Empowered Caregiver, Inspired Living

9 ways a notebook/journal can support your care-giving journey- Empowered Care taking

Hey Wonderful Soul! These tips are geared towards my fellow caregivers out there, but most of them could be used by anyone. Here are 9 ways to use a journal/notebook to support your care-giving journey.

  1. Vent, it’s perfectly ok to spew out your frustrations. Especially if you don’t feel you have anyone who get’s it.. sometimes just getting it out of your head helps one feel calmer.
  2. Gratitude, sometimes finding that gratitude will feel like an excavation. Try and express it anyways.. One thing in depth, a list of 2-5 things, doodle it (maybe it’s that cup of… or the sun-shining or a good day for your loved one)
  3. Doodle, you DO NOT have to have any (like zero, zilch) drawing skills to doodle. Just create spirals, draw bits from your day to day (remember embrace imperfection here)
  4. Write your favorite quotes or song lyrics
  5. Write down your wins from that day or week. (and they can be seemingly tiny)
  6. Make a list of what things you need to do, want to look into, follow up on.
  7. Track your loved ones symptoms, behaviors etc..
  8. Make a list of self care actions you can take. (even in a few minutes a day, deep breaths, music, gratitude, creativity etc..)
  9. Glue in pictures, images from magazines, words you are drawn to.. this is a space, budget and time friendly way to engage in creativity on the regular.

I will leave the list at that for this post, though I could probably go on!

Essentially you really can’t do the journal/notebook thing wrong.  Choose one or a few ideas that you are drawn to and start there. It also doesn’t need to be anything fancy… The journal can be a composition notebook, spiral bound “cheap” one, pretty journal, blank book.. anything goes!

Here is to living and caring with intention

Heather

Empowered Caregiver

6 Caregiver Hacks – Empowered Caregiver

Hey Amazing Soul!

If you are a caregiver you know how many roles that one word encompasses. It can be exhausting (and rewarding!) I don’t know about you, but anything that can make those many roles a bit easier I’m all for it!

Here are 5 Caregiver Hacks (Ideas to make things a little easier) They might not fit your exact situation,  but i hope you can find a little inspiration here. I would love to know any of your tricks!

  1. Have a reusable water bottle around to encourage your loved one to hydrate. We use glass bottles that we got from amazon. We use a dry erase marker to put what bottle number it is (we aim for 3 bottles a day)
  2. Use a large calendar to write down all the appointments, follow ups, medication needs. We use a dry erase one for the fridge. 
  3. Use a Pinterest Board to gather ideas for care-giving ideas or your loved ones condition. Invite family or friends to it.
  4. Use a notebook to write down the things you need to do, follow ups, things you wan to research.. You can even separate it into ASAP, Short Term, Longer Term and Eventually.
  5. Take mini breaks throughout your day. We often feel we need larger chunks of time to really take care of ourselves. Deep breaths, stepping outside for a few moments, 5 minutes of exercise, Journaling for a few moments, checking in with your shoulders. Are they up by your ears?
  6. Check out what local agencies are around to help give you respite. You might qualify for a short term respite grant, maybe you can get support from a local church or the like. Someone to help out with your loved one a few hours a week. Adult Day Care ( often called  Social Centers). I know that even figuring that out can feel like yet one more thing to do. But it’s worth at least spending a little time each week on with the hopes that you will find something to give you a bit of a breather!

 

Here is to living with Intention

Heather

Empowered Caregiver

15 ways for Caregivers to engage in self care- Empowered Caregiver

Hey Beautiful Souls,

I am a co caregiver and an advocate for caregivers (in my own way) Self care is not a luxury  for any of us. But for caregivers it’s survival and supporting you in not burning out.  This list could go for anyone really but is geared towards those of you who are caregivers.. ❤

Also remember none of these have to be super time consuming, so when you feel the urge to zone out after a long day (and night) of care try one of these a try instead.

15 ways for Caregivers to engage in self care: 
1) Deep Breaths, this sounds too simple and trite. But it’s more powerful, simple and can be done for free and anywhere. It’s a tiny way to check in with yourself.
2) Listen to something inspiring: Music, podcast, audio books.
3) Surround yourself with uplifting messages/images. (more on this in the near future)
4) Read, even a paragraph a few times a day will add up! Maybe in this season of caregiving you are not able to sit down and devour a book. But you can chip away at it. Some is better than none!
5) Create something… As caregivers we often need to get creative to get responses out of our loved ones, solve various problems that come up etc. So we are ALL creative! Some ideas to get your creativity on… Color, Doodle, knit, Draw, get a notebook and write (vent, lists, gratitude, wishes, dreams etc.. ) In that same notebook or another one… Glue images from magazines or words. It doesn’t have to make sense or even be pretty!
6) Find a group online or in person so you have people who get you and understand where you are coming from.
7) Make and keep your medical appointments.
8) Move your body, yoga, walking outside or using a video to do an indoor walk,dance etc..
9) Hydrate, we are often good about getting those we are caring for to hydrate all while neglecting our own hydration!
10) Nourish your body, eat good healthy (ish sometimes at least) food.
11) Educate yourself how to best support the one you are caring for. While this doesn’t sound exactly like self care, being informed and thus empowered often will make various parts of the care a little easier on you and the one you are caring for.
12) Meditate, Pray, Gratitude.. do something to nurture your spirit.
13) Be kind to yourself. We are often thrown in the role of caregiver without warning, training or a clue what is to unfold. Expecting yourself to automatically be armed with a slew of information and skills right off the bat isn’t realistic. And beating yourself up about it doesn’t help anything. It just adds to your stress!
14) Repeat mantras and affirmations to yourself: I am doing the best I can in this current situation, this too shall pass, I’ve got this, I am a loving and caring person, I am guide, I am held, I am capable.
15) Tend to your physical appearance. Shower, brush your teeth, brush your hair, put on something that feels good even if you home all the time. Do it for you.. not for anyone else.
Here is to living with Intention
Empowered Caregiver

5 Ways to support a caregiver – Empowered Caregiver

Hey Beautiful Souls!

There will be some things shifting with my blog and work as head towards 2020. One of those things is I will be posting on caregiver stuff (self- care, hacks, resources my family and i have found helpful)

Today is the first of that, I am calling the category… Empowered Caregiver, as I do believe that is what most of us truly want if we are in that role. I am a co-caregiver. One of my sisters is her Full time Caregiver, and I am the multiple time week support, respite, advocate and researcher for our Step Mom.

If you know someone who is a caregiver here are 5 ways to help them out today. It’s such an underappreciated and misunderstood role that a huge amount of people are doing.

  1. Simply reach out, a text, card, email, call are always appreciated. Do be understanding that depending on the season of the care-giving role they might not be able to respond fast, but it IS appreciated.
  2. Listen, let them vent, celebrate, process. Just be a listening ear.
  3. Offer to pitch in! They might not be able to hand over care to you, but you can pitch in many other ways.  Ask what support they need, help around the house, offer to pitch in for chores or cook a meal, run an errand.
  4. Go hang out, so your friend or loved one can’t get out of the house much? Go to them.. have coffee or tea, do something creative together, watch a favorite show or movie.
  5. Help them research or find resources locally. For respite, services, household stuff. There are often those things they really need or want to do, but simply don’t have the cycles for

Here is to living and caring with intention

Heather

Soul Musings, Tuesday Tips

A few basics in a crisis- Tuesday Tips

Hey Lovely Souls.

My family is in another health crisis and it’s been consuming our energy. In that it’s easy to lose all sense of caring for ones self. While I really get that, I am in that what I need to remember (and am great about reminding others of!) is that when we don’t take care of our most basic needs during these times we can then get so stressed, sick or overwhelmed that we are no good to the one who is having the health crisis or anyone around us.

  1. Just Breathe, when we are stressed, worried, sad, angry we sometimes forget to actually consciously breathe. I am reminding my loved one of that too when I start to see the shallow or what appears to be stressed energy breathing.. In through the nose out through the mouth!
  2.  Hydrate and nourish your body as well as you can. Hydrate, try to make healthier choices for your food, move a little bit.
  3. Pray, Meditate, use a mantra, repeat an affirmation. When our energy is too focused on the worry, sadness, anxiety we are not helping ourselves or our loved one in the crisis. I am not saying those things won’t come up, they will. But having a prayer, meditation etc… to repeat helps refocus our energy and mindset.

Here is to living Inspired, Creative and Empowered

Heather