When I reviewed this issue of the Caregiver Chronicle, I thought about what stress reduction, self- care and peace of mind meant. It seems that we are always searching for ways to reduce our stress, and yet I often hear there is just no time to add one more thing into our busy lives. The techniques introduced here are convenient, easy and ones we can learn to do at home. A five- minute break is all that may be needed to practice some mindfulness, which is essentially being aware of our present moment and breath. Tai chi movements which are gentle and flowing, center our body and mind. Yoga uses poses and breathe work to help us to slow down, tune in to our bodies and release tension. These techniques of deep breathing, focusing on a pleasant thought in the moment, calming the mind and stretching into a yoga pose can help increase restfulness and even boost the immune system. And as Tom Rinkowski reports in his article, there are at least 10 other ways we can practice self-care that are inexpensive and readily available to us. I admit to lighting an aromatic candle at times and occasionally enjoying that piece of dark chocolate.
Taking care of ourselves can also include taking care of business, like formalizing advance directives and considering an addition to our care team through non-medical help. So, I hope you can take just a few moments in the next month for yourself. Self-care is such an important stress reduction technique: one that can enhance our peace of mind. Namaste!
Cheryl Robinson, LCSW