First up, taking care of YOU!

Taking care of myself doesn’t mean “me first”. It means “me too”.

-L.R.Knosts

Welcome to Nurse Allie’s blog! For my first blog post I’m extending some “nurse wisdom” and giving you 3 things you can do TODAY to take care of you.

If you are here- you are probably a caregiver in some shape or form. Maybe, like me, you tote around little children who are literally clinging to you and are reliant on you for all of their daily needs and cares. Maybe you care for an adult in your family such as a grandparent, parent, or an adult with special needs. Chances are you have a combination of a few of these people who you care for. And chances are you’re doing a great job. Also, chances are that sometimes (err often) you need a little self care. I’m here and I SEE you! Caregiver burnout is a real thing. You know the adage “you can’t give from an empty cup”? Nothing is more true. Becoming a nurse and then a mother has really taught me that.

My friends, I’m not here to add tons of things to your to-do list. But I would like to suggest some things that you are likely doing FOR your loved ones and today I encourage you to do them for YOURSELF.

First: Pour yourself a glass of water.

My favorite way to drink my water is in an insulated cup with ICE and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The best thing that happened to my water consumption was the icemaker in my refrigerator. Do whatever you need to make it yummy and enjoyable. I’m not going to go on and on about the benefits of water. You know that its good for you. If you prefer to hydrate with Diet Coke, just set that aside for a minute and give your body something to sing about!

Second : Schedule an annual physical.

If you have already done this- give yourself a nice pat on the back. If not, get the ball rolling! Don’t beat yourself up about it- just do it! If you’re like me, before writing this post I didn’t even have a primary care doctor. I’m writing this post as much for you as for me! A primary care provider can add SO MUCH VALUE to your health care. They can look at the whole picture of your health, coordinate with your other specialist doctors (psychologist, OBGYN, etc.), and are great to have when that darn flu and cold season comes. Primary care providers can also help you navigate different specialists that might be able to help you. I like to think of them as home base. Before writing this post what I did was:

  1. Searched a doctors office that was covered by my insurance and that is close to my home.
  2. I called the doctors office to make an appointment.
  3. SAVED that doctors office phone number.

Before calling I looked through the list of the names of doctors at my clinic and found one that I thought might fit my needs. You don’t have to have a preference; you can just ask the office to pick a provider for you. In my case I had to leave a voice message. They called back while I am writing my post. The appointment is a few months out, but that is OK.

Third: Organize your meds and vitamins.

I have taken medications in the morning for a while now. Then, a few months ago I started to take them at dinner time too. When I become a busy caregiver I EASILY forget to take my own medications, especially that darn dinner time one. What has worked best for me is to use a medication planner keep it in my cabinet next to the kitchen sink. It never moves. I’m always close to water. The pill organizer a spot for morning and night meds for 7 days a week. It is one of my sanity savers. I also have a really cute tiny pill organizer container that I leave full in my purse. This is for emergencies only- I keep it there if I go out for dinner or if I am running around all morning and realize I forgot to take my meds or vitamins. When I’m about to run out of medications my pharmacy will text me that I have a refill due. Even better is that my pharmacy has a drive thru. I suggest having a pharmacy close to your house. I LOVE MY PHARMACY! (I’ll be write a blog just on pharmacy love later).

That’s all of my advice for now! Welcome to my blog and remember to take care of you. Your body and your loved ones will thank you for it.

Love,

Nurse Allie