Posted by: Judy | November 27, 2013

From Welby at LoveOurVets.org…

Posted on FB, I’m sharing it here to remind myself:
Those of us who love someone with PTSD are especially susceptible to burn-out. Compassion fatigue. Although the month of November is dedicated to Caregiver Support, every day of the year we need to support the supporters! What can we who give and love day in and day out do to keep from dying on the vine in our noble efforts to care for the needs of someone we love?We all have unique warning signals, sent to us graciously by our own bodies, to let us know we need to make some changes. For me it is insomnia, headache, grinding teeth, and forgetting to breathe. (That one is pretty important!)  When we get better at tuning in to our body’s loving messages, then we are better able to do what we NEED to do in order to be at our best. If we burn out, then we are no good to anyone!

Recently I was received a desperate call from a wife of a veteran with PTSD. She was at her breaking point. Total collapse! Burn out in every sense of the word. It took over an hour to calm her down and get her to just breathe. Then we focused on what she could do for HERSELF, one sense at a time. Warm tea, a bubble bath, bowl of soup, her favorite CD, a massage, prayer, connection with her counselor, and a walk. She had gone way too long without caring for herself and it almost did her in. She is now much more aware of her limitations and when to take time out for her. A good reminder for all of us.

In the book LOVE OUR VETS: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD, the entire middle section is devoted to taking care of US! We need to put ourselves at the top of our own priority list before we have no more to give.

Here are a few things that I have found helpful. Still endeavoring to put them all into practice, but a good start anyway. 

*Accept your limitations.
*Nurture yourself via all 5 senses.
*Release the compulsion to fix the world.
*Surround yourself with good support.
*Replenish with spiritual input.
*Eat well and sleep well.
*Exercise regularly.
*Take time for YOU.
*Breathe.

We are good to others…let’s be good to ourselves too!

 Welby
From my latest blog on http://www.loveourvets.org/blog/


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