Here's a scenario to consider; someone asks you to attend a gathering, and you feel compelled to go. You don't want to, but what would they think of you if you didn't? Ask these questions; Why don't you want to go? Why do you feel compelled to go? What would happen if you honored yourself and didn't go?
Whether you are a family caregiver or a healthcare professional, you give so much of yourself in the care of others. When did you take your last deep breath? The impact of not doing so affects both you and those you are caring for, so in truth, no one wins.
Cultivating wellness, like tending to the soil in a garden, takes intuition and attention. It needs to be done regularly for success and is a different way of thinking than merely practicing self-care. It's genuinely going within to seek out what you need, what makes your heart smile. Think about it. Practice it.
There is more than one right way. Sometimes we get stuck following a method or practice for doing something because "we've always done it that way." But sometimes trying a new way of doing something helps give us a new perspective and better results. In my case, I knew one way of turning my boat, which was to paddle only on the side opposite of the direction I wanted to go. What my teacher showed me, was that I could also turn the boat by pushing the paddle forward on the same side I wanted to go.
How far down the rabbit hole shall you go before you know you've gone too far? I've had conversations with professional and family caregivers alike who have taken too many steps down the road of life with blinders knowing they'll pull through it. Burnout can sneak up like a bullet train.
I move toward the deeper side, where there are lanes marked for lap-swimming. I’m not the world’s greatest athlete, but I learned to swim before I could walk, and while I’ll happily frolic when there are beach balls around, or body surf in the ocean, swimming laps is something that is as much exercise as meditation for me.
Instantly I'm ten years old, sitting on the ancient beige chintz sofa in my grandparents' den, racing with my grandfather to see which of us could answer first, while my grandmother made comments about which of us should know the answer. I didn't know, then, that their daily viewing of this television show was part of my grandmother's attempt to ensure that my grandfather's brain remained stimulated and active.
Your days can get hectic and time doesn’t always allow for all of the things you’d like to get accomplished. Planning opens up time, energy and gives way to mental clarity. Calm mind - happier heart.
Food isn't just something to feed the body, the social aspect of cooking and dining with family and friends stimulates conversation and memory. The scent of fresh bread could trigger a memory of the first time my grandfather experimented with raisin bread, and that memory might lead to my grandmother sharing that he used to bring her gladiolas in metal buckets "just because."
Like planting a seed in a garden, your soul also needs nourishment and tending to grow and survive. Is this the day you take a drive to one of your favorite places? Spend a few extra minutes in your garden? Turning on music that makes you dance?