Hope for living, loving, and caring with no regrets!

Self-care is Self-preservation

Episode 85

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month and the podcast this week continues to discuss this important topic.  Rayna Neises, ACC, host, reflects on the thoughts shared during last week’s interview with Nicole Kalil.  She expands on the suggestion Nicole provided regarding time management and reframing it to be choice management and learning how to make choices that will allow you to feel better about the job that you are doing:

      • Make an active choice to create a life that you love and that you are happy with.
      • Create time for rest and reflect. You will have to choose to do it.
      • When you have clarity around what is important to you, making choices with your time is easier and brings contentment to your life.
      • Create a personal manifesto to help make decisions with your time.
      • Get your free download of the core values review at aseasonofcaring.com/podcastvorevalues.
      • Incorporate pre-deciding to avoid decision fatigue and to be prepared for what is to come.
      • Recognize that your ‘yes’ has consequences.

Transcript

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

[00:00:00] Rayna Neises: Dear amazing daughter, son, there will be days when you feel there is no way you can keep doing all that you’re doing. That is completely not. But that does not make it true. You will need rest here and there and that’s okay. You will also need to learn to say no, learning who you are and what is most important to you will make knowing when to say yes and when to say no easier . Invest in discovering your values so that you can live by them with ease. Rayna. The opening to chapter 13 and No Regrets, Hope Your Caregiving Season .

[00:00:41] And this is A Season of Caring Podcast, where there’s hope for living, loving and caring with no regrets. I’m Rayna Neises, your host, I’m glad to have you join me today.

[00:00:51] Last week, we had guest, Nicole Kalil, where she shared her philosophy on choice management. And I love that concept. I hope that that was really impactful for you as well. If you missed that one, be sure to go back and listen to episode 83, I think you’re gonna find it extremely helpful to be thinking about choice managing versus time management. In this season of life, things are really crazy. They just are. And it’s so simple to live in a reactive state where you’re constantly getting pulled in every different direction, just doing the best that you can. And we know that you are doing your best. The key is learning to quiet that pull and learning how to make choices that will allow you to feel better about the job that you’re doing.

[00:01:42] So today we’re going to go a little bit deeper into that choice management. And we’re going to start out by talking about how you make those choices.

[00:01:52] Christy Wright just released a brand new book called Take Back Your Time. And I love the philosophies behind this book. So I would encourage it. If you’re a reader, pick it up. I think you’re going to find it very helpful. She said in a presentation I was watching. What if balance isn’t so much a verb? So we know a verb is an action. What if it isn’t so much about doing something, but what if it is something you create in your world? What if it’s a life that you are proud of, that you are happy in and that you created by doing what is most important to you?

[00:02:29] And I think that’s exactly what Nicole was talking about. And what I feel is so important is really creating, making that active choice to create a life that. you love,you’re happy with. That brings you happiness and you can be proud of so much of the struggle of our time management, comes from guilt or other feelings that are maybe things that we’re seeing or impressions that we have, that we should be doing this, or we should be doing that.

[00:02:59] But I want us to really take a look at how you can make some choices.

[00:03:06] The first one I’m going to challenge you with is really finding time, creating time in your schedule for rest and reflect. Yes. I said in your schedule, so it has to be intentional. It’s not going to be something you’re going to fall into because rest and reflection is not going to be calling your name. It’s not going to be mom or dad who has an appointment or fell and needs you right now. It’s not going to be that child who needs the check to go on the field trip. It’s not going to be the husband who can’t find his tennis shoes. It’s not going to be calling your name.

[00:03:41] Rest and reflection is something that you have to choose to do. And I would like to encourage you to do that regularly. Does that mean it has to be daily? Not necessarily. I would say once a week, at least though, taking the time to sit quietly and really reflect on how you’re doing, how your parents are doing, how your loved one is doing, really asking yourself some intentional questions to evaluate what’s up and how things are going. So that would be the first thing would to be really setting aside some time to rest and reflect, set that first date. I want it to be right there on your calendar. I want it to be something that is scheduled and something that you know, that you will do. Not that you’ll let it get bumped to another time or overlooked.

[00:04:34] So in my book, No Regrets. I have a chapter that talks a lot about how to make those choices, how to keep things running smoothly. That’s what I call it and that comes from some activities that I found were really important to me. And I’m going to share with you a little bit from the book and a resource that I have for you.

[00:04:58] To help you to spend some time really creating and thinking about what’s important to you so that you can make the most informed decisions and choices that will lead you to the happy contented life that we know that you’re looking for.

[00:05:13] So the first thing I think you have to do is spend some time evaluating your personal values. The thing that I love about values is there are no two people that have exactly the same values. I think we sometimes hear maybe at work or even around our home, we’re all on the same page. This is our mission.

[00:05:32] These are our values. This is what we do. This is what we think is valuable. What we invest our time in, and those are all really important. And I think they really can build unity. And I think it’s important to have a mission or values for your team who’s caregiving with you, that caregiving team values.

[00:05:50] I often say we had the mantra, you know, does it make dad happy or healthy? I wanted him to be happy and healthy as long as possible. That was kind of my vision of what we wanted for his life. And my mission was to make sure decisions were based off of that vision. Will it make him happy? Will it make him healthy?

[00:06:09] So, because I had that in mind, I was able to make decisions a little more quickly, a little more decisively and without regret. And so the same thing is true in your own life. As you are making choices with your time, then if you have clarity around what’s most important to you, you’re going to make those choices and you’re going to live with the things that help you have the most joy.

[00:06:33] Christie said in her presentation that we often feel out of balance because we are not spending time on the things that are most important to us. Doing the right things at the right time will bring you balance or contentment. So I think really being able to evaluate what is most important and then doing those things at the right time, will bring that contentment to your life.

[00:06:57] And so I found a tool, in a book written by Cathy Lipp and Cheri Gregory called Overwhelmed. And I loved overwhelmed. It was very impactful for me. But the most impactful part was the personal manifesto. And they talk about creating a personal manifesto because of how you can use it to make decisions with your time.

[00:07:22] Kathy Lipp says, “A personal manifesto functions as your own personal code of conduct. That is not decided in the moment, but predetermined before you are crisis. “Caregiving has crisis after crisis after “crisis. And that is what it is. But if you pre decided something. Then you have more control over how you respond and what gets done and what doesn’t get done during those times.

[00:07:48] Creating that personal manifesto, or really just a written statement, which includes your core values is something that gives you a tool to really be true to yourself today, tomorrow, next week in the middle of the next crisis, there are statements that help you to understand and live by what’s most important in your life.

[00:08:07] The first step is to really spend some time valuating your core values. So I’ve created a special, just short, quick core values review for you to do. You can download that gift of the core values review at www.aseasonofcaring.com/podcastcorevalues. Again I’d. i’d love for you To download that free gift at www.aseasonofcaring.com/podcastcorevalues. Considering your core values, that’s the very first place to start.

[00:08:41] Once, you know what you treasure. What is most important to you, then being able to put it into simple statements about who you are, and what’s important to you is how you create a manifesto. I found that by writing my manifesto, it helps me to stay really focused on what was most important and how to make decisions based on that throughout my caregiving season.

[00:09:06] It helpded me to put myself in the future and to think about what I wanted people to say about me when I’m no longer here, it helped for me to really be true to who God made me to be, and to think about my true mission and passion in my heart. So here’s my manifestor that I wrote during my caregiving season. I just want to share it with you so you have an idea of what it’s like.

[00:09:30] I am the daughter of a loving king who desires to love him and all that she did. I am a supportive and loving wife to my farmer. I’m a daughter, sister, step monster Graham and friend who values relationship with my family and friends by making them a priority.

[00:09:49] I am a person who shares her life transparently so that others may be encouraged to walk confidently with. I know there is hope when life stinks. I believe in truth-telling compassion, honesty, integrity, and consistency. I feel, think, and act with grace always . So personal manifesto is a combination of both things, you know to be true about you now, and things that you desire to be true about you.

[00:10:23] So some of the words in there were descriptive of who I am and some of those words were descriptive of what I’m becoming, but I loved creating my manifesto and keeping it close by so that I could reference back to it. And I could think about each individual statement and the decisions I might be making.

[00:10:42] How I might be using my calendar, how I might be using my finances, my emotional energy, my gifts and talents. How do they line up to what I say is most important? So I started off my manifesto with a statement. I’m a daughter of a loving king. This is one of the things that I emphasize was the loving parts because of the season of my life, because I was watching my dad change and things were hard. Sometimes I might forget how loving God really is. So spending the time, focusing on his love for me was something I needed right then. So each time I read my manifesto, I was reminded of the truth that I already knew. No matter how I was feeling at the time. I know that to be true. The next statement, I’m a supportive and loving wife to my farmer.

[00:11:39] I knew that even though I was going to be away from him half a week, every week, week in and week out. I wanted to remind myself that I could still support him. And I could still love him well, even from a distance and that I could always be supportive and loving when I was with him.. If I kept that in mind. So that was my second statement.

[00:12:02] My third statement is a little longer. I’m a daughter, sister, step monster, Graham, and a friend who values relationship with my family and friends by making them a priority. I want them to list out all of those roles. I wanted to make sure that I remembered I was a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

[00:12:21] And they are important and those roles are important. So I wanted to call attention to that myself. I jokingly call myself a step monster and Graham is my grandma’s name. And so I wanted to include those things because those relationships and those roles are important and remembering that they are a priority as I listed out each of those things, I thought to myself, what do I need to keep in mind about those roles?

[00:12:50] And that’s where I came back to say, they’re a priority. They’re going to have time on my calendar every single week. I’m going to be intentional with making those relationships valuable and letting each of those people know how valuable they are.

[00:13:08] Next is that I’m a person who shares my life transparently so that others may be encouraged to walk confidently with God. I know there is hope when life stinks. The mission of my coaching practice at that time is really to share with people that there is hope. Just like I share now there is hope even in the stinkiness of life. And that sentence again was one that just expressed my heart to help people. Even in that season of life, that’s so hard and to offer the hope of Him to them in that season.

[00:13:38] The next one says, I believe in truth, telling compassion, honesty, integrity, and consistency. These are characteristics about myself that I wanted to continue to live out. I wanted to be a person who could speak the truth to the caregivers in my life, to the doctors as needed. And I wanted to be compassionate and honest with them. And consistency and integrity were always been important core values. And so I wanted to continue to live by those things.

[00:14:05] And I summed it up by saying, I think, feel and act with grace, always. That was one of those I was growing into because I knew that I really needed to focus in on grace, grace, towards others, around me and grace towards myself. And so I really did want to keep that in the forefront of my mind. What does it look like to show grace to those around me in the middle of this difficult time and to show grace to myself, no matter the circumstances.

[00:14:33] This process was really impactful for me. It really did give me a true north to hold on to and to consider when decisions came. I often share the story about in the four and a half years that I was caring for my dad. I had someone approach me at church and asked me to teach Sunday school. I’m a former elementary teacher, definitely something I could do. I love teaching. I love children. So it was in my bandwidth to some degree. But, I didn’t really have to think very long about it because as I went back to my manifesto and I thought about what was most important in this season right now. Yes. My commitment to my church into God was a top priority.

[00:15:19] But if I took the energy and the time to take on another role, then I would not be able to consistently serve the ones that I listed on my manifesto every day, day in and day out. And I knew it would affect my bandwidth and it just wasn’t the season to do it. It was not the time to take on that new responsibility. So by really focusing in on my manifesto, I was able to use it to make decisions .Maybe, next year, maybe three years from now, maybe never. I don’t know, but really being able to be clear about what I think, who I am and what’s important to me, it just gave me the power to be able to do those things, which I felt like I needed to do.

[00:16:07] The other thing that I love about a personal manifesto is this concept that Cheri Gregory and Kathy Lipp share called pre-deciding. Pre-deciding, it’s something that, again, I read about an Overwhelmed and it’s about learning to make decisions before you find yourself in the heart of the moment. So pre-deciding is pre, pre means before, right?

[00:16:30] So it’s deciding before it comes up. Now that might sound a little bit funny, but when you really think about pre-deciding, you start to understand that part of what we face in an average day is decision fatigue. Being tired of making a decision. Have you ever had somebody say, what do you want to eat? And you’re just like, oh, I don’t know. I don’t care. You’re just so tired. There’s so much going on. One more decision, even one as simple as what do I want to have for dinner can just feel like too much. Having that manifesto in place really does help you to decide ahead of time. What is most important and who do you want to be in each and every situation.

[00:17:12] Pre-deciding helps you to be prepared for what is to come. If you pre-decide, you don’t have to feel guilty about saying no to opportunities that come along, because you already know what is most important to you, right now. I think it’s important as you’re looking at creating a manifesto to really understand that it’s going to be a tool it’s going to be something that you will use over and over again.

[00:17:37] Keeping it in the forefront by reading it once a week or every day, whatever you need, it will just remind you of those things so that it helps you to pre decide what is most important. Be sure that when you put things in your manifest that you are putting just the most important things in so that you can use them to help you understand, what’s the best choice for you?

[00:18:00] LysaTerKeurst in her book The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. She reminds us to say yes to something means there’s less of you. So there’s less time, there’s less energy and less for other things.

[00:18:15] So recognize that your yes has consequences and that means that there’s a trade off going on. There’s less of you in return to do other things. And when I work with caregivers now, I often hear them feeling like their life is getting smaller because they can’t continue to do all the things that they’ve done before when they weren’t in a caregiving season.

[00:18:36] And I just want to encourage you Yeah. You’re right. Your life is going to get smaller right now because a bigger piece of it is being taken up with caring for your loved one. And that’s okay, this season’s not going to last forever. And so there’ll be opportunities to go back and pick things up again at another time.

[00:18:54] But right now you have to be really intentional. You have to make those choices with your time and that choice to decide what is most valuable right now is going to help you let go of the guilt. And avoid the regrets later.

[00:19:10] Pre-deciding allows you to say my health is important. I am going to exercise. I am going to join this group. I am going to eat healthy, making those decisions ahead of time. Having a menu created for the week helps you with your choice management, because you know what’s for dinner, you don’t have to stop and think about it. You’ve already planned it.

[00:19:33] You know how you’re going to spend your Saturday. You’re going to be at your grandchild’s ball game or you’re going to get your kid’s band contest. You’ve already decided those things. And by having those pre-decisions made, that also helps you to see what your need is to expand your team so that you can live by your core values and with the support of the people that you need to be able to do that.

[00:19:58] We talk about it all the time. I’m coming back to it again, as we finish up here, self-awareness month, I think that nothing will help you be more self-aware than. Identifying your core values and creating a manifesto to be able to live by so that you can check in and make sure that you really are doing the things that you feel are most important.

[00:20:21] And as we wrap up September, which is Self-care Awareness Month. I don’t think there’s any better way to do it than to really stop and think about the best way to provide self-care for yourself is to know what is most important to you. By using your core values, to create your own personal manifesto, you will find that will give you more bandwidth to make the best decisions and to have a regular check-in on how you are doing, which is the best plan for self-care awareness.

[00:20:50] Thank you again for joining me today, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you about some of the tools that I found helpful during my caregiving season. If you don’t have a chance to go to www.aseasonofcaring.com/podcastcorevalues definitely visit the show notes page and then we’ll have a link there.

[00:21:08] Thanks again for joining me today. And just a reminder, A Seasonal Caring Podcast is created for the encouragement of family caregivers. If you have financial medical or legal questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring.

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Meet Your Host

Rayna Neises, ACC

An ICF Certified Coach, Author of No Regrets:  Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Podcaster, & Speaker, offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, that they might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Rayna Neises, ACC

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4 Things you need to know as you begin your season of caring

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