Over the past months of posts I think I've sufficiently expressed that caring for a disabled child takes plenty of time and energy. I've enjoyed getting away on vacation, but I can't get a week off every time I feel worn out. So I have to find other methods of escape.
One of my favorites is exercise. My daughter smiles when I buckle her into the jogging stroller and get her ready for a tour around the neighborhood. We don't set an Olympic pace and we never go for too long, but getting out of the house for a jog helps on many levels. There's the obvious physical benefit. This helps me to have the energy I need for everything else. There's also a secondary mental benefit. For those few minutes that we're out jogging along I can set aside any other stresses I might have and completely clear my head. It feels pretty good.
For a long time after my daughter was born I kind of felt like I didn't have time for any hobbies or anything that I used to enjoy before she was born. And while her care does come ahead of nearly everything on the priority list, getting a bit of exercise helps me keep my sanity.
If you find yourself absorbed in the caring for a family member I would recommend finding even just a half hour a day to do something for yourself. Even if that doesn't mean exercise, find something you like and do it to keep your identity. And remember if you choose a bit of exercise as your thing, you'll be physically and mentally healthier!