Today on National Caregivers Day, we acknowledge all volunteers caring for others. Be it caring for elderly parents, relatives, children, such as the inspirational parents of Canuck Place, or those who care for other vulnerable people without compensation or familial ties. We also expand our acknowledgment to include all those now supporting family & friends suffering from COVID-19.
Elena Middlemass, our Manager, Corporate Services, was a caregiver for ten years. She describes them as ten years full of hard times and many, so many incredibly joyful times – all far too much to describe in a brief post. Living with someone who has a compromised immune system meant that her family practiced a milder form of the physical distancing we are now living in while caregiving. Her journey is over, but for some, it is just beginning. For others, the path seems endless, and all you can do is put one foot in front of another and take things day by day.
Elena writes, “I was extremely fortunate to have the full support of my organization, Vitalus Nutrition, including my generous colleagues. If you are a business owner, a manager, or a co-worker, never underestimate how much you contribute to the wellbeing of someone who, in addition to their job function, also works countless hours caring for someone after their paid work ends.”
She also has five points of encouragement:
“Keep trying to find balance, whatever that looks like for you. Don’t give up on yourself as you are doing the best that you can, given the circumstances.
Don’t feel guilty for taking time to maintain your mental health. There has never been a better time to be kind to yourself.
Exercise as best as you are able. Even if it is taking the stairs versus an elevator or parking in the furthest spot from where you need to go.
Don’t forget to eat. Try and eat nutritious food when you are able.
Fill your happiness bucket whenever possible, even if in small ways. I recognize this is very difficult, but, when you are in times of despair, it helps to have some good memories to pull you through.
Whatever your current situation, we will one day be looking at this time in our lives from the rearview mirror. Hopefully, we will have more good memories than sad, and we emerge on the other side with greater resilience and appreciation for what matters most.”
At Vitalus, CARE is one of our values, and we want to acknowledge and thank all volunteers today, and every day, who selflessly give their time and energy to better the life of another.
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