Self-Care

Welcome to Caregiver Renewal and Self-Care

These steps will help you every day ~

EAT- what’s right for you to nourish your body, including lots of water

REST – even if you are not sleeping, rest and relax

EXERCISE – walking, swimming (“water-walking”), whatever’s right for you

NURTURE YOUR BRAIN with activities, music, doing something a new way

[‘neuroscience for kids’ and ‘serendip’ are good websites]

BREATHING – relax and take three deep breaths (deep sighs!) often.

HUMMING — purse your lips out slightly to get the best resonance …awakes the vestibular system

MUSIC – there are all kinds of relaxation in music… use what you like, that you enjoy!

ambient, soothing music to rest or go to sleep by…

nature sounds water, ocean, rain… birds…

flute, harp, cello

structured music with rhythm, drumming…. heartbeat music

all kinds of singing, chanting, world music, classical…

Samples of Soundings of the Planet music from Bellingham are at www.soundings.com

Hint for night-time listeners or creating your own quiet space: Earphones

LAUGHING – “the inner spirit of laughter”

Laughing with yourself and family is great exercise, gets you breathing deeply.

Stretching and relaxing are part of the laughter experience.

Laughter, fun, optimism contribute to a relaxed, non-judgmental state of mind

(cf. Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman, and the work of Norman Cousins)

Laughter Clubs are happening all over the place… find them on www.laughteryoga.org

MASSAGE — REFLEXOLOGY, the relationship of the hands and feet to the whole body

Massage increases circulation (i.e. oxygen!), relaxes muscles and nerves.

1. Feel the energy exchange between hands after rubbing. Energy “brush” the head and scalp.

2. Working the hands: with thumb to the palms; the “thumb pad” the V point, the Hoku point

“milking” fingers; circling the wrists; nail buffing

3. Headache reduction: ears, eyes, temple circles; squeezing the neck; occipital ridge rest;

tapping neck and shoulders with bouncing wrists.

4. Feet: roll each arch on a tennis ball “bouncer” (or a potato!)

The author of this guide to self-care is Doris Brevoort, MEd, LMP, a founding Board member of the Turning Institute [http://www.turninginstitute.org]

Caregiver Renewal Days are held at: 114 So. 5th St. Mount Vernon, WA 98274. Call (360) 336-3453, or email turninginstitute@comcast.net for more information, a schedule of Caregiver Renewal Days, or a copy of the “Family Caregiver Sustainability Needs Assessment”. Turning Institute is a member of the National Family Caregiver Association [http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org]

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