I’m no longer an active carer but then and now, I realise how important it is to take care of yourself too. And it's doubly important for carers to take a time-out, as you are often especially under so many stresses and strains.
I have a little strategy I use to remind myself to take time out for me when life’s stressful and too busy, and I call it my ‘birdhouse in my soul’. And I base it on a very old song from the 80’s called ‘Build a little bird house in your soul’.
Whenever life’s getting on top of me I try to remember that there’s a little bird inside my birdhouse that needs to break free and sing and fly occasionally.
So my bird reminds me to try to take a few minutes’ time-out from stress whenever I can, doing something I enjoy. It doesn’t have to be something that takes long, just little moments that bring me pleasure. Maybe just a quick peek and sniff at the flowers in the garden, having a good laugh at anything remotely funny, listening to favourite music, (and even warbling along from time to time, though that can make others in my life stressed out)! Another favourite is throwing all caution to the wind and enjoying a 'full English' breakfast, or having one too many of my favourite biscuits with my coffee, and, especially stress-busting, is always listening to the dawn chorus whenever I’m awake early enough, or to a church choir or organ. When I’ve had my ‘fix’, my bird can return to its birdhouse, refreshed and more able to cope.
What pleasures, little or big, does anyone else have, to help de-stress and stay balanced?