The flu season is upon us. Millions of people have received their flu shots. Sales of vitamin C and chicken noodle soups have skyrocketed.
And when our spouse or children picks up the flu, or a virus, we take extra precautions to try and keep from getting sick ourselves.
We wash our hands. We sleep in a separate bedroom. We try and eat well and get enough sleep. But often we fail and still get sick.
There are two primary reasons this happens. Our concern for those under or care outweighs the risks. Or we become physically exhausted and our immunities are compromised.
Once we are sick, we are unable to care for them. Now, we have to take time to recover also.
I have experienced this exact scenario recently. My wife was ill. I got sick. I was in bed for several days.
No one was surprised by this. It was almost predictable.
But the same situation and principles described above also apply to emotional illnesses.
When those in our care suffer from depression, or some other form of mental illness, we rarely take precautions to guard our own health.
And we are surprised when we become depressed and fatigued.
Our concern for those under or care blinds us to the risks to our own emotional wellbeing. We can become emotionally exhausted and get the blues.
Now, not only are we emotionally down, but we are unable to care for those in our charge.
Some of this could be avoided by placing some emotional distance between us and our care receivers. Or by allowing others to carry some of the emotional and physical burden we feel.
It would be great if we could avoid these blind spots completely. But the reality is that we care for others and we will be affected.
When we are affected we need to concentrate on our own recovery.
I have found that a good night’s sleep, some physical exercise, uplifting music, reading the Bible, some inspirational reading, and prayer will gradually restore my soul. I believe they will work for you too.