Right now the idea of doing anything beyond what you’re already managing to do may seem overwhelming. Even accepting love and support might feel like more than you’re up to doing, let alone reaching out for it. Understandably, you may be just too worn out to even think about this.
Perhaps you’re not quite that exhausted yet, but have noticed that you are getting more and more depleted as time goes on. And perhaps you can see that a very likely outcome, over the long term, is becoming drained by the weight you are carrying.
My intention is not to add another item to your to do list. Rather, it’s to help you to hit the pause button for a few moments so you can begin a process to share the load and shorten your list.
We will focus on reaching out, not on burning out. I don’t think you need to hear horror stories about what burning out can be like. Or see data about how caregiver burnout can impact your health, career, relationships, etc. If you are seeking that, simply Google “caregiver burnout.”
I was motivated to write this guide in order to make your experience better than the one I had when I was managing my father’s cancer care. I had been caregiving from afar until his medical needs required me to be with him for weeks at a time, hundreds of miles from his home and 1,000 miles from my own home, my family and the corporate consulting business my wife and I ran together.
Being at his side through all of this was some of the closest and most intimate time we’d ever spent together. And…I got burned out in the process. The cumulative effect of my caregiving was that I was so depleted, I developed a severe case of shingles.
I want you to take better care of yourself than I did. And reaching out for love and support, combined with other self-care practices, will help you do that. My goal for you is that you will be able to reach out easily for the help you need, when you need it and on the terms that feel good to you. You will be able to get the help you need without feeling intruded upon. I want to coach you to shed beliefs that may get in your way; to help you find ways of reaching out that respect your privacy and honor your values, personal preferences and needs.
I passionately believe that reaching out and letting the love flow in is some of the best medicine we can provide to our loved ones. It is also a sure fire way of avoiding caregiver burnout.
This is what I want for you. Acting through these pages as your coach, I offer the skills and understandings I have developed in my career as a life coach to help keep you going healthfully and resiliently. If even a single idea or technique here can lighten your load, I’ll feel that writing this guide was worthwhile.