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Change Your Space, Change Your Life

You're halfway into your day, feeling depleted and thinking about the few minutes just before you woke up. There was a gentle peace, quiet perhaps just seconds before your mind went into the details of the day ahead.

Caregivers have days that are full without rest, whether physically or mentally. So how do you find the time for yourself? How do you re-energize yourself so that you can keep up? Start by organizing your environment. I know that may send chills up some of your spines, but the art of decluttering can free up literal and mental space.

Raise your hands if this sounds familiar; You're in the middle of composing an email and remember that you put your car registration somewhere. You get up to look for it and see the pile of clothes that need to be washed, so you quickly get that going. Your loved one calls for you, so you attend to their needs, and then you remember you were in the middle of doing something, but the pile of papers catches your attention.

Hours later, you remember it was the car registration you were looking for and finally finish the email to your attorney with the information they requested. Probably time for a nap because you've thoroughly exhausted yourself, but then you see the containers on the kitchen counter and……

Don't think of this as one big task; take it room by room. Start with the kitchen and pull out those cupboards that have things piled in them to the point that you can never find that plastic container you've been looking for. Next, go to the bathroom and sort through all those jars and bottles of things you tried but didn't like, but maybe one day…..time to let them go.

Sort your way through your bedroom, closets, and drawers. And don't forget the office space and file cabinets where papers can get piled up for 'another day.'

There are no cookie-cutter answers to creating emotional space in your life as a family caregiver, but there are things that you can do to help generate a sense of peace that swirls through the rest of your life.

I remember staying with my sister and watching her get up every morning and put away the dishes from the night before. Brilliant! It creates focus (mindfulness is good!) and clears the path for the day ahead. And much easier to do when the clutter isn't filling up your space.


Cyndi Mariner

Breathing Spaces

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