Tag Archives: self-care

Dr. Seuss’ wisdom for Caregivers

It’s one of those slow and unplanned days.

My youngest is under the weather. He was up and down most of the night.  He’s tired. I’m tired. We’ve been laying low and reading books – mainly Dr. Seuss books.

DrSeussLogoMost of us have fond memories of reading Dr. Seuss’ whimsical work, being mesmerized by his vivid images, and learning life lessons that have carried us forward into adulthood.

As caregivers go about tending to the needs of others, the same attention given to caring for themselves is often overlooked.

If a caregiver finds themselves neglecting their self-care, they should stop and revisit the life lessons of Dr. Seuss. Here are the top quotes for Dr. Seuss to help bring perspective and balance to how caregivers care for others and themselves:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

Caregivers often fall, unknowingly, into the role of an advocate for their client. It can be detrimental to the caregiver’s overall well-being if they feel their client is being underserved. The caregiver may begin to question their voice and their ability to serve their client. In cases like this, the caregiver should decrease mental pressure, remember the power of their voice, and ask questions that increase the care their client may need and deserve.

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Many caregivers undervalue the impact of their work because as a society, the role of a caregiver is often under or ill-defined. Caregivers should remind themselves, daily, that their role in the life of their client (and the loved ones who love their client) counts majorly. The client relies on the caregiver to share their skills and talents in their caregiving duties. If the caregiver is to continue to provide quality care, he/she must place a high value, internally, on their own work.

“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”

Caregiving is extremely difficult work and can be taxing. There are serious details and a large amount of responsibility that falls to caregivers. To increase the caregiver’s awareness of tending to their own self-care – the caregiver should stay mindful and celebrate small and large accomplishments as they support their client. They should keep a fresh perspective and be able to appropriately find fun and humor in their day-to-day work.

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“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Even when a caregiver gets to a point when things may be overwhelming with a client or with the client’s family – they need to give themselves positive affirmations. The caregiver should remember jobs that do not receive a lot of public recognition or glory are the most important jobs. Positive self-talk is a self-care practice that can instantly impact a caregiver when he/she may be having doubts about their role.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.”

Many non-caregivers are hard pressed to understand the impact of a quality caregiver. Because of this, it becomes increasing important for caregivers to have a caregiving network that will remind the caregiver they play an integral role in the legacy of their clients. Keeping this top of mind supports the caregiver in reflecting on the value of what they bring to their clients.

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“Oh, what a day. I will make it a holiday.”

When caregivers are working hard, their caregiving days can start to blend and become a blur. To focus on self-care and enjoying time with clients, caregivers should create daily reason to celebrate. This will aid in increasing a positive energy flow and support the caregiver’s positive outlook.

 

What are your favorite Dr. Seuss-ims and how would you apply them to caregiving?

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Projecting your issues

Ah, a family wedding.

We haven’t had one in some years and I was very excited about this one.

You see, hubby’s cousin is getting married. She was the flower girl in our wedding, and now our son will serve as the ring bearer. What a beautiful tradition and circle of growth being witnessed this weekend.

My mother-in-law created a beautiful pillow for my son to carry. When I was married, my mother-in-law made my wedding dress, her own dress, and the flower girl’s dress (the cousin getting married today). Again, I’m filled with warmth, love, and overwhelm as I am a member of this amazing family and feel honored to witness this blessed union.

Weddings are like that. They call to mind what binds us and makes us a family. It makes us reflect on love, falling in love, and self-love. It brings out the best of us as we rally around the happy couple…but then there are the moments of projection when family members come together – and things start to swirl.

Projection comes up a lot at major family events because people are not always self-aware. They deny what is living and breathing on the inside of them and they do not take responsibility for their behavior or feelings. Unresolved feelings, hurt, and pain can lie dormant inside of us. Even though it is dormant, it is still dormant and festering.

When a major family event comes up, someone can consciously or unconsciously trigger an unresolved issue and before a person even realizes it, a fast moving lava flow of negative energy, barbed words, hurtful attacks, and downright meanness can erupt.

I have not seen any of this unfold at this family wedding, but I have heard the initial volcanic seeds being planted. A comment about someone’s weight. A side remark about physical fitness. The refusal to acknowledge a current accomplishment. A moment of antisocial behavior to put others in their place.

This is how it can all start, fester, and then erupt.

If you have a family event coming up and you know (but may not willingly want to acknowledge) you have some unresolved family issues – use the following steps to take care of yourself and to avoid projection:

Make a list of things that may be bothering you about going to the family event. Be clear, detailed and specific. This list is for your own eyes only.

Think about words, interactions, or triggers that might set you off. Examine your thoughts here and find out where the hurt lies.

Stop judging yourself and start to heal. We cannot change the past but we can craft the future. Treat yourself with kindness and move toward healing and transformation because you want and deserve it. You’re not trying to please others.

Practice having a conversation with a family member who pushes your buttons. You can do this alone or with a person you trust. When you feel yourself getting heated, during this practice session, breathe. Stop and think if the conversation is really about you – or if the other person/family member is projecting.

Practice kindness. Search your heart and think about how you like to receive kindness. Practice giving that kindness to yourself. This will help you be ready, with an open heart, to give this kindness to your family members – even if they are projecting.

What other tips do you have to avoid projecting unresolved issues on others? How do you handle family events that may have a toxic undertone?

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Spring

Spring is here!

I woke up to sunshine, bird chirping, an easy breeze, and a feeling of renewal.

Do I mean to sound all “love, peace, and hair grease”? Yes, I do – and here’s why…

I just returned from a four day summit with Martha Beck and about 310 Martha Beck trained coaches. If you know Martha’s work – then you can imagine large energy particles shooting off every person – causing the next person to generate a mega-abundance of more energy. (If you don’t know Martha’s work…well, I invite you to check it out.)

As the beauty of the of the four days rolled on – I was a bit worried about reentry into my multigenerational home life and getting back to writing (yup, behind on my eBook), coaching clients, and prepping for workshops. I wanted to hold on to the joy, magic, serenity, and renewal I was feeling during the summit. Instead of getting my panties in a wad about forcing my life flow go exactly the way I wanted – I decided to create a manifesto of how my reentry into life would be…I shifted my thoughts and energy.

I will focus on calm energy. I will stay open. I will not force myself back into a frantic pace. I will sit and listen more. I will practice deep breathing. I will notice when my mind goes into its faced paced – mental spin cycle. I will pay attention to what I’m paying attention to – and ask myself, “Are you expending your energy or protecting it?” I will connect my humanness with my divine brilliance. I will stay in the moment.

I read this manifesto out loud to myself – while I was in Arizona. I read it while I was on the plane returning to Colorado.

When I arrived home, late on Sunday, here’s what greeted me:

  • Calm energy and warm hugs
  • Hubby suggested I take Monday off to regroup
  • Mother-in-law providing eucalyptus for a relaxing steam shower
  • Relaxed and happy children with all their “school stuff” ready to go for Monday
  • Space provided for me, by my multigenerational family, to do whatever I needed to do – at my own space
  • No one asked me to do anything
  • Love

If you find yourself wanting to shift energy or recalibrate – I encourage you to write a manifesto. You can even record it on your mobile phone – if you aren’t able to write it down.

The manifesto can be simple and as long (or short) as you need it to be. Focus on what you need, when you write your manifesto. Be clear and specific. Tap into your core values.  Use simple language and select powerful or vivid words.

I’d love to read what you write for yourself – so please leave your manifesto in the comments section.

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Juggling

The week is just starting and I’m already super tired.

I feel jumbled like this Wordle.

Wordle: Adventures in multigenerational-ville

That’s not good, not good at all.

So, I need to decide – right  now – today – how I will proceed.

Here are my ideas – posted here – to keep me honest:

  1. Make sure I exercise at least 30 minutes, Monday – Thursday, this week.
  2. Skip family dinner once this evening – and just do nothing. I’m still on my self-care diet.
  3. Have a toast, with my mother-in-law, and celebrate 4-year-old soccer being over (one less thing to d0 and coordinate).
  4. Thank my mother-in-law for helping with the laundry, and have the rest of the family dig for their clothes out of the clean laundry baskets – this week. Yup, I do that from time-to-time.
  5. Work on my various project, and not freak out that some are a bit on the tardy side.
  6. Breathe.

What’s your week like this week?

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