Caregiving can be overwhelming, and I don’t have to tell you that if you are a caregiver already. If you have flown a commercial airline, you know the routine. The stewardess or steward comes to the front or the plane and gives you instructions in case of an emergency. We all listen with bated breath the first time, and from then on, we mostly ignore the message. One of the topics they cover is lost of oxygen in the seating area. Oxygen masks come down from the ceiling, and we are to grab them and put them on ourselves first and then help anyone who may need help getting theirs on, like children or the disabled. The reason we put ours on first is, so we have the strength to help others.

Let’s Make It Easier!

I am going to talk today about caring for yourself first! If you are tired, stressed, overwhelmed, feeling stuck, and alone chances are you are not as good a caregiver as you would like to be. All those emotions come through in sometimes inappropriate ways that cause more problems. Not only do caregivers have a lot of their own feelings bringing them down, the care receiver often has emotions they don’t know what to do with and guess who is there to take the brunt of them? Yep, the caregiver who is already feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

I was looking for a change of pace. Something that would add a little spunk and hope to my life and right now I’m not caregiving. I have had a problem breathing since my husband died in 2009. I’ve been on inhalers and other home treatments. I was tired; I had acid reflux and heartburn. I was getting so I didn’t want to do much or go anywhere. Depression!

I found a site on Facebook. (there are good things on Facebook if we look) It talked about a 10-day green smoothie cleanse. Why not? I remembered a book I had bought one time about green smoothies, and when I found it, I saw it was the book advertised. Win!

Getting Started

I decided to try the cleanse. The Facebook site had a lot of members, and everyone was very encouraging and responsive to those struggling, so I thought I would start immediately. Women of all ages and sizes belonged to the group. There were some men too. The first day was not too hard, which was a great encouragement. It is a cleanse which means there will be some headaches and sneezing and runny nose the first day or two. Yes, it can be a struggle only eating cold drinks and raw veggies, but the cleanse is so worth it. At the end of the ten days, I felt like a new person. I had lost 7 pounds. I could breathe better and stopped wheezing at night when I laid down. I felt refreshed when I woke in the morning and started getting up earlier. I was adequately hydrated because they encourage us to drink a gallon of water a day. I never accomplished that.

For a week after the cleanse, I went to cookouts, anniversary parties, and other events with all kinds of food and usually not healthy choices. I started with heartburn and then wheezing. So today I am happy to say I am on the cleanse again. No one has to be continually on the cleanse, and I ‘m not sure that would be healthy anyway. After the cleanse, you can introduce some healthy meals once or twice a day. That was my problem I went back to eating few healthy choices.

Win/Win

Today I was thinking….  What a great boost for a caregiver and I think it would help the spirit of a care receiver. Nothing makes us feel better more than feeling better and more energized. I would suggest that you buy JJ Smith’s book, “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse.” It has many recipes and tips that would be too much to put here, plus it is her book. Basically, you make three green smoothies a day. A green smoothie consists of two handfuls of greens, spinach, kale, romaine, any green in a blender with a cup of water and blend. Then add a cup of fruit, (fresh or frozen) banana, and some stevia. Blend again, and you have a green smoothie. So simple and quick and nutritious!

I liked the idea because they are good, and they are quick to prepare and clean up. The best part for me was how much better I felt. I was doing something for myself, and I lost weight too without really trying. It’s not a miracle, but it sure feels like it. When we give our body what it needs, it will function better, and when we cleanse our body of what is junk, we also feel better. Our care receiver who isn’t burning a lot of calories will feel better too.

Again, I would suggest buying the book and doing it right. Meal planning and preparation are two  less things you will worry about. And remember, clean up is easy too. Shopping just got simpler and you will feel wonderful!