When someone takes on the role of caregiver for a loved one, there’s often little time to prepare. Ideally, a family would have an established care plan for their loved ones in case of illness. But often, the unexpected happens before a family is ready, and someone steps up to become a caregiver. Read on to learn what you can do to improve your own mental health and well-being.
When there’s little time to prepare or little support available, a caregiver can easily lose themselves and become burned out. They may feel guilty taking care of themselves when their loved one is sick, and the stress can lead to many mental and physical health issues.
As a result, a caregiver is unable to give their best self to their loved one, and both suffer. In a six-week series hosted by The Kensington, Dr. James Rouse has shared his steps to renew caregivers and help them implement simple ways to create space and peace in their lives.
Maintaining Caregiver Mental Health
Caregiving can be a fulfilling and enlightening experience for those who are able to maintain a balance in their lives. No matter how much you have struggled, though, there’s always a chance to start implementing healthy practices and change the course of the rest of your life.
Six Steps to Cultivating Soulfulness
Dr. James uses his personal, professional, and clinical experiences to encourage and teach others how to create and sustain a life they will love. He has written 11 books and speaks internationally about health and wellbeing.
Throughout his series with The Kensington, Dr. James provides guidance to caregivers on a “soulFULLness” journey, explaining how to create and cultivate elements of self-care, powerful daily practices, finding peace, and transforming the ways you think, act, and feel.
This transformation process seeks to help caregivers discover the best version of themselves, and provides the tools to maintain this version for the rest of their lives.
We’ve provided the highlights below and you can also watch the event recordings on Kensington Konnect, under Wellness.
Self Care is Not Self-Indulgence
What are your thoughts surrounding self care? Many people believe it’s selfish and self-indulgent, but this isn’t the case. Instead, it means opening yourself up to the idea of becoming a loving priority on your to-do list, and setting the intention to begin each day with acts of self love and care.
It’s important to remember the journey to self improvement is a continuous, intentional process, and that you need care just as much as the people you are caring for.
Empowering Tools for a Healthy Mind/Brain
After digging into the idea of self-care and why it’s important, you can move into thoughts and actionable ideas to support your mind and brain.
Incorporate daily, empowering practices centered on diet, movement, meditation, purpose, and spirituality.
Create a life you love and enjoy by giving yourself nutritious foods whenever possible, moving your body, and practicing meditation or spiritual practices of your choice in order to strengthen your mind.
Watch the recording: Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse – Week 2
How to Create and Sustain Good Energy When You’re Exhausted
If you reach burnout as a caregiver, what can you do? You’re already exhausted, so finding the energy to make changes can be even more difficult.
But you can learn to create, sustain, and circulate inspiring energy from within yourself. You can be the person you love to be, and love the way you live your life.
With your self care rituals and empowering practices, you are creating a toolbox of self-support to keep you going — and return to whenever you feel you are losing your way.
Watch the recording: Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse – Week 3
Decrease Stress and Find Peace During Chaos
You can create a space of grace for yourself in the midst of chaos, ensuring you will never again lose your way. Using your self care tools to decrease stress during difficult moments, you can take back control of your peace and find meaning.
What do you need in moments of chaos? Can you implement breathing techniques? Say a prayer? Take a quick walk around the house or a moment of peace with your eyes closed? Determine what you are able to do to return to a state of peace, and use this practice every time you are experiencing stressful moments.
Watch the recording: Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse – Week 4
Change the Trajectory of Your Life With Actions and Words
What does it mean to clean your “dirty genes”? Dr. James says it’s possible to build a new biology of belief that transforms your mind, body, and emotions. No matter what your history holds, you can clean your genes and change the trajectory of your path.
Using your positive, inspiring energy, and focusing on the words you tell yourself, it’s possible to entirely change the way you think and the way your body responds in times of stress.
No matter what your past has looked like, you have the power to change your future with your consistent actions.
Living Every Day as the Best Version of You
You know what the best version of you looks like. Continue to keep this person in mind and remember that it’s possible to never lose your faith or the willingness to continue being who you are.
Once you have the tools to keep yourself lifted, you can always return to them.
The Kensington – Here to Support Caregivers and Families
The Kensington proudly hosts events with inspirational speakers such as Dr. James, as well as experts in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia research, because we are dedicated to keeping our community inspired and cared for.
A true community is filled with love and support. The Kensington Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own, and our goal is to build long-lasting care relationships. We make sure this promise and goal is exemplified in every way in our community, from our primary care managers and full-time nurses to luxurious living accommodations.
Our memory care community provides customized care for your loved ones, and allows them to safely age in place, at home with us, as their condition progresses. We also offer continuous virtual support groups for caregivers to offer connection, encouragement, and support.
Reach out today to connect with us and learn more about our new, vibrant community and our dedication to the highest level of care.