Self care activities are a must for your serenity when you’re caring for an aged parent.
Self care activities help you live a happy life. One self care idea that comes to mind is the Twelve Step Program for caregivers. Now we just need a self care plan.
The care plan I put in place is keeping myself involved with others who use this program actively in their life.
In the first place, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want serenity in this troubled world. The Twelve Steps and this miraculous program was developed by a bunch of drunks. It was years before people like us, who don’t drink or aren’t alcoholics can profit beyond belief by following the same steps.
The history of the Twelve Steps provides a sense of security and certainty and is vital in many peoples lives. My hope is that as you read this post and discover the meaning and practice of the Twelve Steps, you’ll find many different viewpoints. In fact, each step and self care activities are equally important and will help keep you sane. This will help you create your own path on your journey to recovery no matter what it is. We’re all recovery from something.
Some of us say we found the program, others say the program found us. No matter which way it was, if you practice the Twelve Steps every day you have the blueprint for a good life. Most importantly it can free us from many different things.
The Twelve Step program is not a human powered program. God is the main source of our power and our growth. It’s a spiritual program but it’s not religious. God makes himself known to us through these Steps without religion. As a matter of fact, it’s the best self care plan for me and it might be for you also once you study this post.
Here are the 12 original steps from AA Alcoholics Anonymous:
1. Admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
We learn thru chaos and pain and that’s where the self care plan comes in handy.
We can’t control our lives or the lives of our family or friends. Under our own strength we have failed. Step One we admit this understanding. Step One is about recognizing that we are broken people. We can’t change or sometimes even recognize how broken we are by our self.
As Family Caregivers we’re responsible for a loved one’s care. Over time we can become broken and can barely take care of our self much less our elderly parent. What I’ve learned thru the caregiving journey and also studying the Twelve Steps I want to share the knowledge, wisdom and love. This has so freely been given to me over time from others working a 12 Step program also.
I’m grateful for being shown the way thru the doors of Al-anon around 12 years ago. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at that time because I did have an alcoholic in my life. However, the main reason I entered those doors was to find help learning to cope with my aging mother. Not to mention there wasn’t many caregiver support groups and still aren’t.
One night in the meeting I was told I would learn to love the alcoholic and my mother in a new way. I thought they were crazy but if it hadn’t been for my mom and the alcoholic I would’ve never discovered the dear friends I found within those rooms.
We don’t help each other just deal with the alcoholics in our life, we help each other with life itself.
Besides that, without the encouragement of a counselor who steered me to the al-anon meeting that night, I don’t know where I’d be today.
As we start on this journey together of learning how to use the Twelve Step Program to care for our self and our loved one, my prayer is that I can help one person and that’s you. You’re stronger than you think. I’m writing this article for myself as much as I’m writing it for you, understand that. I also need to be reminded daily of the chaos and craziness of this world and caregiving can bring into our life.
I’ve been a family caregiver for quite a few years caring for at least 4 family members. For instance, to this day I’m caring for my 100-year-old mother. Can you imagine the insanity that can come into my life? I’ve been deeply affected by friends I’ve met thru the years. The sharing of their stories comes wisdom.
We all have within us self care ideas…
The wisdom we need to make healthy and sane choices in the middle of all the challenges. That come with the responsibilities we carry on our shoulders everyday caring for a loved one.
Over the coming days my hope is to go thru each one of these steps here. I’ll break them down for you. I invite you to share with others.
We’re all looking for serenity and hope. We can find peace of mind. Doesn’t mean the challenges will go away but at least we know we aren’t alone. For instance, there are many other Family Caregivers dealing with many of the same issues we have. We can strive to maintain our tranquility on this path we’ve taken. Please join me next time as we delve into the First Step.
I promise you, it’ll touch your life in a good way. That is why I’ll share some of those self care ideas for caregivers that I’ve learned. Keep your heart open.
See you then….