Self-Care is Crucial for Caregivers

I momentarily forgot that self-care is crucial for caregivers. I’m a caregiver to both my husband and my mother. Certainly, it is easy to get caught up in the needs of others, forgoing your own.

A Definition of Self-Care

One definition is any activity that nurtures and refuels you at a deep level. There are many areas of our lives where we can practice self-care. Often we think first of our physical body. Similarly you can practice self-care in other areas; your emotional and mental state, your relationship with yourself, relationships with others, spiritual beliefs and even work.

Some Examples of Self-Care

  • Getting enough quality sleep
  • Daily time outdoors
  • Massage
  • Crying
  • Laughter
  • Free Writing
  • Forgiveness
  • Nature Walks
  • Meditation and Prayer
  • Engaging the senses
  • Doing something important to you
  • Cooking
  • Goal Setting
  • Boundary Setting
  • Learning New Skills
  • Time with friends
  • Conversations
  • Time with children

Signs That I Needed More Self-Care

I wear a Fitbit, which tracks my sleep patterns and my resting heart rate. Most noteworthy was the dramatic increase in my resting heart rate from 67 to 74 in just eight days. While the resting heart rate was soaring, my quality of sleep rating plummeted to the 60’s.

My Method of Self-Care

It had been months since I had walked the paths of my favorite public garden Bok Tower Gardens . On the morning of that eight day of increased resting heart rate, I told my husband I was going to spend time walking before I performed errands for him and my mom.

I was benefiting multiple areas of my life in this one act of self-care. My physical body was experiencing time outdoors. Nature walks are a form of meditation for me, boosting my spiritual care. By engaging my senses during the walk, I lifted my relationship with myself. Finally, I had a chance encounter with a friend along the path and enjoyed a lovely conversation, adding the self-care of relationships with others.

Measurable Positive Results

In the five days since I went for my self-care walk, my resting heart rate dropped each day and is now at 68. My sleep score for the same five days now has an average of 80. I feel rested, calm, and was able to meet a writing deadline in addition to this blog.

A Challenge for You

Whether you take care of your family, your pets, or just yourself,  self-care is crucial. I challenge you to find at least one way you can do something just for you, something that makes you smile, that makes your heart sing. Life is short. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.

Love,
Dawn


Life After Life – a Book Review

Although I knew my friend Kim Moore had written a book about mediumship. I had not purchased it. That is not like me. I purchase books a lot. Then Kim placed an unusual birthday post on her business Facebook page . She was giving away three parts of herself; her book Life After Life, an Everything House Blessing Kit, and a 30-minute reading. All she asked was a Facebook comment with your preference.

Choosing is Sometimes Difficult

Imagine this scene. You love ice cream and the corner drugstore is giving away samples of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. They say you can have them all, but you must start with just one. Now you have to make a decision. How many people listen to their intuition? Would you?

I checked into my intuition and realized I really wanted to read her book. Conversely, authors have a little agreement with each other. If you receive a free book from your author friend, you naturally buy one too. I felt a little guilty, but I put my preference for the book in my comment and then forgot about it.

Where’s the Review Already!

The full title, Life After Life: A Guide to Connecting with  Your Loved Ones in the Spirit World, tells you a lot about the content. Kim explains all about mediums, grief and loss, spirits and connections, and common signs from our loved ones in spirit. She also shares the dialogue from an actual session.

Not sure what to say when the loved one of a friend passes on? There is a section with guidance on what to say or not say to Them. And Kim’s personal experiences are sprinkled throughout.

My favorite quote from the book:

”By sharing my stories, I hope to leave people with the knowledge that their loved ones in the the spirit world are still with them. Always remember, love never dies.”

There is so much comfort in this book for anyone in grief. And I know from personal experience that Kim’s words are true for me.

Parting Message

The love Kim exhibits for all, resonates on the pages of Life After Life. If you are at all curious, invest in a copy on Kim’s Website.

Oh, and I received my first copy as the winner of Kim’s birthday giveaway. Thank you, Kim!

Peace and Love,
Dawn


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Last Walk in the Yard

One week ago today, our thirteen-year-old Brittany, Dubba, took his last walk in the yard. The decision to end the suffering of a beloved pet is hard, very hard. Carrying out that decision is a burden shared by many. This article is in appreciation for Dubba and the love he showed me, once he got to know me.

A Sporting Life

I’m a supporter of rescue dogs and my life before Wayne has included many. In contrast, Dubba was bred to point birds, specifically quail. He was a master of his craft, teaching many young Brittany pups the art of trailing the scent, pinpointing the hidden location, and then standing stock still until released by the bird taking flight.

Once the hunter brought down the bird, Dubba retrieved it carefully with a ‘soft mouth’, responding to the call of his master, my husband, Wayne. I traipsed behind the hunters one cool Spring morning and watched the symphony of man, dog, and quail in a field, dotted with palmetto islands.

Wild quail hunting is a thing of the past, their natural habitat replaced by housing tracts with cement walls and names like, “Quail Trail Preserve”. Now there are quail breeders and quail brokers. Wayne or his friend, Fred, purchase the birds right before the hunt and place them in the field. When I first saw this, I was taken a back. Consequently, I understand and appreciate the joy of our Brittanys when they are on the hunt.

A Man and His Dog

The bond between Wayne and Dubba was deep, born when Dubba was born in the same home Wayne and I now share. I’ve know Dubba four years. At first he was a bit intimidating. Within a few months, he was seeking me out, rubbing his head against my thigh.

Although Wayne had hopes of breeding our puppy, Sugar, with Dubba, that never happened. Dogs have preferences too. Dubba did not care for Sugar. I breathed a sigh of relief. The thought of raising puppies kept me up nights.

Many years ago, Dubba was a house dog, like his sister, Marilyn and Sugar are today. Dubba, however, insisted on marking his territory inside the house. He received his own house in the yard with an elevated, enclosed and covered area, front entrance, and steps down to the cool cement floor of his spacious kennel. Soon after, a lost, injured American Bulldog found Wayne in Georgia on a deer hunting trip. After diligent efforts to find the Bulldog’s owners failed, Wayne named her Daisy, and brought her home to live with Dubba.

Dogs Have Feelings Too

Wayne and I were worried about Daisy’s reaction to the absence of her friend, Dubba. At first, she was very subdued; barking and eating less, sleeping more. We’ve given Daisy extra tummie rubs, more exercise and attention. She is responding well and seems as happy as she was before. Wayne and I feel better too.

Life Moves On

For all of you who experienced your dog’s last walk in the yard, I feel your pain. I also feel your warm memories of sloppy dog kisses, endless games of fetch, and tender moments. Goodbye dear friend, Dubba.

Love,
Dog Mama Dawn