Aside

#Internationalselfcare day for the Caregiver

I had it all set. Gut healing ideas with delicious recipes.  Something was holding me back, what was it I truly needed to say? Those recipes are meant for next week.  It started in my A.M. routine with a celebration of #internationalselfcareday and it hit the hardest after leaving #ghostchild weekly speech therapy appointment as #redreignofterror was screaming over a perceived wrong of seating in the car.  Lots of deep breathing as I parent and process our new information.  We will not be able to complete therapy in the short term with the addition of further testing and, hopefully, the additional of occupational therapy.  Being a parent or caregiver is serious work.  Being one with people with disabilities, disorders, syndromes, etc is over whelming.  Finding balance between extraordinary needs, family dynamics, and just life is over whelming.

I have to put my mask on first.

Self care is crucial to my survival and my family’s gears moving.

For us and for those we care for. You need to make a commitment for yourself so you can make the most of you and your caregiver self.   It takes intention, creativity, and setting priorities.  It’s not impossible.

Care for your body.  The physical toll affects more than the physical self. Sleep is priority one. Best case is sleeping a good eight hours or more as needed.  If that doesn’t happen, naps. They are not just for preschoolers. Sleep deprivation infiltrates EVERYTHING- from how your body functions to brain functions.  EVERYTHING.  You need as much sleep as you can get.  It may mean no’s to extra activity, committing to a set routine, back ground noises, and more.

What you eat is priority. Low fat and sugar, high protein and veggies. Unhealthy fats and unhealthy sugars negatively impact your ability to function- body and mind.  There are good fats that are imperative like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, etc. Those in appropriate amount give your body and brain the boost it needs.  You need the right sugar from complex grains. Quick energy. A small cup of coffee is life changing. Add that too.  Sleep and good nutrition is better for your overall health and will be a major contributor to your success as a caregiver.

…Your mind. Sanity may be in short supply or non existent some days. Or all days.  We need to be intentional in care for our minds as equally as we are with our bodies.  In pouring to your physical body enhances your mental health.   It affects our decision making, emotions, and stamina. Your mind is immensely powerful. When not cared for, it can be your enemy. Your pact to your mind is to declutter it. Meditation, prayer, coloring, journaling, support group or friend. You need at least one of these things. I use all of them! We need some where to exhale our love, frustration, exhaustion, victories, and so forth. We need a safe place to inhale grace, comfort, strength, and pebbles of sanity. Release and renew your brain. Part of this pact is acknowledging and setting limitations. We are humans. Super humans, yet very human. We have limitations. A rubber band can only go so far. It does snap. Ask my family when my rubber band snapped. And who did it. Know and advocate your limitations.

Honor your spirit or soul. Whichever you choose. We are designed to be connected and caregiving has a way to isolate us. We must be intentional to connect for our health and caregiving. Seek and accept help then take opportunities outside of your caregiving space to connect with community(ies). Share the burden. When you are isolated your head has a way of getting stuck. It takes effort and strength to get out and connect. Gives you perspective.   It is possible to do something. Especially if you are accepting help. We must connect ourselves to other selves. The more you connect, the more support you find and discover value in your unique purpose.

Set a self care intention.  A few minutes a day on prayer and meditation is often what I have and I take it.  Grooming is efficient but a necessary part of my morning to tell my brain and body I matter.  I choose my food carefully most days.  I am active within my limitations.  In all my self care, I am working on grace the most.  That’s the hardest.  When things like today hit, I feel so small and never enough.  Am I giving enough? What could I do better? Feel me?  Inhale. Exhale.  I need to allow grace and affirm I am doing everything within my means.

Acknowledge your fear.  Find grace.  Affirm yourself.

Namaste and celebrate self care everyday

Meditation for the Distracted: How an ADHD Mom Declutters her Brain

Meditation for the Distracted: How an ADHD Mom Declutters her Brain

I didn’t think that was possible.  Decluttering my brain.  Most of the time my brain is like those annoying rubber balls let loose in a steel cube competing with the speed of sound.  A lot going on with not much room to go anywhere else.  It was like this before kids.  Now there are lots more of additions, noises, schedules, and distractions.  Sitting down is hard enough but sitting to be quiet and focus seems like a joke.  Even after establishing a meditation practice.  This week has been rough.  As I watch Ghost Child take an interest and begin to meditate to calm, it becomes real.  Our meditation practice is as important as breathing and sleeping.  For our brain survival and surviving our emotions, we need it.   If you have a thriving meditation practice, then Namaste my friend and all power too your practice.  If you struggle to focus or have distractions, then Namaste my friend, we completely understand this struggle.   It isn’t out of reach for us and this is how we jump those hurdles to have a healthy meditation practice.

1. Pre- practice: Sleep and Eat

  • Sleep deprivation will set you up for failure.  Most people do meditate in the morning but if later in the day or at night means better sleep then do it.  Get those 8 hours.
  • Eat and Hydrate. This is a continuous cycle for your well being that impacts your meditation practice in either direction. For your best success, lean proteins and a variety of veggies.  Adding supplements like Vitamin B Complex, Omega 3’s, Fiber, and Probiotic enhance total body including your brain.   A dehydrated brain contributes to lack of focus and disrupts other brain functions.  Stay Hydrated.


2. Pre practice: The Set Up 

  • Be time conscious without being conscious of it.  Start short, 5-10 minutes and set a timer.  A timer can allow you to forget about time. You can work into extending your time.
  • Be guided.  Allow someone to talk you through it or use a script.  Script doesn’t work for me but may allow you to focus on the words. Listening to a guided meditation does wonders for me. Check out more on my pinterest meditation page  for some ideas.
  • Use classical music or nature sounds.  
  • Recite a prayer, verse, proverb, mantra, or phrase.  
  • Be touchy.  Use a  mala, bracelet, rosary, or mudra
  • Be nosy.  Use scents- candles, oils, etc. Lavender calms the brain, Orange engages it.  Those are two of many scents that will help your brain and body. 
  • Use an App.  A dear friend recommended Insight Timer and I love it. It has a timer with guided, music, lectures, and community.  
  • Pencil it in. Put it on the calendar, set a task reminder, etc. 

3. Practice

  • Get comfortable. The positions I would suggest are Lotus (cross legged, spine straight), sitting in a chair with feet on floor and spine straight, or Savasana (corpse pose, lying down).  The important thing is your spine to be straight for optimal blood flow, energy flow, and maximize your breathing.  
  • Breath deep and slow.  Controlling your breath controls your body thus your brain.
  • Accept your thoughts.   It is okay to have thoughts.  Become an observer and let them go.
  • Have grace. It is called a practice and takes practice.  Even after establishing a habit, some days feel more like practice than flow.  Have grace.

Alternative Options

Try:

  •  coloring in silence or calming music
  • walking with in silence while concentrating on breathing,  or listen to calming music or guided meditation,  or use a recitation
  • Yoga- Yin Yoga is great for this.
  • In listening to a guided meditation, use headphones or ear buds.
  • Journal: thoughts, gratitude, anything!
  • Tea mediation: using senses to focus during your tea time. I don’t think this works the same with wine.

My personal practice starts between 6:00 am to 6:30 am most days.  Some times I walk before hand. I always drink lukewarm water with lemon juice before starting yoga.  From there I move into my favorite position, Savasana, and use a guided and/or timer meditation. All my senses are engaged and I keep my supplies in a dedicated space. This might sound daunting but it is very quick. My yoga is twenty minutes.  On a good day, I can meditation 20 minutes.  Sometimes I split between timer and guided or just do one of them. Bad days-  just yoga with a short 5 minute guided meditation.  There is power in emptying the junk drawer up there but there is more power in having grace when it is difficult to do so.  For attention sake, I kept this relatively short.  You may have a lot of questions- message or email me.  I want to help!

Empty the junk.  Take in the grace. Namaste.