Studies show that caretaking increases illness and mortality. How do you keep yourself healthy while caretaking?
Let’s talk about it.
I recently consulted with a patient who was concerned about a breast lump.
Her exam revealed some inflammation of her mammary gland. She was young with no family history of breast cancer. So I asked her what had been going on in her life because stress will definitely interfere with your hormones and increase the risk of developing inflammation.
She told me that she had been taking care of her ill mother for the last few months. I explained how our body talks to us and being a caretaker is like expending the energy to nurse a baby.
If you don’t take care of yourself, caretaking takes a toll on you.
I shared with her a story about what my mom used to call her boob alert – pain in her left breast. She also worked for me as my business manager so had access to breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and thermograms.
Invariably, her breast pain seemed to correspond with something going on in the family. And as soon as it was resolved, her breast would stop hurting. It got to the point that whenever mom had breast pain, we sent out a text to my sisters that mom had a boob alert and to make sure that everybody was okay.
In 2015, I became my mom’s caretaker.
It was incredibly stressful. And as soon as she passed away, I developed left breast pain whenever there was something going awry in the family.
I had inherited mom’s boob alert.
While I know it’s symbolic I still had multiple exams to be sure that everything was fine. I’ve learned to be sure that I’m filling up my own cup and taking pristine care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Because invariably as a caretaker, whether it’s of young children, sick family members, dying parents, being a nurse, or a healer, whenever you’re caretaking others, it often feels like your energy is getting sucked dry. I imagine I’m energetically a chalice. If I keep my cup full by eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, meditating, taking my Genesis Gold®, getting enough hugs, and being with loved ones, my cup is full.
In fact, my cup runneth over.
I’m able to share my energy with my family, friends, and those who are dependent on me without them sucking me dry.
I shared this with my patient and she got a little teary because it hit home. She admitted she had not been taking care of herself while caretaking her mother.
- She had not gone to the gym, nor surfed, nor hiked.
- She had not been eating as well.
- She had not been getting enough sleep and was too tired to socialize.
- She had not been meditating.
She realized that to heal, she had to reinstitute these healthy behaviors so she could fill her cup up and when she was needed, she would not be sucked dry. Of course, I also recommended using evening primrose oil and vitamin E to get the breast inflammation down. And to return for another exam.
Before her next menstrual cycle, she should have a resolution of her breast lump, no longer alerting her to troubles in her universe. Because she will no longer allow herself to be sucked dry. She will keep her cup full and take care of herself.
And that’s what I wish for you.
As a caretaker, you’ve got to remember to take care of yourself, and only then will you be able to be at your best for others.
And take a little extra Genesis Gold® to help your hypothalamus deal with the stress by balancing the HPA axis, supporting your overworked adrenal glands, and getting your metabolism and your detoxification pathways functioning optimally. So that the stressor that you’re dealing with doesn’t make you sick.
If you have any questions about stress and your hypothalamus please join us in our Hormone Reboot Training.