there are those fleeting moments when I wonder).
I just hope everyone who I’ve snipped at realizes that there is an end in sight and I’ll be back to being nice again.  Soon.   I promise.

Just to cover my bases:  um, sorry to everyone I’ve been snippy with. 
Surprisingly, I’ve been nice to my Hubby who usually gets the brunt of my snippiness.  He should plan to have surgery every year at this time because, obviously, I can’t be mean to someone who’s just had surgery.   (He’s almost completely recovered, by the way). 

My advice to caregivers (working or not) or anyone else who is stressed out is to take a break.  Breathe.  Forgive yourself if you’re not getting as much done as you’d like. 
Maybe even ask for help. 

I actually took my own advice earlier this week and asked for Hubby’s help.   It wasn’t a huge task (taking Robert new glasses because his other pair broke – this must be his 10th pair by now) but it saved me a trip and Robert didn’t have to wait for days for the new glasses.  It may have been minor but I was extremely grateful for the help.
Next up:  Take a break.  Breathe.  Forgive myself for being behind.

I’ll have to work on those.  Right after my projects are done.
(You didn’t really think I’d follow all of my own advice, did you?).  J


Kathy Lowrey said...

Approaches sheepishly with chocolate.

I'm pretty sure the garage conversion (remain calm) took up a LOT of brain space and is just now downsizing so that should clear up some of your brain overload.

We all get busy and quite honestly, I can put myself into caregiver overload to the point of retreat and self preservation. I need optimism and sometimes that's just too hard to find all the time.

You work better under pressure anyway Trish. ;-)

Really happy to hear Hubs is well on the way to a complete recovery YAY!

You two should have a date night and unwind and relax even for just an evening. If you wont take your own advise, how about mine? ;-)

Holds out bag, More candy?

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Kathy, I will take your advice (especially since it comes with chocolate!). :-) I know there's an end in sight and it's amazing how much better one feels once things get crossed off the to-do list! Now, hand over the bag! :-)

Jane said...

Hi Trish:

Kathy, I want some of that chocolate too :o)

Thanks again for another great blog. Sometimes the stress of it all can get overwhelming. I get so stressed and I don't work outside of the home but as Nicole's counselor says I have two full-time jobs which I'm not quite sure what they are.

I hope things slow down for you. I'm sure Kathy is right and you should go on date night with hubby and do something fun. For me since hubby doesn't like going out (he is so antisocial) going out for coffee with a friend is my idea of a good time.

Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers, BHJS
"If you don't like something change it, if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Don't worry, I think there's enough chocolate to go around, Jane! :-) You do have your hands full and you have at least two full time jobs: caring for Nicole, managing all the insurance, meds, appointments, home-schooling Nicole and running a household. That's four full-time jobs by my count! I'll pass the chocolate. . .