Nothing to fear but fear itself

During World War II, amid all the turbulence, Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, had this to say about fear, and it still rings true today:

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

That’s the message I leave with you today, on this beautiful sunny day in June. May you all have strength, may you all have courage.

Calm Pond

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Self-care ponderings

Pink & blue flowers

What nurtures you?

How can you take 5 minutes every day to rejuvenate?

These become essential questions when you are providing care for someone.  At times because of devotion to their loved one, a strong sense of responsibility, and out of practical need, caregivers’ needs fall behind on the priority list.  I recently discovered a fantastic organization called KCET broadcasting in the U.S. that offers education and inspiration around caregiving topics. I appreciated the video clip on self-care, shared by a woman caring for her Dad; a helpful glimpse of how she manages to stay active while managing all the caregiving details. See the video at: http://www.kcet.org/shows/yourturntocare/caregivers/

Last week I had the honour of participating in Elders Wellness Day at T’sleil Waututh, one of our local First Nations. I was struck by the elders’ responsiveness to receiving health related services such as Hawaiian Massage, foot care, Reiki energy balancing, and nail pampering.  One woman spoke of her appreciation for the wisdom shared in the room.  I truly believe in the value of sharing what we gain through our experiences: The ways we care for ourselves, the challenges we’re overcoming, and the things we’re grateful for- All the little yet significant things that shape our journey and encourage our openness to ongoing learning.

Some days, self-care means finding five minutes to put your feet up and enjoy a piece of chocolate. Other days, it means taking the day off from hands-on caregiving duties and going with a friend for a mini holiday.

You are worth some TLC!

Neutralizing your caregiver energy zappers

Recently I participated in the Family Caregivers Network Society’s tele-workshop “Neutralizing Your Caregiver Energy Zappers”.  You can sign up for other caregiving teleworkshops at the Care-ring Voice Network

Some highlights of the workshop for me were the importance of downtime/time alone, and how good it is to have some time for the self.  In order to do that, we need to be skilled in being assertive in expressing our needs, and to realize that taking time to rest, does not mean you are lazy.

A few days ago I felt I needed to just go in my garden for a while.  I noticed a tree in the garden that I hadn’t really looked at before. The fresh air and time to just “be” for a while was very refreshing..Maybe you can do something nice for yourself too, today. :

Calm Pond

Caregivers in the movies

Nebraska: a road trip

Nebraska is a story about an elderly man who hits the road to collect lottery winnings he believes are waiting for him. Bruce Dern plays the sometimes cranky, hard-to-love father. Will Forte, of Saturday Night Live, plays the tolerant son who accompanies his father on what seems like a pointless journey.  In  the end the film is heartwarming and reaffirms that what many caregivers try to do is maintain the dignity of the person they care for. (Contains occasional coarse language.)

 

 

written by Josie