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…
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.