Combat Caregiver Fatigue: Breath, Move, Stretch & Present Moment Awareness
One of my clients shared this great post about incorporating movement while caregiving.
As Erica Hornthal, writes “”you can only provide care when you yourself are at your best. You must take care of your health in order to support others around you.” This is so true!!! We have all heard this but what are we doing to care for ourselves?
Erica outlines four ways to take care of yourself.
I encourage you to breath, move, stretch and practice present moment awareness with the person you are caring for as it will help them as well.
BREATH: Practice deep breathing to ease anxiety TRY VARIOUS BREAKING TECHNIQUES LIKE:
“TAKE 4” (breathing in for four and out for four)
“HORSE BREATH” (put lips together gently and breath out the lips allowing the lips to vibrate…I like to use this one when I am frustrated),
MOVE: to get your blood flowing and improve circulation. When possible, go OUTSIDE FOR FRESH AIR AND PHYSICAL MOVEMENT…why not do a physical chore like:
go for a walk out in nature
if you are inside, try dancing while vacuuming)
STRETCH 4 TIMES A DAY to combat stiffness and improve circulation I SUGGEST YOU HAVE A MULTIPLE MINI YOGA PRACTICES…
1. a morning practice in your bed: few spinal twists with some deep breathing with a positive affirmation for the day
2. mid morning..stretch with the person you are caring for
3. mid mid afternoon
4. In bed before you sleep, few more spinal twists to unravel and unwind
PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS: Use your five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) to orient to the present moment. This will enhance your self-awareness, spatial awareness, and ability to “live in the moment”…..or I call it practice 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 present moment awareness. Do this with the person you are caring for as well. Try…closing your eyes….
when you breath in, what are five things you are feeling/touch? (ie feet on the floor, bum seated on the chair, temperature of the room, etc), exhale.
Next breath in, what are four things your hear? (ie furnice fan, birds, your breathe in, etc), exhale.
Next inhale, what are three things you are smelling?,
Next inhale, what are two things you taste?
Next inhale, what is one thing you see inside yourself.