It’s been a fantastic week for Courage to Caregivers. We now have three programs up and running – Support Groups and Breathing Meditation, which launched this week, and our One-to-One Caregiver Support program, which launched in November. Many thanks to the creators, leaders and facilitators of each of these programs, as well as the many supporters who have worked so tirelessly behind the scenes to help put the focus on self-care for caregivers.
For the next few weeks in our weekly inspirational email, we’ll be diving deeper into what self-care is and why it’s important.
Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting our own well-being and happiness, particularly during times of stress. I highlighted practice and active because those are two of the most important requirements for self-care. It has to be a practice, part of our everyday routine, and it has to be an active pursuit that we fully commit to – practicing self-care for its own sake, and for our sake.
You can’t help others if you’re in distress yourself, but it’s hard for many caregivers to focus inwardly on their own needs. It’s just not in their nature.
So how do you change your thought processes and recognize that your own needs are also important? Prioritizing self-care requires:
Taking responsibility for your needs.
Setting realistic expectations for yourself.
Recognizing what you can’t change.
Communicating your needs directly to others.
Asking for help when you need it.
And here is an article with some suggestions on how you can actively put self-care into practice:
Practice simple breath awareness for 10 minutes a day.
Try a mind-body practice like yoga, tai chi, meditation and deep relaxation techniques.
Make sure you eat right and get enough sleep.
Remain socially connected with family, friends and support groups.
Turning the focus inward means looking inside yourself at your needs and wants, and recognizing that your feelings are as valid and important as anyone else’s. By understanding who you are and what you have to offer, as well as your own limitations and strengths, you can gain inner strength and be a better caregiver.
Do at least ONE thing for YOU today!
Founder and Executive Director