Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Giving Back: How to Practice Self-Care as a Caregiver

I don't personally know Jason Lewis, the author of this guest post, but he astounded me with his intuitiveness. Thank you Jason, this article is personally touching. I cared for my husband during his double lung transplant on October 7, 2020. Lung transplant was/is an incredibly difficult yet amazingly miraculous journey. Today, we enjoy 17 months post transplant. My husband, Steve, is doing well. I'm still learning to care for myself...

Caregivers are extraordinary


Self-care is important, but even more so when you’re caring for someone else. The Family Caregiver Alliance refers to research showing that 40-70% of those who do so in the US exhibit clinically significant signs of depression. The process of providing care often takes a huge toll and you’ll need to take action if you want to keep in good health. Tammy365 shares some tips on how to look after yourself, whilst looking after others.

It’s crucial, even after a long day at work, to push through the exhaustion barrier and get out to do some exercise. The mental health benefits of exercise are innumerable, but beyond the improved confidence, decreased stress hormones and distraction from stressors, exercise will also help to provide you with the long-term energy you need to cope with day-to-day caregiving grievances. Even a short jog can be enough to break a negative cycle and release some of those ever-important endorphins.


If you can partner a positive exercise regime with a nutritious diet, you’ll be well on your way towards a healthier work/life balance. Changing your diet is often less complicated than you might think - a good first step is to wean yourself off junk foods high in salt, carbs, and trans/saturated fats. You can do this using replacement methods - by trading sugary foods or fruit and healthy alternatives and gradually lowering its demands.

Social Life

Like anything else, it takes time and effort to maintain a healthy social life. Although it can be difficult to find that time away from work, diverting your attention to spend with friends and family is crucial if you want to stay emotionally stable as a caregiver. The main key for unlocking a fulfilled social life is to organize and plan ahead - make sure you’re using apps and calendars to write down any plans and try to agree on dates well ahead of time to ensure that everyone can make it.


The importance of music as a tool in battling stress, anxiety, and depression is too often overlooked. Studies cited on Pulse TMS show that music therapy leads to reduced muscle tension, increased self-esteem, and self-expression. Live music has even been linked to the release of oxytocin (the love or trust neurotransmitter). If the stresses of caregiving feel overwhelming, try finding some music that complements your mood and spending an hour just listening.


The arts have long been an outlet for those who are troubled by mental maladies. If the weight of caregiving feels too heavy, try off-loading some of it via painting, sculpture, or physical crafts. Art and colors are shown to improve mood and, oftentimes, provide a more pleasurable way to explore and confront internal issues.

Time Management

It’s difficult to engage with any of the above if you haven’t got the time to do so. That’s why it’s important to bring in help to free up some of your own time. Some services will help you to keep things orderly in your life as you’re dedicating your time to others’ - for example, lawn care maintenance tends to cost between $30 to $80 (although this can go up if irrigation, fertilizing, pruning and hardscaping are included) but can save you hours on the weekend for you to spend on yourself. If in doubt, just Google: lawn care companies near me.

The value of caregivers is incalculable. By sacrificing your own time, you’re making the time of the receiver and people around them far more enjoyable. Just remember that if you’re not in a good mental or physical state, your ability to help others will always be impeded.


The Tammy365 blog shares faith, recipes, humor, and encouragement. Reach out to Tammy today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

3:16 Day 2022

Donor Letter

Wednesday, 3.16.22, 8:40 am Day 525

Steve and I accomplished a huge thing yesterday. His donor family letter has started the journey to the mailbox of someone we may never receive a reply from or know. It’s okay. We took the chance of contact aware of the emotional roller coaster involved. The letter seems so small and insignificant in return for the gift of life Steve received!
His appointment yesterday was the best ever! Thank you again for your prayers. ❤️ His bloodwork is good. His kidneys are stable. No medicine changes. After going over everything, the doctor looked at Steve and said “You’re on auto-pilot now!”. He then directed his eyes at both of us to say “Congratulations on a job well done!”. I didn’t look at Steve but I’m sure he was holding back tears like me. All the tears, sweat, restless nights, rehab, pill schedule, prayers, trips back and forth to Atlanta, blood draws, infusions, bronchoscopies, vitals three times per day, hospital stays, I could go on…ALL were worth those six powerful words!!!
Today seems so perfect; 3:16 day. I contemplate if a doctor saying those words moved me so, what will it feel like when I hear from my Lord, “well done my good and faithful servant”! I get chills thinking of it now! Transplant is the greatest challenge Steve and I have shared together. I can never emphasize enough how the renewing of his and our lives is nothing short of a miracle.
Good news! A renewed life doesn’t require a physical transplanted organ but a spiritual one. There’s no evaluation to see if you qualify and no wait list because you already have a donor; Jesus!
Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh…
Oh, it’ll be emotional reaching out to your donor but he’ll respond immediately! You’ll know him and he’ll know you. Please allow God to love on you like he wants to. Don’t put Jesus on your wait list…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Much love,