Sometimes you just have to run away. I don’t mean forever. I don’t mean you should abandon your responsibilities…just postpone them for a bit. Sometimes, you have to be bold in your self-care and take a sisters’ weekend. Mark it on the calendar weeks ahead. Look forward to it for a month. Then when the time comes, just do it. Turn off your phone. Go away and refuse to be sucked into anything other than rest for 24 hours. It will do you a world of good. I know because my sister and I just did it.
We hatched the plan at Christmas. I thought I would give her a surprise spa weekend away. When I checked prices, the surprise was on me! Instead, I gave her a note that said ‘We need a spa weekend. I’ll pay for mine if you’ll pay for yours.” It was the beginning. You would think we were planning a Mediterranean cruise. You would think we were going away for a month, not just a day. We looked for destinations known for their spa services. We looked for accommodations. We imagined being pampered. The more we looked, the more we realized we needed the break.
In the end, we found a day spa that was observing Covid protocols that was not too far from home. Because even in running away we realized we needed to be close, in case there was an emergency with Mom or Dad. When you are caregiving, you have to be responsible in your runaways. We spent the day at the spa getting services I hadn’t ever heard of. The Queen for a Day package. By the end, we were as relaxed as butter in the oven. We oozed out to our cars and off to the guest cottage of a family member that was offered to us for the night. We sipped wine and talked for hours. Then we slept soundly, like we haven’t done since we were babies.
It was amazing. Did the stress of life go away? Nope. But for a short time, we held it at bay and successfully ignored it in order to renew our energy and strength. When life is coming at you from all angles, not just in caregiving, you have to remember to take care of you. In these unusually stressful days, we are all pressured from within and without. It is my recommendation you take a runaway…whatever your own version of that might be. A hot bath. A long walk. A phone call to a friend. Whatever fills your tank. Self-care is not the same thing as selfishness. Trust me on that. Taking the time for yourself is well worth the effort to find your strength again.