I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again . . . caregiving is hard.
But you didn’t need me to tell you that. You already know. You’re the expert. You live it. 24/7.
And let’s be honest, even if your caregiving fairy godmother suddenly, magically appeared in your living room and
told you that with a wave of her wand you’d be relieved of all you caregiving duty, likely you wouldn’t accept it. After all, this is your mother, your father, a sibling or a spouse, that we’re talking about.
It’s the very person you love so dearly, which is why being a family caregiver is just SO challenging. But yet, you do it because you have to because you wouldn’t feel right if you didn’t, even when your loved one is speaking hurtfully to you, even when he/she is insulting you.
But all of it – the daily grind: the running to appointments, the checking in, the fighting with insurance companies – all of it is takes a toll physically, mentally and spiritually. You feel it. You’re not just tired, you’re exhausted. You’re not just stressed, you’re overwhelmed, sometimes so much that you feel overtaken and submerged in the deluge that is your caregiver’s life.
You find yourself:
no longer sleeping at night the way you used to.
dragging around all day, feeling spent and done-in.
irritable and anxious.
with an appetite that’s either gone completely or ever present
It’s what happened to me and as a result, I was worn out, sick, and thirty-five pounds heavier!
It wasn’t until a year after my parents’ passed that I started using essential oils on a regular basis.
Oh, I knew about essential oils, knew about them for years. As a yoga instructor for many years, how could I not? I’d even buy some on occasion: lavender to put in my bath, peppermint or clove because I liked the scents.
It wasn’t until I decided to put essential oil on the helpyouthru.com website (my thinking being, “caregivers-relaxing essential oils — a match made in heaven”) that I started using them in earnest. After all, if I was going to have them on my website, I had to try them out first.
Now, I should say that at the time this was happening I wasn’t doing well. As many of you already know, my parents passed in late 2016 and even fourteen to fifteen months later, I was still feeling the effects, among them being:
depressed and nervous (never realized one can be nervous while in mourning),
achy, so much so that it felt like every muscle in my body was sore,
and an unhealthy appetite that caused me to put on an additional ten pounds.
So, I began using the essential oils. This was toward the end of February 2018. By mid-March of that same year (a few short weeks later), I was feeling better. Not all better, but better enough that I could see the difference.
I had more energy.
I felt less anxious.
I had fewer aches in my body and if those were great enough,
I started feeling like myself again! That was the best part
I’m telling you — how grateful was I with the change I experienced once I started using the oils! If only I’d known, I’d have used them sooner!
You might be asking yourself, why I’m sharing this?
The reason is simple — I want you to be aware of a very powerful tool you can use to help make your caregiving life more easeful. So, if:
you’re not sleeping the way you want or need to,
you’re dragging around all day, feeling exhausted,
you’re irritable and anxious,
you see yourself pushing your plate away, the mere thought of food making your stomach feel like there were a rock in it, only to come back a few hours later to devour the contents of your refrigerator,
you see your bathroom scale forever inching upward because of your unhealthy eating habits and/or your non-existent exercise routines, then essential oils could be something you’d want in your self-care/caregiving toolbox.
Now, let me be totally clear here, essential oils aren’t going to take caregiving tasks off your plate.
They aren’t going to drive Dad to his doctor’s appointment and they aren’t going to call Mom’s insurance company and fight for her benefits.
As the primary caregiver, those are still tasks that need to be done. The difference is that you’ll feel more balanced, calmer and more grounded doing them. Not only that, you’ll be able to get the rest you need and you’ll feel healthier so when those ups and downs all caregivers experience come along, you’re better able to handle them.
I so appreciate the effect these precious oils have had on my life. My only regret is that I didn’t know about them sooner – these all-natural, plant-based, amazing smelling oils, these little beauties have helped me so much.
And they so work fast which is really great news for all us family and former family caregivers!
Karen Bromberg is the founder of Help You Thru, LLC an on-line resource devoted to stressed out, overwhelmed family caregivers. Please visit www.helpyouthru.com. If you’d like to learn more about essential oils and how they can help you navigate your caregiving journey, please feel free to contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since February, she has become a Wellness Advocate for DoTERRA and is more than happy to share how essential oils can help you in your caregiving journey.