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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Self-Care Equation /   Editorial List

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 The Self-Care Equation

I am working on a mathematical equation that has me flummoxed.  I want to find the solution for the relationship between the melting away of stress from caregivers who joined us on the Fearless Caregiver Conference at Sea last week and the increase in pounds as we all hit the buffet tables.  As they boarded the ship, I heard from at least four caregivers concerning how guilty they felt about getting away. Yet when they were preparing to leave at the end of the trip, they were developing plans to add some much deserved respite to their schedule once they returned home.  The cruise was relaxing, educational, invigorating and even exhilarating (the zip-lining in Honduras); but it was much more than that. For many of the cruisers, it was the first time that they had been able to truly marshal all of their resources to make sure that their loved ones were cared for at home during the few days they were away.  At the same time, they were finely able to fully appreciate the value of self-care as a vital part of caring for their loved ones.

While the opportunity to get away for a few days is not a possibility for many of us, looking around and finding out what you can do to include self-care in your own lives is a necessity.  Is there a facility that can take your loved one for aGary Barg weekend so you can get away (or even stay home)?  Is there someone you can call today and ask for the smallest of favors (a nephew to mow the lawn, neighbor to pick up some groceries)? Is there a friend who would love to come over and cook dinner for the two of you and talk about anything but caregiving?

Oh, and the equation? I think it goes something like this:  for every extra pound they gained before returning to shore, the cruise participants left behind one ton of the guilt and stress with which they came on board. Not a bad deal at all.  Now, if the floor would just stop swaying.

Tell us your self-care tips.

Gary Barg

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