The average caregiver tends to have an unbalanced relationship with respite time. It’s something that caregivers know that they need, but emotions and logistics often get in the way. If that’s been the case for you, these tips might help you to determine a better way to approach getting the time away from caregiving that you need.
Make Technology Work for You
Technology can be far more helpful for you than you might realize when it comes to respite time. An electronic calendar that you can sync between devices and share with other family members allows you all to see at a glance what’s going on and when. And when you update that calendar on the fly, everyone stays updated without you having to contact all of them individually.
Avoid Feeling Bad about Taking Time Away
Taking time away is a normal part of just about every experience you have as a person. You can’t keep doing everything constantly. But breaks can leave you feeling negative feelings that you might want to avoid by just soldiering through. Doing that is a disservice to you, though.
Set up Regular Periods of Respite
One of the best ways to get into the habit of enjoying regular respite time is to schedule it and then follow through and take it. Even if all you do is take an hour each week to run an errand for yourself, that’s a start. You can always increase the amount of respite time you’re taking as you become a little more accustomed to the situation.
Arrange Your Life so You Can Take Advantage of Respite
If you’ve thought about taking respite as a way to do other things, like lawn care or running errands, consider finding ways to outsource and to delegate those tasks to others. When you do that, you are better able to use respite time to actually allow yourself to rest. As you start to reap the benefits of being able to rest, everything else is going to become a little bit easier to manage.
If you find that it’s difficult for you to take respite time, ease into the idea a little bit. You don’t have to take hours away from caregiving right now if that’s not a comfortable situation for you. Start out with a few minutes at a time and allow yourself to get used to the experience. From there you can branch out.