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Two people holding hands, african american, blue circle over the photo, text: New Year Blues? Compassionate Shifts and Support

Let’s be compassionate with ourselves this year and in this new year.

If you are living with illness or care for someone who is, the time of year when everyone is making big plans and dreams can be especially tough.

What if those things aren’t available to or realistic for you?

Can you still be happy?

Can you still find joyful moments in difficulty?

Are you being left out or left behind in life?

I believe that kindness, joyful moments, peacefulness and support can be available for us all. I believe not joining in with the push for ‘all new you in 2017’ doesn’t mean you aren’t living…

Maybe you are really and truly living, you aren’t making sweeping pronouncements, you are really alive (even if you are near death), because you are with the very small moments, in contact, present. You notice eating, the effort it takes, the effect it has, you care when someone sends you a card, letter of gift LINK, you hold someone’s hand, or enjoy a (rare) smile. What if you, of everyone, are truly close to what really matters, to what is really real, in this business of being human?

You notice eating, the effort it takes, the effect it has, you care when someone sends you a card, letter or gift, you hold someone’s hand, or enjoy a (rare) smile.

What if you, of everyone, are truly close to what really matters, to what is really real, in this business of being human?

Instead of judgements and invocations to change and be ‘better’, what would happen if we enjoyed kindness from ourselves and the media we are consuming?

If you want some food for thought, Healing Boxes has you covered:

New Year resolutions with chronic illness

Doing New Year resolutions YOUR way

If you are making new year’s resolutions, how to make them right for you.

Kris Carr’s top wellness tips for 2017

Letting your healing practices be a sanctuary

I love The Oasis and I think you will too.

A blessing for the New Year

What’s your favourite compassion resource right now? Let us know on Twitter.

P.S If you’d like a box of (ethical, gorgeous) compassion and self-care goodies delivered to your door, click here.

Healing Boxes TBI Care Kit has been featured on The Huffington Post as a recommended gift for those experiencing traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury or concussion.

We designed the TBI Care Kit because we want to live in a world where, when painful things occur, when the unthinkable – unwanted, impossible to plan for – happen, you have access to the support and comfort you need.

We are so tired of well-intentioned gifts that miss the mark. The present that’s so lovely…except you can’t use it now (you know, after the accident).

We are frustrated by our culture’s attitude to hospital gifts, because seriously, when you’ve survived a serious injury, or even a near-death experience; you deserve better than a generic ‘get well soon’ card and swiftly fading flowers.

We want you to have the tools and support you need to manage this painful situation. Imagine if you had a wise friend, someone who’d walked this road before you, who could sit with you and answer your questions, listen to your frustrations, help you navigate this new journey (and leave you with a care kit equipped with all the useful things you need).

TBI traumatic brain injury amy zellmer Healing gift box on white background

So, we’ve created the TBI Care Kit Healing Box in collaboration with TBI survivor and Huffington Post columnist Amy Zellmer. We’ve surveyed hundreds of TBI survivors to create the ultimate care kit. Distilling all that wisdom and love into a beautiful box just for you. It’s filled with all the support and healing items you need and handmade with ethically sourced products and lots of love.

Right now, I want you to give yourself (or a TBI survivor that you love) the gift of comfort and support with a TBI Care Kit Healing Box.


Traumatic Brain Injury Care Kit designed by Amy Zellmer



(We ship worldwide, hooray!)

You can read all the details of just what goodies you’ll be getting and purchase here.

Christmas with chronic illness: 10 coping strategies for flare-free festive cheer (part 2) text over photo of white woman, blonde hair, in profile, wearing a woollen wrap

I believe it IS possible to enjoy the festive season and Christmas with chronic illness, pain and life challenges. Let’s go in consciously and find our joy…

But for many of us living with illness and pain, for those in hospital, or grieving loved ones, struggling with feeling lonely, or with money issues the festive time can feel like a lot of pressure. (I have ‘Christmas’ in the title, but I am including all festive celebrations).

Here are my top 10 tips from 13 years of having Christmas with chronic illness to help you enjoy the holidays no matter your circumstances:

Read part 1 here

6. Gifting Guide

What do you really want in your life? And can it be gift wrapped?

If not, are there items you need to get closer to what you want – equipment and tools for the journey? Maybe that’s what to prioritise on a festive gift list.

And are you carrying anything that will weigh you down – like unwanted but well-intentioned gifts? Are you buying for the life you have or the life you want?

Set up your own wellness-wish-list and know that if people want to buy you gifts they’ll be buying gifts you can actually use. And don’t forget to add a Healing Box!

7. Decorating Dilemmas

The big question these days is: are you decorating for you or for Facebook?

Because you love the way that wreath looks on the tree or because Pinterest told you too and well, all those people in the Pinterest pictures are having fun aren’t they? So if I do those DIYs, surely my life will look like that too. Right?

Uh, not in my experience, but it took me a long time to stop trying. We are surrounded with so many perfect pictures it can be hard to accept that our lives are valid and beautiful (and hard and painful sometimes too) exactly as they are.

So check in with your decorating dreams and do what works for you. If you are housebound you may want to start decorating early to cheer up your space, you can keep a sparkly tree up all winter, or use just what delights your eye. If there’s no space for a tree, try garlands and branches places around, or a festive vignette to gaze upon.

8. Choices and changes

You’re making all these choices for a conscious Christmas season with chronic illness. It’s feeling good, gentle, caring. You can breathe a little bit more, you’ve been liberated from the pressure of perfect holidays. But how do you explain your choices to other people without seeming like you are judging their choices?

It can be useful to approach things as an experiment, to emphasise the positives and telegraph the response you are looking for. How do you do all that? Try this…

This year I am trying something a bit different, I am going to just (decorate differently, stay home, opt out of gift giving) because I feel I have/feel so wonderful about (the time I spend with you each week/all the gifts I already have/my beautiful home) I just want to take some space this holiday to enjoy that and not put any pressure on my body to do more than I need. So if you could (donate instead of buying me something, call instead of inviting me over etc) I’d really appreciate it. I’m so excited about this and so looking forward to the day.

9. Compassionate Awareness

You, my dear, are like a great symphony. Full of sways and rhythms, meaning and might. Magnificent.

But so often we don’t listen to our bodies and their whispers. Being in compassionate awareness with our bodies is listening to what’s happening for us today, where we are now and acting accordingly. It could be as simple as realising you are thirsty and need some water, to taking a break in the party and not expecting yourself to sit upright, laughing and joking for hours at a time.

CLICK TO TWEET: I urge you to tune in and practice compassionate awareness this holiday season.

10. Adapting the fun to you

Who’s to say that the way it has been, is the way it has to be?

We can choose to adapt the fun to suit our needs. A few years ago it was my family tradition to climb a local mountain on Christmas Day (yes, really) and eat Christmas dinner at the top. With flasks of mulled wine and veggie stuffing sandwiches. Unsurprisingly, that was not a possibility for me, as although my wheelchair is lovely, it isn’t all terrain and I don’t think it would cope will with an actual mountain.

So we changed things to keep the intentions, but still include me. We went for a Christmas walk along the tow path of the Monmouthshire Brecon canal with sandwiches shared as we strolled/wheeled. Later still, when small babies arrived and some family members were getting older and less enthusiastic to climb snowy peaks, we changed things so that the tradition was 1/2 the family would curl up by the fire for the afternoon and rest, while the more energetic members went trekking. All these were the same themes: appreciation of nature, shared food, togetherness, celebration, but adapted to meet the needs of a changing family and world.

How can you adapt your traditions to fit your needs this season?

What are your tips for managing the festive season? Let us know on Twitter.

And subscribe to our newsletter (top of the page) to get a discount code 10% off your first Healing Box!

Read part 1 here

 

christmas with chronic illness: 10 coping strategies for flare-free festive cheer - text over a photo of a christmas wreath and a gingerbread reindeer with an iced heart on it's back and a red gingham ribbon scarf
It may still be November, but oh my, things are in full festive swing it seems.

(I have ‘Christmas’ in the title, but I am including all festive celebrations).

But for many of us living with illness and pain, for those in hospital, or grieving loved ones, struggling with feeling lonely, or with money issues, the festive time can feel like a lot of pressure.

CLICK TO TWEET: I believe it IS possible to enjoy the festive season and Christmas with chronic illness, pain and life challenges. Let’s go in consciously and find our joy…

Here are my top 10 tips from 13 years of having Christmas with chronic illness to help you enjoy the holidays no matter your circumstances:

Read part 2 here

1. Investigate Intention

What do you want for your Christmas? I don’t mean what’s on your wish list, I mean what would you like to enjoy during this season? Happiness, joy, togetherness, excitement, companionship, generosity, feeling creative, feeling restored, feeling received, feeling included, feeling in faith?

When we check in with what we are looking for from our festive experience, we can arrange things to get those needs met. Often there’s an an idea that these things just ‘happen’, that they are the natural result of the holidays. I’m not sure that’s true, but I think lots of activities in the holidays can result in such experiences.

2. Exceeding Expectations

What does Christmas mean to you?
What are your hopes or worries?
Is there nostalgia in the mix?
Are your expectations realistic?
Are they yours or based on popular culture?

When we are clear on our expectation of a holiday then it’s much easier to enjoy it. When there’s an unexamined, unmet need for this holiday to be ‘the best ever’ or ‘the one that heals the wounds’ or ‘the time when I really connect with _____’ and ‘finally get some rest’ it can be a powder keg. Because it probably can’t be all those things at once, and can’t be anything unless we choose to make it so. It’s a huge amount of pressure to put on just a few days. So let’s check in – what are we secretly hoping/expecting – and is that something we actually want to try and get at this time of year?

3. Body Blessings

What does your body say? Think about your festive plans or hopes and listen, if you can, to your body while you do. Do the coming holidays feel expansive and relaxing, or pressured and painful?

What do you need to do to give some space for your body? Maybe you need to ask for the company meal to be at a more accessible restaurant? Perhaps you need to set yourself a schedule and pace your energy or decide you don’t have to say yes to every request. What are you dreading – card writing? Gifts to the nieces and nephews? That reunion party?

Think Radical compassion – maybe you don’t have to do it! The world won’t end if you don’t do it, or if you do it in your own way. Exhale and find some space for you.

4. Animal Antics

When I am feeling stuck between what my body needs and what I feel society expects, I always think – what would an animal do?

For example, in Wales, the festive season is the coldest, darkest time of year, weather-wise. Is this the time to act really energetically? To go out to lots of extroverted events? Try and travel across the country to visit people? To eat lots of unfamiliar, rich food? What would an animal do? They would be hibernating, sleeping, conserving their energy. They would make any big migrations before or after winter. I am a human animal, and not exempt from the impact of nature and the weather. So I follow the animals ways and take care of myself with activities that make ‘the soft animal of my body’ feel good.

5. Positive Parties

Parties are amazing opportunities to bask in joy and happiness – but they frequently bring up huge challenges, especially for those in pain or with illness. Travel. Unsuitable food. Emotional or physical overwhelm. Over-stimulation. Navigating expectations. Awkward questions. And, for those of us with mobility aids, new or inaccessible environments. With pain or without, parties present unique issues. But with forethought and savvy planning, they can still be managed and – even more importantly – enjoyed. If there are parties you’d love to attend and want tips to navigate them, check out my article on How to Party with Pain.

What are your tips for managing the festive season? Let us know on Twitter!

Read part 2 here

how to support a loved one when they're hurting. Supporting people with illness, grief or pain. Healing-Boxes.com text on top of photo of blue tea pot and willow patterned tea cup, rose tea and silver spoon

Pain, like chronic illness, accidents, grief and trauma are so very challenging, and so is supporting someone experiencing one of those struggles.

They are hurting and often you don’t know what they need, what to do, what to say. All you know is that you don’t want them to hurt more.

At Healing Boxes we are veterans of the struggles that ill-health and life challenge can bring and we have supported thousands in living well and finding comfort and support in the darkest times. And we’d like to share that hard-won wisdom with you here.

Today we are talking about supporting people with mental health challenges, grief and trauma and supporting yourself if you are living with an illness or struggle.

Check out part one on supporting people living with acute illness, chronic illness or serious/life limiting illness.

Forest - How To Support People with Illness Part 2

Mental Health Challenges

We want to support people with mental health challenges but we struggle with the definition of ‘mental’ health challenge. Because why differentiate between a problem in the mind and say, the foot? Both can be devastating, both can be supported. However, without another option we continue to use Mental Health Challenges but in no way consider them lesser than non-mental health challenges.

Living with mental health challenges can be incredibly difficult, lonely and time consuming. Although things have improved vastly there can still be stigma and it can still be a very frightening and isolating experience.

Support:

– Offering acknowledgement and care.

Listening and not trying to fix them.

– Accepting that things may fluctuate.

Saying they “have” a mental illness rather than “are” a mental illness e.g “they are psychotic”.

– They may still struggle with day to day tasks. Just because they may have practically managed something on one day doesn’t mean they will always be able to do it – it’s obvious to offer support to someone with a broken arm but let’s extend it to all who are hurting.

– Don’t try and talk them into being happy. Allow people their feelings. If you are uncomfortable with them, you can get support too.

Allow them meaning and passion.

Broad tree in the sun - How To Support People with Illness Part 2

Grief

Grief can arise from the death of a loved one, the loss of the life you knew before diagnosis, grief over the ending of a time in your life, a career, a relationship, the loss of a home, an animal, an opportunity…

Grief can feel hot and destructive, cold and numbing and 1000 things more, it can be a very lonely place especially if people around you are uncomfortable with such pain or don’t know what to say.

Support:

– Being there, not disappearing.

– Talking about their loved one. Although you may not want to upset someone by bringing up a passed loved one, it can be just as difficult for people dealing with grief when others around them continually avoid mentioning the name a the person they’re grieving, or changing the topic if ever they come up. If in doubt, try to gently take your cues from them.

– Allowing the person their grief, not trying to fix them, not telling them to get over it.

Celebrate their Second Firsts when they arrive there.

– Not minimising the grief, not trying to ameliorate the pain as, early on, that can land as their pain being rejected, squashed, oppressed, unheard.

Allowing them to grieve their loss, whatever it is.

Unfocussed light on water - How To Support People with Illness Part 2

Trauma

[Trigger Warning: traumatic experiences mentioned]

Trauma is being recognised more and more and for that we are very glad as surviving a traumatic experience can be incredibly harrowing and support and help need to be made available.

Many people wonder, what is trauma? Is what I lived through trauma? The deeper question: is my pain and suffering valid?

These are important questions, and beyond the scope of the blog, but we can say that trauma can arise from emotional, mental and physical struggles. Someone could be traumatised by being mugged or attacked, by surviving intimate partner violence, going through a job loss or divorce, a near-death experience, a difficult diagnosis, a tour of duty, a car accident, experiencing sexual or physical abuse, rape, having an accident, being bullied, living through a natural disaster or terror attack or something else entirely. It may not “look” like something you’d imagine could trigger a trauma, but trauma can arise from all sorts of incidences.

Addressing the deeper question: we see and acknowledge your pain and suffering, it’s valid and real and we believe you deserve support.

Support

– Offering acknowledgement and care. What they’re experiencing may not seem like the traditionally accepted image of trauma, but as trauma can cover such a broad array of experiences, acknowledging and accepting their struggle can make a big difference.

Listening and not trying to fix them.

– Acceptance, of how they are, how they feel that day…

– Practical help – such as an eye mask, audio book or podcast, or perhaps a dvd.

Inclusion and understanding.

Building resilience and finding the support needed.

[Trauma Trigger Warning Over]

 

Self-Support

Supporting yourself when living with any illness or pain is a wearing but present experience.

What can it involve? Allowing yourself to recognise and respect your current limits, listening, loving, not blaming, caring and treating yourself as you would a friend.

Make yourself a Self-Care Box.

Check out our free, virtual Self-Care Kit Healing Box here.

Check out the amazing book, The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring. It’s ok, it’s not for ‘selfish pigs’, it’s for people who care. Your ‘piglet’ is your “Person I Give Love & Endless Therapy to’.

Investigate finding magic alongside life struggles.

General Support

Help us ease suffering and spread the word about Healing Boxes.

Please take this opportunity to support someone in your life with illness – make a phone call, give a hug, send them a Healing Box, or treat yourself to one. That surprise of love and kindness delivered to their doorstep can make all the difference in making a hard day bearable.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips from decades of living with illness and of course, help on supporting yourself if you are living with any of these struggles.

If this article was useful, check out part one on supporting people living with acute illness, chronic illness or serious/life limiting illness.

 

Photo Credits
Photo Credit: kadege59 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: dualiti.net via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: aquigabo! via Compfight cc

purple and blue hydrangeas, white box over top and text: how to support a loved one with acute, chronic or serious illness

Illness is challenging, and so is knowing how to support people with illness.

If you haven’t experienced this before, it’s so hard to know what to do.

Different illnesses can have different needs – the support needed for a broken leg and for heart disease can be very different.

 

– Acute illness: a short-term illness, not life-threatening.

– Chronic illness: an illness or diseases which is persistent or long-lasting in it’s effects.

– Serious or life-limiting illness: an illness which threatens life or where death is expected to arise as a consequence of the illness. Serious illness and life-limiting illness aren’t the same of course, but for the purposes of this article, I’m addressing them together because they can require similar support.

– Mental illness: mental illness can be acute, chronic, or serious.

– Trauma and grief: trauma or grief can arise from many causes, including a traumatic event, the death of a loved one or after a diagnosis of illness or accident.

In addition to practical needs like treatment, pain management and caregiving we can think about supporting people with:

Acute Illness

Boredom and frustration can be big challenges for people with acute illness. Generally, the pain isn’t long enough lived for the person to have to get used to living with it and it can be in the forefront of consciousness constantly.

Support

– Practical help to do the things they are struggling with, like shopping or showering if they have a broken limb.

Distraction from their pain or boredom.

Comfort, because being ill can be ghastly and comfort often helps when you are hurting.

Chronic Illness

Disempowerment, the wearing nature of long-term pain/fatigue/symptoms, lack of understanding and feeling left out are natural and common responses to chronic illness.

Loneliness often arises when people get used to the person being ill and their support wanes, but the ill person is still living and struggling with chronic illness.

Support

– Offering acknowledgement and care. Even if they’ve had the condition for a long time, they still have to deal with it day to day.

Listening and not trying to fix them.

– Acceptance, of how they are, how they feel that day…

– Practical help – such as an eye mask, audio book or podcast, or perhaps a DVD.

Inclusion and understanding.

Serious or Life-limiting Illness

Serious illness and life-limiting illness aren’t the same of course, but for the purposes of this article, I’m addressing them together because they can require similar support.

Struggles with these illnesses can include fear, being treated differently, and illness etiquette tangles.

Support

– Listen.

– Don’t assume. Ask what they want/need.

– Speak to the person, not their carer.

– Some people want to answer your questions on their condition, some would rather you went away and did your own research and not have them have to explain it to you. Feel your way into this, take your cues from them, or ask.

Be aware of difficult comments, and how to manage them.

– Send regular letters or texts, even when the person can’t reply, and cards as they can be looked at and enjoyed. Check out ‘What Can I Say?’ Writing a Card to Someone with Illness or Grief.

General Support

Saying “I can (for example) bring food, pick you up from the hospital, collect prescriptions (and set you up with repeat prescription schemes and apps to track them), ring you to chat weekly, read to you, walk the dog, get you books from the library, do research on illness management, deal with enquiries or anything else you would like.” rather than simply “Let me know if you need anything.”

This way they don’t have to think of what they need – which can be so hard when you are used to being able to do things yourself and suddenly can’t. You don’t have a list of what you need help with because all these tasks used to be second nature and you are still learning what you can and can’t do right now.

Saying this can make it easier for them as then they can tell if you mean the offer or are just trying to express support without being able to practically follow up.

“When we ask ourselves which [people] in our lives mean the most to us, we often find… it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen

Help us ease suffering and spread the word about Healing Boxes.

Please take this opportunity to support someone in your life with illness – make a phone call, give a hug, send them a Healing Box, or treat yourself to one. That surprise of love and kindness delivered to their doorstep can make all the difference in making a hard day bearable.

Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll let you know when we publish more positive articles like this. Also check out part two on supporting people living with mental health challenges, grief and trauma.

Like this? Pin it for later:

Pinterest Graphic: text is the first paragraphs of article on top of image of hydrangeas: Illness is challenging, and so is knowing how to support people with illness. If you haven’t experienced this before, it’s so hard to know what to do. Different illnesses can have different needs – the support needed for a broken leg and for heart disease can be very different. – Acute illness: a short-term illness, not life-threatening. – Chronic illness: an illness or diseases which is persistent or long-lasting in it’s effects. – Serious or life limiting illness: an illness which threatens life or where death is expected to arise as a consequence of the illness. – Mental illness: mental illness can be acute, chronic, or serious. – Trauma and grief: trauma or grief can arise from many causes, including a traumatic event, the death of a loved one or after a diagnosis of illness or accident.

bunch of flowers with text on hop: what do I say? writing a card to someone with illness or grief

You know that feeling when you sit down to write a card to a loved one who’s hurting, you’ve picked the *perfect* card, your pen poised over the smooth paper and, allofasudden, you just have *no idea* what to say?

This guide is for you. I’m Grace Quantock and I run Healing Boxes CIC, a bespoke ethical gift box non-profit, designing gifts of support for people with illness, pain and in life crisis. I am also the founder of Trailblazing Wellness Un(Ltd) where I write and teach how to live well with chronic and serious illness. Oh, and I’ve lived with chronic

Oh, and I’ve lived with chronic illness myself for 13 years.

When I was bed bound and house bound for long periods, cards and letters became my medium of communication with the outside world, and I can’t overstate their importance. I’ve worked with thousands of people to design healing programs and wellness gifts that are *just* right and I’m excited to share my experience today of what to say when writing a card to someone with illness/grief.

Read more over at Pretty By Post now…

Self Care for Carers white text on image of pink rose held by a hand and green leaves filling rest of image

Self Care for Carers Part 1 is here, catch up now

CLICK TO TWEET: Self care for carers, it’s a tricky topic as you may be struggling to care for your caree, let alone yourself.

We know what it’s like, you’ve got a partner, children, dogs, two rabbits, a full-time job and 15 parents to take care of. How are you supposed to find time to do this?

In this situation, it’s even more imperative to do this, but the secret is, it will GIVE you time. Allow me to explain…

My Story
I’m going to share my story of creating beauty and self-care in the most challenging of circumstances and I’m going to show you how to do the same.

I did yoga in the middle of a blackout in a cabin in the woods while on a cabin-in-the-woods retreat. When I say “the woods”, I really mean The. Woods. Hardcore wilderness. Dark. Stormy. Trees falling. The road out was blocked. I was in the bath, soaking in a gorgeous concoction of bubbles and sparkles. And while I lounged there, humming and slathering argon oil onto my hair, a new, great storm rolled in. Suddenly, the lights disappeared. Total. Blackout. No water. No heat. Nothing. I was terrified. And unprepared. Not to mention, cold and nude in the middle of nowhere. I had to sit and wait (a given in my particular situation.)

And that’s when all the hours on my mat came into play. Do what you do every day, my body told me, do what you always do: yoga. And so I did. In a black out, through that storm, I rolled out my mat. And yoga soothed my ragged body and fearful heart with the millennia-old movements I have practised since I was 17.

I once turned my hospital bed into a holistic spa retreat: I was sent to hospital with a suspected stroke, luckily I carried in my handbag a self-care kit: an eye mask, an iPod with meditations, super-soft socks, a comforting scarf to use as a blanket, bottles of relaxing essential oil blends and a teeny sketchbook/journal.

In self-care, you do what works for you, everything from shutting the bathroom door and meditating for 10 minutes before a big medical appointment, to carving time in the calendar for a walk by the sea every morning before beginning the daily rounds.

When we have a self-care practice in place we can lean on it. It can be a beacon. A lifeline. A thread to follow.

I found that wellness was something I could practice, access internally, no matter the outside circumstances.

What are the benefits of all this?

Not holding my happiness hostage to someone else’s schedule or needs. Not delaying or promising myself it will happen ‘when…’.

Practising wellness can give you more energy, creativity, motivation and time than it takes up. How so?

Giving 20 minutes to a yoga practice which then gives you freedom from nagging, energy draining aches, a sense of satisfaction and an endorphin boost which lasts all through your meetings and leads to increased productivity. Self care for carers is an essential.

Practising your daily meditation moment meaning your mind is clearer, you can actually focus on your work and your caree, everything gets done to a higher standard in less time.

Contrast this with pushing beyond what you can bear. In that situation, pushing on doesn’t give results but taking a 3-second breathing break, for example, giving yourself time to actually breathe, has much greater results.

What mini-self-care actions work for you? Let us know on Twitter.

Self-Care for Carers white text on image of pink rose held by a hand and green leaves filling rest of image

Isn’t it wonderful having a day off?
Relaxing in bed in the morning; enjoying space to get all your errands done; pampering yourself with a long bath and an early night that makes you feel like a new person.

But for those of us who are carers, a day off can feel as impossible as jumping to the moon and back. And even if we do manage to wrangle that, after it’s finished life takes over and you can feel the benefits evaporating almost as soon as ‘real-life’ intrudes.
I believe it doesn’t have to be like this, there is another way.
You deserve wellness, happiness and deep body joy woven through your life and enjoyed no matter the caring responsibilities, challenges or busyness you face. I believe that self-care for carers can be possible.

I’m going to share my story of creating beauty and self-care in the most challenging of circumstances and teach you how to do the same.

From turning my hospital bed into a holistic spa retreat to working with carers to implement effective and revitalising self-care practices, my formulae will teach you how to enjoy rejuvenation daily.
If you take one thing away today, I’d like you to make it this: practising daily self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a revolutionary act.

We live in a society that bases our worth on things like our monetary income rather than our confidence, the slimness of our hips, not how free and flexible we feel moving those hips, and that rates the tautness of our skin above the frequency of our smile.

When we step away from trying to be ‘enough’: rich enough, slim enough, young enough, thin enough, having enough time, enough money, enough space; and give ourselves the love, compassion and self-care we deserve now, we are creating an inner revolution that ignites an even bigger revolution.

Each day you take care of yourself now, you are standing up for what truly matters and teaching others that it’s possible and how to do the same.

Subscribe to the newsletter below to get part 2 of self-care for carers: my guide to creating sustainable self-care daily.

P.S Check out beautiful things to do because self-care is within reach, what’s self-care when you can’t care for yourself? And shifting your morning routines for life.

Photo Credit.

You are not broken and you don't need to be fixed, white text on background of sunset and clouds over water - Throw Yourself A Healing Appreciation Celebration

Sometimes healing and changing our lives can feel so overwhelming.

We read or see all the things we need to do – collect prescriptions! Reduce stress! Eat more greens! Quit coffee!… Exhausting!

Sometimes it feels like one could drown under a big sea of healing things, or get crushed by a book avalanche of all the as-yet unread healing books.

Hold on, let’s put it all in perspective: we all need to acknowledge and celebrate all the healing things we are doing right now!

It sounds simple but it is so easy for amazing, powerful, healing acts to become routine and background and cease to be acknowledged as the brilliant-life-changing-superb-wellness-life-affirming-miracles they are.

It is time to pat ourselves on the back and have some healing appreciation all we are doing already.

You say thank you so many times per day. You might thank the doctor, the nurses, the pharmacist, your neighbour who carries your recycling boxes, your friend for picking up some food for you… but do you say thank you for all you are doing for yourself?

CLICK TO TWEET: Let’s show our gratitude about the choices we are bravely making for our bodies and our healing everyday.

Let’s recognise all we are doing for our wonderful healing-in-process bodies.

This is recognising the good we all do for ourselves every day. So each time we get up, that is a good choice. (I know the pain and how tempting is it to stay in bed and not have to face the days when being dressed is a seemingly insurmountable challenge, or when one is in too much pain to even think).

Every day that you get out of bed it is a choice you are making.

It is healing and it is a victory.

So what if you are not currently, for example, growing your own wheatgrass, meditating every morning and evening or whatever you wish you could do.

What you are doing is fabulous; reading this, something positive and loving for mind and body, maybe getting dressed, taking a walk, watching your breathing, giving yourself a gift. Show some healing appreciation.

Each time we manage any one of these wonderful healing actions we are doing good for our bodies. We are actively healing.

We are acknowledging and celebrating all we do rather than worrying about all the things we could do or all the things we are not doing yet.

If you want to make great changes in your life, that’s brilliant, but please take a moment to notice all the good you are already doing, for a start reading this site and wanting to heal. I mean how amazing is that? Gold stars to you! Healing Appreciation Celebration go!

Today is celebration day rather than the guilty “I haven’t done it yet day”.

I expect you do lots of things but you are so used to them they have become part of your life and habit. We can forget, but today we can re-focus on the benefits of all we do and be kind to ourselves.

CLICK TO TWEETS: Let go of the ‘to-do’ list and swap it for a ‘yay done’ list?

Do you need to shift your space to reflect this shift?

Think now (the first thing that comes to you), is there a part of your home which is draining you? Or making you feel sad, or guilty or stressed? Is it the toppling in-tray, the spare room turned junk room or the mound of ironing? We can make our homes our sanctuaries? We do not have to put up with an environment which doesn’t encourage us.

Pick the bit you want to tackle, or more likely don’t want to tackle – because really that is probably the one that needs it the most. Right now you do not have to plan how to change it. Just see if you can and make one small change today. Then tomorrow you can make another. Gradually, as these changes happen, the beautiful area it is becoming will emerge and take shape.

I have hopes that some of these words may help to share with you some ideas for healing. If you take time today to clear out some clutter (mental or physical) from your old life or your old dreams, then you are one more brave step along your own healing path and I am proud of you and I hope you are too!

If you threw an Healing Appreciation Celebration for yourself, what would you celebrate? Let us know on Twitter.

Image Credit: BeBeautyFilled