Thursday, April 11, 2019

Notes for Caregivers #10 - Make Time For The Things That Give You Inner Satisfaction

"Wellbeing" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper

Often caregivers become so caught up in our roll of taking care of our loved ones, that we forget to look after our own wellbeing. The truth is we are part of a team, a family, or a community, and this team or community needs all its members to have as much wellbeing as possible in order to function well. So in an effort to create as much personal wellbeing  as possible, I reviewed some work I did around resilience. I believe posting some of these resilience strategies here may be helpful for all of us in the caregiver roll.

Make time for things that give you inner satisfaction.  What gives you inner satisfaction and joy, not so much tangible consumables or extrinsic rewards, but more things that give you intrinsic rewards?  Can you create something based on what you find?  Pay attention to inner dialogue as you work. When you find you are receiving positive inner feedback, you know you are on the right track.

In addition, here are some non art prompts to try for increased wellbeing:

1. Do one secret good thing for someone else daily, anonymously, not hoping for anything in return. (It could be a simple as smiling or opening a door or paying for someone's coffee)
2. Write down your goals and intentions for the next month as if they are already accomplished. "I am delighted that I was able to create more time for [fill in the blank] this month.
3. Make note of any difficulties that you would like to be more resilient around, as if they are in the past tense, a memory. "I am so glad that I really have peace of mind around...[fill in the blank]"
4. Just "stop and be" daily. (You can do this after doing your one secret good thing and to see how you are feeling)
5. Find something new each day to support your body/mind.

I hope this is helpful.  All comments are welcome.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Notes for Caregivers #9 - On keeping a candle in the window, and creating happiness in dark times.

"Noble and Good" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper
For all caregivers in dark times, have a look at this wonderful video. Dr Maria Sirois talks about how to find happiness in our lives, even in dark times. She combines the latest research with personal stories and how we can put this into practice.  She also talks a bit about her new book, "Praise for A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (and Other Dark, Difficult Times)." Keep a candle in the window and the kettle on the stove.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Notes for Caregivers #8 - A sweet video for Caregivers

"Sustainable Joy" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper

On the Stories for Caregivers Facebook page, I found a wonderful, truth filled animation on finding your way in the adventure of care giving.  Often the caregiver feels quite isolated by the seriousness of the task. Things that used to matter a great deal now seem less important. This short video may just reframe your story, it may give you a new way to view your situation.

The video tells the story of a brave raccoon's journey to caregiving for an orphaned eagle. We learn about the transformative nature of caregiving, its disorientation and its rewards, from the racoon's journey.

Please share with other caregivers. "Connection and support are what keeps caregivers strong."