Let me ask you four questions:
Are you becoming so overwhelmed that your ability to provide care is impacted?
Are you losing yourself to the constant demands of caregiving?
Are you too busy for quiet time with God?
Are you so distracted and missing time for yourself?
God is just as concerned about you the caregiver as He is about the one placed in your care. A common caregiver trap is the tendency to assume too much responsibility and to overdo! You as God's instrument of care, may become disappointed, depressed and defeated. God can help you overcome this drive to overdo. Failing to do so can result in physical weariness, compassion fatigue, self-neglect, a compromised immune system, injury and even a compelling impulse to quit caregiving altogether.
Remember you do not have to be a superhero doing this all on your own. When feeling weary Jesus urges us to "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). So if you feel your stress has turned to distress, God's word says to cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Since He does care, He will empower you in transforming the thinking and actions that are hurting you.
(Excerpts from Caregiving: A priviledge not a prison, June Hunt)
5 minute action tip for today:
Try this S.T.O.P. activity. This a quick and effective way of reducing stress that can help bring you into the presence of God. This activity can be done almost anywhere and at anytime. Here we go...
S = Stop. Stop what you are doing: Press the pause button on your thoughts and actions.
T = Take. Take a few deep breaths. Slowly in through your nose and exhale slowly out your mouth.
O = Observe. Observe and pay attention to your experience just as it is—notice thoughts, feelings, emotions, body sensations. Next,
P = Pray. Pray: Pour your heart out to God about your situation. Pursue His presence. Praise Him for being with you.
Using S.T.O.P, we are reassured and reaffirm the Lord is with us. With your eyes on the Lord and the Lord at your right hand, you will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)
A prayer for the over doer
Father, you are a good and gracious God who loves me very much. Give me confidence in knowing that you will walk alongside me guiding my every decision for each caregiving moment. Help me to remember you are always there to lift my burden and my spirit. Thank you for hearing my whispered prayer when I am weak and my joyous praise when I have experienced a victory. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen
(Adapted from Guideposts, Lori Hogan)