Self-Caregiving: How Not To Get “Burned Out.”

To smile your way through cloudy days is much the wisest thing to do. For if you make the best of things they cannot get the best of you.

~ Leslie Relle

During these troubled times of coronavirus, while waiting for test results as we self-quarantine, or endure self-induced shut-ins, many of us may become the family caregiver. Perhaps elderly parents live with us, or our children are now home 24/7 for goodness only knows how long because schools have closed, sports gatherings are suspended, and playdates canceled until the danger has passed. How can we remain emotionally healthy while we become a caregiver?

What about self-caregiving?

Caregivers must plan family meals three times a day despite empty store shelves because most restaurants closed. And, there may be concerns about jobs drying up, income reduction, stock market investments, and car and house payments; the daily thoughts of which nightmares are made.

Despite fatigue, stress makes sleep elusive. As we juggle life and plan our days, it is vital to plan self-care.

We often think of women as the primary family caregivers, but men like Dave Nassaney are stepping up to the plate, too,

Dave Nassaney is engaged in helping millions not just to survive, but to thrive as a caregiver with his own experience as a caregiver for more than two decades. Dave is a speaker and syndicated radio host who often talks about his most important role; Caregiver to his lovely wife, Charlene, who suffered a massive stroke in 1996 that left her severely speech-impaired and paralyzed on the right side. Dave recently appeared on 31 network morning shows from Washington DC to Hawaii, and spoke and shared the stage with Suzanne Somers at Harvard, and Caitlyn Jenner (yes, THAT Caitlyn), at The Harvard Club of Boston, as well as the Nasdaq Market site in NYC. His membership website, CaregiverDave.com, teaches caregivers how to not only survive but to thrive.

During the VIDEO Podcast interview posted below, Dave shares how his wife Charlene also had a personality change that made her difficult to handle while caring for her. “My wife became so mean to me,” Dave says during the interview. “So I sat down and wrote her a letter that basically said, ‘I will take care of you financially for the rest of your life but I cannot live with you or take care of you anymore.’ I planned to give her the letter before putting her in a care facility. I read the letter over one more time and thought, I can’t do this to the person I love. I can’t send her away. So, I filed the letter away, and when I think I can’t go on caring for her, I take it out and reread it to remind myself- ‘yes I can.’” His book, It’s My Life Too!: Thrive and Stay Alive as a Caregiver, addresses the needs of long-term caregivers regardless of the challenges faced by their loved ones. Caring for someone who is expected to live for a relatively long period of time with an illness or condition poses specific and unique challenges for the caregiver.

Victoria Price, daughter of actor Vincent Price, has a different caregiver story.

Her father is the famous American actor Vincent Price, best known for his performances in horror films. His career spanned other genres, including film noir, drama, mystery, thriller, and comedy. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films.

Victoria was the caregiver to her dying father and used a recorder to tape his many death–bed life-stories which she then turned into the book, Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography. One day while caring for him, he said to her, “Call some of my friends to come over and relieve you so I can spend time with my old buddies while you spend time with you.”

It was great advice from a dying parent to a caregiver-child. 

During his last days, her father had regular get-togethers with his friends, and Victoria had personal private-time. “It was just like old-times for dad and his buddies when they got together at dad’s house.”  Her father got to spend time with his friends during the last part of his life, and they loved being with him again, if just for one more day. “It really made him happy.” And, that made Victoria happy.

During the podcast, I asked Victoria if she ever saw her father in her dreams after his death. “Does he ever visit you?” I asked. “No,” she chuckled. “But, dad visits other family members and friends in their dreams and tells them to tell me he is so proud of me.”

Although some people may be surprised by this concept of dreaming for others, it is not unusual for friends and family members to dream for others, as shared in the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life co-authored by Dr. Larry Burk and Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos. In the book, daughters dreamed of deceased loved one’s messages for their parents and vise versa.

However, many caregivers like Dr. Bernie Siegel receive Dream Visitations AND daily synchronicities, signs, and symbols. He says this about his deceased beloved wife, about whom he wrote in the Foreword of the book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change. “I know my wife is perfect again, and I am grateful to have had messages from her spirit and consciousness since she died.”

After all, we are all connected by Universal Oneness and can connect through the Sacred Dreams Doors.

After her father’s death, Victoria wrote her 2018 inspirational memoir, The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self. Her latest book is Living Love: 12 Heart-Centered Practices to Transform Your Life. Then, Victoria made a big move herself. She chose to become homeless. After living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a quarter-century, Victoria began a nomadic life. Four years later, she remains “intentionally homeless” — and still lives on the road with her dog Allie.

As caregivers themselves, Dave and Victoria each shared a tip on how not to become burned-out as a caregiver during these challenging times, and it was surprisingly similar.

“Make time for yourself. Be your caregiver first.”

These are wise words from the lips of two amazing people who not only talk their talk and walk their walk but also walk their talk.

Please enjoy your Dreaming Healing Show on DreamVisions7 Radio Network.

Resources:

Victoria Price  https://www.victoriaprice.com/about/

Dave Nassaney  https://caregiverdave.com/about-us/

DREAMS THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE: Early Warning Signs of …. https://www.themindfulword.org/2018/dreams-save-life-review

Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1945026618/ref=pe_41006280_445314590_pe_re_csr_ea_lm

Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
Kat O'Keefe-Kanavoshttp://kathleenokeefekanavos.com/
Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is the co-author of Dreams That Can Save Your Life and three-time cancer survivor. Her dreams diagnosed her illness as seen on Dr. Oz, Doctors, NBC News, American Express Open, in Newspapers and magazines. She’s a Contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, TV/Radio Host/Producer- Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™, Kat Kanavos Show, Internationally Syndicated Columnist in BIZCATALYST 360°, Dream Columnist in New Earth Chronicles, and Positive Tribe Magazine, Keynote Speaker, Performance Coach who taught Special Ed & Psychology @US, and Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and Spiritual guidance. Kat is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.
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