I’m wrecked. Wiped out. Burned out.
I’m at the end of my tether.
For the past several months, it’s been wall-to-wall caretaking. My life has revolved around driving people to appointments, taking care of aging (and ailing) parents, and helping my adult child adjust to life after cancer surgery. And chemo.
Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s been a hell of a couple of months. If my yoga/meditation practice hadn’t been there for me, I just might be a rubber-room candidate by now.
Some of you may have read my post, Caregiving as a Spiritual Practice. Since I wrote that piece, things have gotten a lot more “real,” but my conviction about the profound spirituality of caregiving has only deepened. The hour of every day I spend doing yoga and meditating is something I’ve kept inviolate throughout the increasing craziness; there’s no question it’s preserved my mental and physical health. This is essential, because if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re of no use to others who need your help.
Caregiving for the elderly and the ill requires flexibility and elasticity, the very things that daily asana practice builds. Nothing in my experience is a better antidote to stress than a regular meditation practice. It’s better than Xanax.
Yep, yoga and meditation definitely save the day. Not to mention sanity, balance, and wellness. If you should find yourself in a multiple caregiving role, I highly recommend expanding your practice of both, even if it seems like finding the time for them is a challenge. You can meditate in doctor’s office waiting rooms, which is a real plus. I don’t recommend chanting and lighting incense, though; even the most accomodating of doctor’s offices tend to frown on that.