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Last night I made strawberry margaritas and slept deeply for at least 7 hours. 1st time in 3 years for 7 hours of sleep. So... what should I do now? I can't seem to stop worrying about my Mother's care, how she's doing, how my sisters are doing (they buddied up to care for her this weekend and one sister is taking all of next week off to care for our Mother) and my urge to call is near overwhelming.

What do you all do for no budget vacations?

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I say just call :) What's funny is being on a vacation means your suppose to be enjoying yourself, but worrying about your mom is going to keep at you till you do it. I'd suggest to just sit down, kick your feet up, relax with music and maybe just let your mind wander to the things that make you happy. If a mood strikes you, then just do it ;) ,, If it doesn't, then just keep sitting.

The great thing about a vacation means you don't have to do anything. Easier said than done too, but if you just try to let your mind wander to what makes you feel good, you might be surprised at what you find. So what if calling your mom makes you feel good. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you have to avoid her. What's funny is even when I'm on vacation, I still take care of my mom. Not because I feel like I have to, but because it makes me feel good. I've tried going places, but I can't relax. It's much more relaxing to know I'm here with her and she's doing good. Then I can pick up the book, or go for that walk, or just play games if the mood strikes.

Just go with whatever it is that makes you feel good, feel really good. There's nothing wrong if that feeling takes you nowhere. Maybe where you are right now is where your heart is and that's the best place of all.
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If I had a free week I'd do a project I haven't been able to devote time to. In my case, I'd work on getting photographs into albums -- but only because I love doing it, not so I could get some "chore" done.
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Have a "stay-cation." Do all those creative things around the house that you have been putting aside. Take up a new craft. Sit outside in the sunshine and read. Write long emails and letters to friends. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Garden, if that is your thing. Bake some yummy cookies then eat them! Take long walks to clear your head. Take your camera to a new part of your town and take "artsy" pictures. Visit museums, even small towns have them.
I just commented to my hub this evening, that the last time I felt well rested was when I was in the ER a few weeks ago. I felt like I could just lay back and have others take care of ME for a change. Isn't that the saddest thing you've ever heard?
So make every day count - and, for heaven's sake stop worrying about Mom...all will survive. HAVE FUN.
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Anything you like. Get together with friends especially if you have lost touch. Take a drive or relax at the lake or park or anything you USED to enjoy. Meditate, get in touch with your body and mind, take a long walk as though you haven't a care in the world. Pray and thank God that you have sisters who are caring and compassionate enough to allow you this time and be GRATEFUL for all the good things in your life. If you have a pet, spend time with him/her, they are the only reason I find to live much of the time. Hug your friends, go out with them for dinner or for the evening. Wahhh, I am jealous!!!!!!!
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I have so many interests that I have had to put aside while looking after mom my problem would be that I would not know where to start, but to share with someone else, I would treat the house as my own again, like putting on a symphony or opera at top volume and singing along (mom can't stand excessive noise, even though she has selective hearing like a dog, and can't hear me while I talk to her in a normal voice in the same room), and then I would watch some of my favorite movies on vcr or dvd that I cannot enjoy while she is around (she does not like anything that does not have the equivilent of Fred and Ginger dancing off into the sunset together - British period movies or art films are beyond her comprehension) and I can only watch when she is not awake.... Just getting time to read without interruption one of the mountain of books I have stacked up would be a luxury! As it is, I am living like a monk sworn to poverty so that I will have some money to spend on what will probably be my last European vacation, which, by the way, I do on a budget.
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I am a firm believer in "mini" vacations. Make it your priority to catch up on sleep. Go to a craft store a discover a new, inexpensive craft that you can do even when your mother returns. Join a support group and meet the people in the group. This will give you a support group later on when your mother returns. Do the things for yourself that you used to enjoy such as read ( stash up on books at a used book store), get a new haircut, and go shopping at yard sales or consignment shops if money is tight. Start planning your next vacation and save for a state cabin on water somewhere so you get a new outlook on life. Best wishes and I hope you have fun.
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Look up places and things to do in your state...you can usually find something affordable and close...or jsut stay home and veg...do what you feel like doing. Trust that your sisters are very capable to take care of your mom, try and relax and enjoy your time to yourself.
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Get a healthful amount of sleep each night. Listen to music you like, but haven't got to hear in a while. Dance-even all alone. Contact a friend who always made you laugh, but who you haven't spoken to in a while. Watch funny movies you haven't seen, but wanted to. Eat delicious, healthful foods, including plenty of fruits and veggies. If you've been neglecting your healthcare, get a checkup. Catch up on any beauty care that makes you feel good about yourself, but has been neglected (e.g. color your hair). Get plenty of fresh air. Go somewhere you can see spring flowers. Wear only clothes that are comfy, and make you happy. Sing. Smile. Laugh. Go for a walk. Pet animals. :)
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Oh you mean she's not dead yet? Your "care" is not over then. You are just taking a respite/break.
If you have three days, go to the beach or to the mountains, which ever is your favorite spot. Put it on the C card. Have room service or delivery of food/drinks to you place in the sun. Be sure to say thank you to whomever is delivering this important service. You'll know how great it feels.
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Sounds to me like you are off to a great start with Margaritas and sleep. Where do you live? Maybe there's another caregiver living close enough that you could meet up with for an afternoon. I hope your weather is nice enough to get out in. Do whatever you find pleasure in!
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Find places with running water, a fountain, real stream, slough, yacht harbor. Have lunch there, bring your own or find park with lakeside cafe. At Stanford U, there is the alumni association building, with public cafe...in back of building is courtyard with very wide waterfall fountain, surrounded by foliage. Go to art museum (Stanford's Cantor Art Center is free...with huge Rodin collection)...nice gift store, and patio cafe with view of Rodins. Find a horse stable facility that is pretty busy. I have one that from parking lot you can see stables, corral with dozens of horses, exercise rings.

Get overview perspective. I go to top of parking garage. Look for which direction crows fly. they "mob" together from dozens of miles away and collect together for the night. To see them come flocks from great distance was exhilarating...happened to be on 7th floor of old Santa Clara Kaiser hospital...they swarmed to trees at the hospital...it was life changing to witness. Flocks of redwing blackbirds will come to cattail area to nest for night. See if you can find something like that.
Drive at night. When I had to drive Mom to ER several months ago, I couldnt' figure what was strange with the world. I had not been driving at night in perhaps six months. Go out and look at the moon, try to poke out head and find it every night. If you don't know what phase it is in...
Go to a live play or concert. In SF, the seats in the choir loft are like only $25. So not the best sound, but you get to see the conductor face to face at close range. Find cathedral, large space, and just visit. See if there are any services. Some places have labyrinth you can walk.

You will think me crazy,b ut this is the best to do...for me. Go help someone else, even at nursing home. A few minutes, an hour. Guess what you get for your kindness...A THANK YOU! When the respite caregiver arrives and I go out, I always look to give a senior a ride home from market, give homeless person a few dollars or buy them actual food, lend homeless person (if seems trustworthy) cellphone to make crucial call home. We give so much of our lives for endless days hours months years, and sometimes never hear "thank you" or see gleam of appreciation in person's eyes. Taken for granted. this is not how serving helping works in the real world. You get thanked and are appreciated. Really, it will lift your spirits. It is the one thing I do to really care for myself.

borrow tent and camp in your back yard. Or if nice bring out sleeping bag and cot and sleep outdoors.
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Oh I know just how you feel!! Its hard to hand over the reins when you've been driving for so long. Visit a friend you haven't seen in a long time.... Movies are great escapes especially in the middle of the day for a matinee. Good books from the library... A walk in a beautiful park - On the west coast things are popping with spring colors. good luck and god bless!
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I'm glad you are getting a break. I know it is hard to believe others, even your sisters, can give the same level of care to your mom as you can. Let that go! They will be fine. Some low cost ideas I find relaxing and actually fun are: get a good long pedicure with leg massage and a manicure if you have nails..I don't. get a new haircut or just a wash and blow dry, ask them to take their time...I am always rushing. Go to a couple of movies with friends then go for coffee and take your time discussing the movie...key word...take your time, no rushing allowed and no worrying. If you ended up in the hospital because you were sick they would have to take care of mom without you. Go somewhere locally that you always say you would like to go there if you had time. A zoo, museum, theatre, restaurant, diner...new store, you get the idea. I wish you luck and love and I agree with cmagnum, ask your sisters to give you a break sooner than three years. They are lucky to have you and they KNOW it. You should know it, too. God Bless.
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Do you usually live with your mom? Are you staying at a hotel over the next week or so? If you haven't been to a museum in your city in a long time, that would be a nice, relaxing activity. If there is a safe park near you, you could buy or pack a lunch and eat at the park and then go for a nice walk. Stop and get some yogurt or ice cream. Do little things that bring back memories of your youth that comfort you and make you smile inside.
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got a tent? go camping! my escape is always the beach. if your close to one, even just one day will do wonders
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Go to a zoo generally they don't cost much or an arboretum! Get your hair done have a pedicure... watch some movies you can get them for a $1.00 at red box...give yourself some time to just relax... read a good book whatever you like mystery or romance good fiction whatever... take care of you for a change. Let your sisters care for Mom!!!
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Read a book, take a bath enjoy your time off. I know its hard I to have a hard time when My mom is with someone else(once a year if I am lucky) I use the time to do things I can't when she is home. I usally paint her room and really give it a good cleaning and like I said I read a book without guilt.
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Your mother is being taken care of. Be glad that your sisters are giving you a break. Do some thing that you like that doesn't cost much and try to focus on yourself. Get in touch with yourself and let your body and mind rest. It sounds like you have been living on sleep deprivation for three years and that is not good for your physical or mental health. Then at the end of your break have a talk with your sisters about doing this on some sort of schedule and not in another 3 years.
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