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An Important Lesson for Caregivers

 by Shannon Miller, ESQ

Last week, I went to a small island off the coast of New Hampshire in the Isle of Shoals.  Now, it may sound glamorous, but trust me, it’s not.  The doors have no locks.  Cold showers are limited to 3 times/week (it used to be one!), and every morning at 7am, singers wake you up…. sometimes with instruments!

There are lots of rules on the island, but one of my favorites is NO CELL PHONES OR COMPUTERS IN THE COMMON AREAS. This is very helpful to me, as I find it very difficult to unplug.  I worry about my clients, my staff, my work, my dogs…. but after about 3 days, I let the worry go and just relax and recharge.

Now, to me, relaxing is playing capture the flag, learning about the Horizon trip to Pluto, attending chapel twice a day, and playing late night poker, but the most important thing I do on the island is teaching kids. This year, we taught the 17-19 year old kids, and, of course, we always learn more than we teach, and it’s a wonderful way to disconnect from the stressors at home.  You will find your own way to recharge.

We all need time to relax and unplug… especially, you Caretakers. You need a break, where someone else is in charge and managing all the stressful issues that are your everyday life.  A few weeks a year is a great way to reinvigorate yourself, but you also need some time off every week, and every day.  Be selfish during those times. You need it. Take a long walk, read a book in a favorite location, go window shopping, whatever takes you away from the stress of your full-time job.

On Star Island, I may miss the sunrises, but never the sunsets. We all need to watch more sunsets and just let go!  It’s all about the recharge, however you do it.

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