Gifts from the Frontlines...
For those who show up...however they can for love
The amazing thing about being an author is to see the progress that your book is making. It is making its way into the world. It offers the notion that we can change how we do caregiving.
It's a big order... to care for yourself while you are caring for a loved one who has fallen ill. Most of us don't practice resilience but (with luck) restoration and reconstruction at the end of the day...or week or month.
It takes a toll. It's traumatic and it can make you resilient; post traumatic growth is possible. I offer my rules as gifts to you, those fourty-four million Americans who are trying to navigate this tricky shoreline.
Check it out on Amazon. (Search for EM Hager)
Why One of the first questions I ask of any caregiver is:
Some evolutionary biologists are speculating that the purpose of sleep (a TedX talk by Jeff Iliff) is to take out the trash—to clean your brain of plaques. (Yes, that would be the same brain garbage which seems to be causing dementia…)
It's not our fault.
We are only trying to get ahead—like good Americans. We learned sleep deprivation early, as teenagers and still teach it now to our youth. The NY Times (9/14/2017 The Case for a Later Start to the School Day) reported that teens are sleep deprived and it has consequences. Several national studies have recommended a later start time for schools so the kids can get their 9 to 10 hours of recommended sleep. While it makes economic sense (would add $18K to each student's eventual lifetime earnings and $83 billion to the economy in ten years), it hasn’t happened and probably won’t. (Hey, their parents have to get to work…)
Real wealth is a good night's sleep, indeed.
The lack of even one night’s sleep makes us:
What to do? In the Upward Spiral by neuroscientist, Alex Korb we must
· 1. Improve ‘sleep hygiene’
· 2. Deal with our anxieties and stress
Stress we know about...caregiving gives you a black belt in stress. I recommend a spiritual practice of eight things which I will cover in the future blog posts (and the Field Guide which will be published in later 2017).
Its not even as bad a flossing. All you do is edit what potentially interferes with
Let your own senses guide you. As you age, your sleep needs are changing too – you don’t need as much sleep as you did as a teenager but the true measure is how do you feel?
Caregiving and sleep
You need sleep to caregive.
Did you get enough sleep? It is the best of questions to answer. It’s your life to be lived.