There are 24 hours in a day. How do you spend them? You might be thinking, especially now with more people being home or more time on the frontlines, "I work", "I take care of my kids", "I help my child with e-learning", "I'm taking care of my parents"...where do you fall into this? You, yes YOU, are the common denominator to make all this happen. Who takes care of you, so you can do all of this? When do you take care of you, so you can do all of this?
Here's the long of the short of it...you are in charge of your self-care. You choose how you spend the 24 hours that are in the day. Let's break this down. Generally speaking and in line with health standards, people get 6-8 hours of sleep a night. That leaves you with 16-18 hours left. If you work, you may work 8-10 hour days (give or take). Now, that leaves you with 6-8 hours. You then may need to assist your kids with homework or the aftermath of e-learning; let's say that's about 2-4 hours. You now have about 4-6 hours....
I have a friend who came to me recently. She is a reputable professional, seemingly having it all together via social media. I sometimes will see posts of her always ready for a picture with her children, perfect meal and table settings, her hair and makeup are always on point, and she has an extremely successful business career. To say the least, it makes me feel less than a lot of the time. I am lucky, some days, if I remember to brush my teeth before I stand outside with my kids for the bus talking to another mom. Social media can make us envy other's situations, feel unworthy, or that we simply are not up to par on everyday routines. And then, she stopped by the house to chat.
With times being what they are, I have had some time to reflect on how life has changed. It can be difficult to deal with everyday life. When so many changes come at one time, it can be challenging to keep our spirits up. Some of us will seek out help, some of us will not. You are not alone. You are not without tools. There are many non-pharmacy approaches to mood management. I use essential oils.
During this pandemic, many have had to reflect on how this has impacted their mental health. However, our residents, patients or loved ones with dementia aren't able to reflect like this and need us to really help them through this.
I wanted to share an excerpt from my upcoming book on dementia care directed towards families about how to help those who have dementia and are experiencing depression.
"Depression is very common for individuals living with dementia. Although the exact causes of depression in Alzheimer Disease are unknown, it is clear that changes in brain chemistry play a role. Changes to brain chemistry may be triggered internal by aging, genetics, or another disease, such as Alzheimer disease. External factors such as experiencing the death of a family or friend, work or troubles, or other traumas and stressors may also trigger changes to brain chemistry leading to depression.