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Caregivers guide to sanity

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Caregivers guide to sanity

  1. 1. What to do to take care of YOU! 
 by Nancy Lamb 
 © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Communications The CareGiver’s Guide to 
 Sanity 1 presents
  2. 2. What to do to take care of YOU! © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Who am I? 
 Nancy Lamb Writer, Project Manager, Business Manager, Health Coach and unplanned Caregiver for over 20 years
 Passionate about healthy living, loving, and doing good 2
  3. 3. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Avoid Caregiver Burnout Have you ever noticed that somehow what you did out of love suddenly became something you resent? Or that some days you resent things that you naturally do of loving kindness. Have you ever noticed that suddenly you are tired and everything seems like work? Where did the joyful fun go? THAT’S THE SIGNAL ! 3
  4. 4. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness This Guide is for you if: You are the the one everyone turns to You feel you are losing yourself You have lost your happy mode You want to run away Because even when you get a short break, you don’t fully relax... 4
  5. 5. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness What I want from YOU It’s pretty simple. You have enough on your plate right now. But when you are in a better place, when you again have the time and energy to help others, this is what I ask of you: Share this Guide with Others. Steer them towards a Caregivers’ Advocate - like me! That’s it. Why? Because I did it alone. There was no help, no guide, no support system. 5
  6. 6. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness This Guide will provide 7 Secrets that help you avoid caregiver burnout 7 Tips to get help 7 Secrets to healthy eating 7 Tips to getting your daily needs met 7 tips to avoid caregiver burnout 6
  7. 7. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness This Guide Will not Make your loved one healthy Ask you to abandon your loved one Sell you any service Sell you any supplements Make you work harder 7
  8. 8. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My Background Caregiver for my parents, and now my husband - a steady 20 years if I count the early years. Trained by a registered nurse in home health care and assistance long before it was a career 20 years writing and teaching self care AADP Certified Holistic Health Coach Prior Health and Life Insurance Agency Business Project Manager, Producer, and Bull Dog 8
  9. 9. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My Mission Help caregivers move gracefully through the most challenging of responsibilities - caring for our loved ones without draining ourselves. Advocate for Patient and Caregiver Support for those with complex, chronic and disabling conditions. Build Awareness and seek a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encepholomyelitis(CFS / ME) 9
  10. 10. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My Purpose is To make your caregiving easier To help you enjoy more time with your loved ones, minimize the stress, and elevate your vibe. To nurture you back to healthy living. To lead you to live through this as best you can To be there for you so you can be there for others 10
  11. 11. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Let’s Manage Your Tipping Points 11
  12. 12. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Where Can I Turn for Help Seek Medical Help - if you are neglecting your own care, now is the time to get it. Seek a Support Group - I never found one, but often thought I should just start my own. Seek out Spiritual Help - unaffiliated? No worries, try a yoga, Qi Gong, or meditation class. KNOW THIS: You are not on your own! Take a deep breath, sit still, breathe, and know. 12
  13. 13. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Who Can I Call Friend List Resource List Doctor’s List Yoga Class Schedule Meditation scheduled Me Time Schedule 13
  14. 14. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My Brother, My Self If you have a solid relationship with other family members, let them know what is happening. Establish a good communications base with your family -- email is better than nothing. Know that Rips in the family fabric at this time are sometimes irreparable. Acceptance frees you emotionally. If needed, find a mediator. Be honest with yourself about your feelings. 14
  15. 15. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Family Drama Every single tip I offer is based on my life experience. You can’t avoid family drama. I spent 15 - 20 years caring for my progressively aging parents. I may as well have been an only child. Literally. Ask for family help, but know - if you have to ask they probably won’t! Know this: It’s your job to take care of yourself, too. If you can, hire a helper for a day, a week, part time or full time. Yes, You CAN! 15
  16. 16. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness No Regrets Tricked ya! I don’t think it’s possible to not have regrets. I certainly do - and I really just want to change the past. Can’t do it! Acceptance is the only solution. Bottom line is we make the best decisions possible at the time -- and so will you! You can’t foresee everything. If I could do anything over, it would be ? What? 
 16
  17. 17. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness No Do Overs I have a list of things I would have done differently but the truth is I did what I did for a reason. Every decision was made based on what I knew at the time. Working with a family delegate, we made several joint decisions. Nothing was easy. Everyone outside has an opinion. It isn’t an easy situation. Many life long friendships were torn. There are no Do Overs in the game of life. 
 17
  18. 18. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness First Priority Self Care -- It’s really simple. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be there to care for your loved one. Be Kind to YOU -- because you have to continually nurture yourself. It is not an option. Especially when you are the ‘dutiful daughter’ who gets all the blame, and none of the glory. YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD YOUR BEST FRIEND. 18
  19. 19. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness What is Self Care Its what you do to feel relief, happiness, joy, and sometimes, just a moment of bliss. Self care is what you literally do to make sure you can survive. Self care includes rest, restoration, rejuvenation, and strength building. Self Care is the time you take to rejuvenate. 19
  20. 20. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My Secret 7 Must Do Daily Self Care Steps Daily exercise, yoga, or movement: 20 minutes minimum Mindfulness Moments:
 Daily reflections: write or meditate and focus on gratitude, accomplishments, pleasure filled moments. Focus on Breath. 
 Take Time ALONE. Healthy foods every day even when I don’t feel hungry Sacred Daily Connections: Best is in person, but always a Daily Connections, personal contact, private chat, phone calls, smile exchanges 10 Minute Trip to Light - Daylight, a Happy Lamp, or Visioning Get out of the house: Drive, Garden, Walk, Coffee Play every day. Sing. Skip. Laugh. Dance. Create art or make a craft. Doodle. 20
  21. 21. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Your Personal Self Care Strategy Please take a moment and make a list of all of the things you love that make you feel just a bit more whole, at peace, or joyful. No less than 10 items and as many as 50. Place a marker here because we will revisit this later 21
  22. 22. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My list of nurturing ideas 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 22
  23. 23. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My list of nurturing ideas 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 32 33 23
  24. 24. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My list of nurturing ideas 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 24
  25. 25. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Known Self Sabateurs We all have triggers. Things or people that just set us off. When I gave up smoking, I learned the value of making lists. Things to do. Things to avoid. It was combat and I was going to win the war. 
 That’s where the following list comes from. Here, we look at things you want to avoid - things you want to reframe. 25
  26. 26. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness My list of things to avoid reframe and remember! 1 It’s not about me 2 Don’t make assumptions 3 Be mindful of each moment 4 No expectations 5 I don’t have to have all the answers 6 Understand my feelings are not facts 7 One Day at a Time and First Things First Samples from my world 26
  27. 27. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness 7 unusual keys to sanity 1. Get away 2. Laugh 3. Lift Heavy things 4. Sweat 5. Cook a wonderful meal 6. Dig in the Dirt 7. Dance - put on your favorite music and dance! 27
  28. 28. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Got to Get Away Everyone needs a break. Hire a helper and get away. Just DO IT. Go somewhere, do something, or do nothing Do something new for a new perspective Get a new view Get out and see life as if its a new universe Do something you’ve always done but different Find Natural, Free, Easy things to do 28
  29. 29. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Laugh About it Laughter - 1 minute of laughter is equal to 15 minutes of jogging Just laugh -- force yourself to laugh aloud and hard for 1 minute Ok- if you can’t laugh, smile big and broad. It sends a signal to your brain. It changes your chemistry. It sends a relief signal. A good laugh changes everything. Find things that amuse you: Movies, stories, jokes, mimes, street fair entertainers...anything light and lovely. 29
  30. 30. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Lift Heavy Things Get Strong and stay strong. There is a lot to be said for having muscular strength. But it’s not just good for your bones. Building muscular strength by lifting weights builds more than strong muscles and bones. When you continually push your muscles, you are building an emotional strength that lifts your spirits and elevates your mental / emotional endurance. You feel better. You feel strong enough. You build a sense of an extra push. 30
  31. 31. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Sweat and Stretch A good sweat releases the toxins that build inside. I like to sweat by a good workout. The physical work out makes you burn off some stress energy as well. Tight muscles make for pain. Make it a daily practice to stretch! Stretch it out with breath. Yoga is perfect but there’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned stretching! This is revival! Anything that moves your energy. 31
  32. 32. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Cook a Wonderful Meal Cooking is both art and nurturing. People fail to remember that cooking a wonderful new recipe is as much a healing exercise as it is a means to commune with loved ones. Engage your senses Engage your creativity and Engage your family 32
  33. 33. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Dig in the Dirt Gardening is always a renewable joy. I find my mind wandering to weird places. When you clear the beds of weeds, or clear the brush of overgrowth, think about how you are symbolically clearing your mind. Replanting is an act of rejuvenating the soil. As you plant your new garden bed, think abou tthe joy of spring when new life blooms. 33
  34. 34. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Learn Something New Rekindle a lost love: Photography, painting, crafts, writing, computers Read a book on how to write Take a class, on site if possible and online if not Pick something you think you stink at and take a beginner class 34
  35. 35. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness 7 serious steps to maintain lifelong sanity Self Awareness - write about it Friendship - call a good, trusted friend Support System - find a support group where you can share from your heart Lessons from the Ancients: Qi Gong and Yoga What to say when you talk to yourself Don’t feed the trolls 35
  36. 36. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Call on a Friend In 12 step recovery programs, they all suggest you find a sponsor. The concept is simple: Living with the chronically ill is sometimes too much to bear alone. I advise you list 3 - 5 friends who have the capacity to listen with loving attention. And call them! Sometimes it is literally too much to handle alone. 36
  37. 37. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Find a Support System There is always someone Start your own - libraries and fire departments offer free use of their rooms Online information resources Write a blog and open comments Google it Ask about. Others in the same situation are often isolated too. 37
  38. 38. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Lessons from the Ancients QiGong is an ancient healing form practiced in the Asian areas. QiGong is a moving meditation QiGong is about energy and opening the energy flows in your body. Even if you don’t believe it, you gain flexibility and calm from the movements. 38
  39. 39. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Yoga = Union or Harmony Yoga has reached the recreational fad status, but it’s the best for relaxation and stress relief I’ve practiced for over 20 years -- it always helps 16 minutes or 2 hours - make it mindful and be aware of your breath Yoga releases the stress stored in the muscles, releases the energy, releases the mind 39
  40. 40. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Talk to Yourself Create positive affirmations that you can write down and post all over the place: Breathe Be still I am vibrant, happy, and loved It must be positive, short, and memorable I am peaceful 40
  41. 41. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Examples that I use I am happy, vibrant, and whole I am I am I am I am healthy and energetic I am loved I am letting go of worry I am doing what is in front of me I am peaceful I am prospering I am attracting all that I need I am not willing to accept defeat I am taking care of myself I am allowing myself to receive exactly what I need I am allowing myself to succeed I am no longer willing to accept anything less than the best I am worthy of... 41
  42. 42. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Avoiding Negatives Social Media is both friend and foe. If you find yourself having irritable knee jerk reactions to negative, stress inducing flame wars -- unfriend or block those antagonists. They take joy in starting these things. They only serve to distract you from your primary purpose. Keep your circles clear - have an inner circle of close friends, and sure - share with others, but know who is in the in circle. 42
  43. 43. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Avoiding Negatives (2) Stay Away From Toxic Help: You know them. They may mean well. They offer help or offer solace but you always feel worse after an engagement. Whomever they are to you, they aren’t part of your support system. Steer clear. Take care to remember that those who truly have your back don’t need to tell you. You don’t need to spend useless time questioning yourself after they offer their opinions. If they want to help, they need to offer tangible help, not platitudes and lofty opinions. 43
  44. 44. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Don’t Feed the Trolls Trolls are everywhere. They thrive on making people crazy with emotional trash. Just don’t feed them. Walk away, hang up the phone, step away from Facebook, close your email! Cultivate emotional defenses and physical actions like putting hands out in front and saying aloud: NO! 44
  45. 45. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Fighting Trolls: 
 Feeding the Fires of Happiness. 45
  46. 46. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Embrace the Support Having decided to stay away from the negative, you still need to embrace the positive. Some friends will be genuine and you know it. They may offer a unique perspective worth considering. You will know the difference. Get the support that comes from love. Setting boundaries means you are open to letting love in and keeping toxic energy out. 46
  47. 47. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Time for YOU Take one hour every day Take one day per week Take a long weekend or week away every quarter Yes, YOU CAN! 47
  48. 48. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness How to Take Time Adult Day Care Centers Hire a Neighbor, Church Friend, Your Children, Your best friends Ask for a Friend Sitter, Hubby Sitter, Visiting Nurses, Temporary Agencies If your loved one is basically capable of fending for himself, just schedule the time and TAKE IT. MAKE IT A PRIORITY 48
  49. 49. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness More on Taking Time If you don’t take care of you, you won’t have anything left to take care of your loved one. It’s like oxygen for your spirit. It’s essential to your staying alive It’s not an option: JUST DO IT Ask for Help. Ask the right people. 49
  50. 50. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Find a Creative Outlet It’s so easy to fall into the trap of mind numbing activity. What you need is creative expression! Pick up a pen and write Take an art class Learn photography, claywork, glass blowing,beading, floral arrangements... Take a culinary class 50
  51. 51. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Creativity = Creation When you create, you start to feel alive and refreshed. It’s magical! Not feeling artistic -- check out an art supply store check out the master painters think about what you loved as a kid what was your favorite art project ever 51
  52. 52. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Healthy Eating Keeps you Going 1. Eat fresh 2. Eat a Rainbow 3. Eat what you make and make it tasty 4. Find new recipes 5. Get inspired by Food Network or other cooking shows 6. Buy Local - Meet the Farmer 7. Water -- drink fresh, natural water 52
  53. 53. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Healthy Menus The major complaint I hear most often is about time. My time saving solutions come from several years of working full time, caring for ill family, and doing everything. The one thing to do is think untraditionally. Fresh, home made food is always healthier than institutional or industrial foods. 53
  54. 54. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Healthy Kitchens and Happy Campers Cook once and repurpose for a few meals: Roast 2 chickens instead of one and enjoy a few days of variety: Simple Roasted Chicken becomes flavorful enchiladas or burritos, then a nice salad or sandwich, and finally a casserole. Rib Roast for 4 with leftovers for chili, quick stew, sandwiches, or salad Make enough brown rice for a few days. Have it with dinner on Sunday, add to the enchilada, make it into a breakfast cereal, add it to chicken stock that you made with your chicken carcass Make and freeze: Cooked chicken or meat, casserole, soups, stock 54
  55. 55. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Healthy Kitchens More Energy Be Your Best Guide: Note what foods give you sustainable energy and what foods give you a quick burst only to leave you feeling drained. Stephen Gagne wrote in The Energy of Foods that all foods have energy. Greens grow upwards towards the sun are filled with chlorophyll. They oxygenate the body. They lift the spirit. In contrast, carrots and potatoes grow under ground. They are filled with grounding energy that can keep you stable, rooted, grounded.
 55
  56. 56. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Do Service Work Sometimes it is counter intuitive, but can work. Look for a cause that you can get behind Choose clearly what you are willing to give, how much time, how much effort - even if it’s 30 minutes a week. Give because you get so much back. Set Boundaries, but give with a joyous heart. 56
  57. 57. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Join a club My friend Nancy is 78 years old. Her children live afar, her significant other just passed away, yet Nancy is still going to her clubs. It’s keeping her alert and alive. Dancing. Book Talks. Opera... Get involved in things that interest and uplift you. She is active, involved, and ready to help others. She keeps engaged by her involvement in several clubs that she cares about. Getting involved is part of soul saving sanity. 57
  58. 58. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness SMILE at Yourself Several years ago, I struggled with failures amidst failures. I was in utter despair. I felt lost. I was awash with misery. Tricking myself back into happiness saved my life! No help and no hope in sight,I resolved to test this theory that smiling sends a message to yourself. I forced myself to smile at myself in the mirror. I looked into my own eyes, smiled broadly, and thought loving thoughts. It worked. It went beyond just smiling, but learning to see me. Try it, yourself. It’s free! 58
  59. 59. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Angry Eyes Sometimes, we need to get the anger out! This treasure from QiGong helps. Feel yourself become calm. Then feel the energy of your anger, let it be in your eyes. Look and feel the anger. Give the air in front of you a one - two punch. Repeat the punch above your head then to your sides. Now shake your hands and fingers in front, above and to the sides. Return to a calm gaze and feeling, notice a sense of expansion in your body. What happens is you become constricted when angry, so this moves the energy outward and you literally make more space in your essence. 59
  60. 60. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Call a Prayer Line I’m not going to go all religious on you. All of us find some source of strength. Call your church, your neighbor who is active in a church, your friends, your synagogue, your recovery group -- whatever lifts your spirit. Just call - prayer together offers a solace that can’t be found when praying alone. 60
  61. 61. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness Ask for what you want and be willing to accept the answer may be no. ask someone else because not everyone can do everything Ask yourself “what do I need today to feel great” and then give it to yourself! Sometimes, a simple hour to talk with a friend about YOU is all that it takes. 61
  62. 62. © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness How to Find Care Levels of Care: Short term, Hospice, Assisted Living, Senior Living, Home Companions Vacation Coverage so you can get away Hospital Discharge Trial Stay Day Stay Programs 62
  63. 63. How to Let Go Once you find a way to get help, delegate and get away. An hour, a day, a weekend — you will be so much better for it on your return. Trial Runs - do short bursts of personal escapes while the back up team is in place. 63© 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness
  64. 64. Checklists to make Doctors and Providers Diet Restrictions Medications Daily Living Goals To do lists for home Friend Support List Emergency Calling List Money Minder List - where is everything Grocery Staple list Fun Activities List Bucket List 64© 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness
  65. 65. Chores - Whose Gonna Do It Wash Sheets and Bed Linens Wash Clothes Clean kitchen floor and counters Clean kitchen Clean Bathroom Vacuum & Dust Clean out closets Clean out cupboards Use, Donate, Toss bins Yard Maintenance Car Maintenance Pets Plants 65© 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness
  66. 66. Templates for charting your personal course will be available at: www.bewellbistro.com Thanks Everyone This was written for YOU! As a Caregiver, YOU deserve help.
 Nancy is available for consults and ongoing virtual coaching. 
 She is happy to create custom templates to make your life easy. 
 email: nlamb@ramblinlamb.com What to do to take care of YOU! © 2014 Ramblin Lamb Wellness66

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