Golden Rule of Caregiving

Golden Rule of Caregiving for Everyday Life (Article)

Golden Rule of Caregiving 5 things You Do For YourselfThe Golden Rule of Caregiving is to take care of yourself FIRST so you can take care of your loved one. It sounds selfish, but it is true. This morning I was reading Jack Canfield’s Key to Living the Law of Attraction and came across something that hit me as a principle to live by whether you are a caregiver or not. In the chapter on Emotions it stated, “It is absolutely essential that you find the time to do the things that you love to do and take care of yourself in this way – no matter how busy your life already is.”

Isn’t that what we teach each other as caregivers? Yet it is something we need to apply in all aspects of life. It reminded just how frantic life gets and how people get so caught up in what they are doing they are not taking care of themselves. By not taking care of themselves they are developing all sorts of stress related illnesses. People are too stressed out today. It is plain to see. Here in America the philosophy is Live to Work. Stress-related illnesses are on the rise. In 2012 over $344 BILLION was spent on stress-related healthcare! The article that reported this horrendous cost said that most of the expenses could have been avoided if people just took a vacation. Well being in the travel industry that is just music to my ears!

But seriously, when you think about it people are working insane hours. It doesn’t matter if you work a job or are a business owner we all work insane hours. I have worked corporate jobs and I’m a business owner. I know from first hand experience how easy it is to get caught up in the “I’ll just do this one thing and call it a day” and that one thing turns into 2-3 other things and before you know it you have worked extra hours and missed out on some personal fun time and quality time with loved ones.

Why not take a step back and learn from other cultures where their philosophy is Work to Live. In other words work is just a vehicle to help you live your life and do the things you love and be with the people you love.

For your emotional and physical wellbeing you need to take time out for you and do something you. Yes it sounds selfish but it will help you be more productive, creative, and attentive at your job or business. If you are a caregiver it means that you will then be in the right frame of mind and health to care for your loved one.

Some of the biggest regrets that people have when they get towards the end of their time here on earth is that they didn’t get to spend more time with the people they love and they didn’t take the risk to follow their dreams.

So pull out your planner, calendar, or whatever scheduling program you use and schedule in some time to get out there and have fun, take care of yourself, and spend time with your loved ones.

What are some of things that you love to do for fun? Let us know in the comments below.

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emotional rollercoaster | Helen Brahms | Super Fantastic and sparkling |Cancer | Caregiving | Cancer Caregiver

And Now the Emotional Rollercoaster Begins… (Article)

emotional rollercoaster | helen brahms | caregiving | cancer caregiverWhen we first heard the news that Brad’s cancer was back it didn’t seem to shock me as much as the first time Brad was diagnosed in 2008. I guess on some level I knew the cancer was back, while the first time it was news we were not expecting. Yes, I kinda shut down for the rest of the day. Yes, there were some tears shed, but then I pulled up big girl panties and told Brad that cancer has never come up against a super fantastic and sparkling attitude so cancer does not stand a chance.

That was the Monday November 23, 2014 when we were told by phone that Brad’s biopsy came back positive for cancer that was consistent with Rectal Cancer. How far it had spread we had no idea. This was just a small sampling from an enlarged lymph node from his October CT Scan. No other lymph nodes were enlarged. However, there was an increase in the number of micro and macro nodules in both of Brad’s lungs which may be cancer, but they are too small to biopsy. Sigh! We had now entered the unknown turf to play the wait and see game again. ARGH!

We then started the process of putting together our medical team in San Diego. Our current team was in Los Angeles and we did not want to be traipsing back and forth between the two cities for treatments. Too much stress that neither of us needs.

I did notice as the holiday season started I myself started to shut down emotionally. I was falling into the trap that I fell into the first time. On our first journey cancer became the center of our lives. This time we are maintaining our own lives as the center and cancer will have to work around us. A very dear friend reminded me of a saying a mutual business coach of ours has, “Life works. My life works. People and things work around me.” This saying has now become my new motto for 2015 to remind me that we are the hub of our lives and everything else becomes the spokes from our hub. Cancer is just one of those spokes.

I started getting angry with myself as I started the emotion shut down. I realized what was happening and wasn’t sure what to do about it and couldn’t seem to stop myself from sinking lower. I wasn’t sleeping well, which didn’t help. I wasn’t taking care of myself as I should be. I can even hear my fellow caregivers getting ready to kick my butt about this. It’s okay I’m already kicking my own butt and blistering up the pages of my journal. I’m getting some serious writer’s cramp from all the journalling I am doing to combat this sinking feeling. Although I feel like I’m getting a grip on things and turning things around. Earlier I wrote a blog about Caregiver’s Golden Rule which was inspired by something I read in Jack Canfield’s Key to Living the Law of Attraction. That was a wake up call for me. Since reading that passage and blogging about it, it appears to have stopped the downward spiral. I took time to acknowledge the emotions I was feeling and gave myself permission to feel them. I spent the day listening to music as I worked and felt the energy coming back as the spirits lifted. Now I’m feeling more balanced and able to get back to work as well as making time for myself. The super fantastic sparkling feelings are tingling again. THAT is a good sign!! 🙂

Whether you are the patient or the caregiver cancer is not an easy thing to deal with. You are on an emotional rollercoaster and you never know when the next wave of emotions are going to hit you, how bad they are going to be, or how long it will last. Prepare game plans while you are on the upswing so when the downswings happen you have something in place to help you deal with them. Have a phone tree ready of people you can call to talk to, maybe it’s a playlist of songs that help you through that time, maybe it is curling up with a book, maybe it’s hiding away with your journal and pouring out onto the pages what you are going through, it could be making confetti out of a glossy magazine, going for a walk or run. Whatever you come up with have it ready to go so when you start to learn what is happening you are ready to deal with the emotions. Give yourself permission to feel them and experience them. Ignoring them or bottling them up will not do you or anyone around you any good.

What are some of your mechanisms that you use to help you through the downswings on the emotional rollercoaster? Please leave your comments below.

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