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I live in a very small town and my options are limited. But I would love to hear what you do for yourself. I am feeling I have to do something. I really have been my husband's caregiver for years with his illnesses, heart, broken bones, etc. Thanks

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I wish I did have the talent to paint. I would love that. I bought a coloring book the other day for adults and now I have to find my husband's coloring pencils. He used to color some. Have fun..
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I have re-discovered art! I can spend 15 min to 1 hour and get lost in acrylics or pastel painting. So fun and therapeutic.

I take care of my 5 month old grandson 2 days a week for a few hours...and that really makes my day! Such a cuties and unconditional love!
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I read... alot! Luckily Mom does too. Hubs is in his early retirement so I do get to get away once in awhile ( I know how lucky I am). But I love to go shopping by myself.. even to the grocery store! Even window shopping. And once in a blue moon I watch TV that I want... My DVR is full, if I ever get the time!
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I used to love to color. I want a coloring book !!! I used to love staring into a candle and just watching the flame. I love fire pits. Haven't done any of these for quite a while. I love nature but where we are there is no real nature like the Smoky Mountains with the rushing rivers and all the sounds.
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Oh! And I find funny things to laugh at on Facebook! Laughter really does help!
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I drink red wine while coloring in my adult coloring book and listening to jazz music, reminding of the times when I was living in "the city". A bunch of us girls would go to to dinner then to a piano bar afterwards. I miss those days when I had no elder responsibility.
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Lately, I give something a fresh coat of paint. I think it's because whatever I paint looks better, fresher, cleaner. Not going to read too much into that, just gonna appreciate all my pretty new colors! :)
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The one thing that I enjoy doing for myself - is to eat lunch all by myself at a real restaurant. I'm not talking about McD or Wendys or KFC. A real restaurant. A restaurant where I'm not pressured to leave immediately after eating because customers are waiting to be seated. I love to just sit down, relax and read my book. Take my time eating and drinking. So far, I've kept it at Dennys because I love their local breakfast menu that you can order any time of the day. One day, I will branch out to Chilis or Applebys.
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I have never known a person that was miserable with a pet of their choosing. Anything from a gold fish to chickens, to cats, dogs, hamsters,etc. Any living breathing creature that they can feel the love from it. I was thinking about those nice coloring books for ME..I would love to have chickens just 2 or 3 but my landlord will NOT let me have that first chick even though we live next to a steer lot with lots of noise and smells. We hear cyotes at night. We are in the country but no chickens. It might disturb a blade of glass. Oh well. So maybe coloring books. I don't think I have the patience to learn to chrochet. We have 2 small dogs and I would Love to make them winter clothes. We used to go to the Smokie Mountains a lot and loved the sounds of nature and just kicking back and enjoying a fire at night but I don't ever see that happening again. We tent camped and the whole nine yards. Thanks guys for the ideas. Keep them coming.
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I work out a bit in the morning. Read like a demon, love it!!!!, and spend time with grandchildren who are very uplifting. Also lots of coffee with friends.

I want to get a dog but my husband acts like it would make him miserable. So, no dog. but i see you have dogs. I think pet therapy is very important.
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I try to reduce stress by listening to music, attending concerts when possible, going out to lunch with my friends, spending time with my great niece who's 5 years old, watching favorite tv shows, (I recommend Breaking Bad series for all seasons at Netflix.) enjoying my herb garden, and shopping.

I like to find good deals (clothes and educational toys) for my niece who is special needs. And I like to find things for my mom. She likes to decorate the house for the seasons and holidays. That is a hobby I took from her. I also enjoy taking photos at family gatherings. My dad and I enjoy researching our ancestors and contacting extended family members. I also follow politics, though, I'm not active like I used to be. I like to read the Bible and pray. I find that prayer helps me so much.
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for visitors. Oops this keyboard is troublesome! I also bought one of the adult coloring books with kaleidoscope designs and some colored pencils and I like to relax with that as I don't have time for anything more extensively creative like I used to. We're working with her doctors now to hire someone to provide a few hours a week when I could get out somewhere with a friend for lunch or something. And I avoid feeling too isolated by keeping up with friends on Facebook and coming here :) which has been a Godsend.
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I don't have a car or anyone to watch my aunt while I go out so I can't get out. But I do turn on the baby monitor and head outside with a cup of tea as often as I can. Friends come to visit too as we have a large enough house to entertain them without disturbing my aunt and room enough in her room forv.
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Today I'm getting a deep tissue massage and then going to lunch with my best friend while a hired caregiver is here. The other thing I used to do is I began watching HBO's The Sopranos from season one thru season six. Holy cow, what a show. Rented it from the library and played it on my computer. It will take your mind off things, it's so good. But it also has some curious coincidences in it's plots too, like Tony's mom being put into a nursing home kicking and screaming. Now I am starting on Mad Men with season one, on Netflix. I use movies to relax and escape most of all. And good books. Reading The Martian right now. Hope you can find some time for yourself, you certainly deserve it. Thanks for starting a post on a lighter note, too.
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The thing I do most often is workout in the mornings and take mini walks in the afternoons which helps with mood and stress. I also meditate and read scripture most days and have close friends at church and from childhood that are going through similar elder care experiences which helps a lot.

This week I treated myself to an overdue hair salon visit for a trim and to retouch my highlights. It was the best 3 hours of my time (I have a lot of hair and long) with few people around and my stylist knows me well and what I've been going through as she went through it recently before both her parents passed. The head massage effect almost put me to sleep a few times it was wonderful. Although I was so zoned out that when their phone rang I jumped. I thought, Lord, really Jack, you're not at home and it's not your parents! Just made me realize how stressed and uptight I must be on a regular basis.

Tomorrow is 19 years of wedded bliss and plan to have a nice dinner out. My hub and I have been together 21 years and his support and leadership in walking with me through this just fills me with gratitude. I am truly thankful.
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Ladee, are you a "rock hound" too? Ever go to any of the geological cuts in Canada?
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I come here to AC!
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If the weather is nice, I go out to the backroads, I live in a rural area, and look for rocks, petrified wood.... all I hear is birds, cattle, and occasional donkey and many birds. I call it going to church.. only time I feel peaceful and rested.
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If I get a chance in the afternoon to watch "Diagnosis Murder" staring Dick Van Dyke, in my own home alone I feel like I am on vacation.
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