How essential oils can enhance caregiving

Are you as curious about essential oils? Lately I’ve been hearing more and more about them and I just had to know what these are all about.

As part of my holistic health discovery, I enjoy learning about natural ways to overcome health obstacles and optimize health.

My expert interview conversation with Sue Ellen Jones certainly peaked my curiosity about essential oils even more.

Sue Ellen Jones is a former teacher turned Essential Oils Wellness Advocate with doTerra (which means ‘gift of the earth’). Sue Ellen lives with her husband in Alpena, Michigan. She’s raised five children and now enjoys 13 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. (more…)

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6 Behaviors To Cultivate A Mindset Of Abundance While Caregiving

I first heard about the ‘mindset of abundance’ on a podcast and it allowed me to analyze why I like hanging out with certain people more than others in my personal life. I like moms who subscribe to this mindset who know that my kids can be smart, socially accepted, and athletic and their kids can too. I also like women who share great shopping deals or fat burning tips knowing that we all can look and feel our best. It’s not an either/or situation – we all can win at parenting, health, marriage and living a happy life.

This same mindset of abundance can be applied toward caregiving. (more…)

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The #1 Mistake Most Caregivers Make

Caregiver, please don’t make this mistake. If you are already making it…it’s time to course correct it. It’s never too late to start.

There is a big common myth among caregivers. Caregivers believe that they are supposed to give and give everything they have to those that they care for. Caregivers usually feel guilty if they don’t do this. They believe if they aren’t 100% focused on the person they are caring for then they aren’t doing enough.

Analogies to get your attention

If you were a hearty steak and potato dinner, there would be only so much of you for every one to consume before there was no food left. We need food to survive. Eventually, your house guests will get hungry again and you’ll either have to whip up something else or head to the store for more food.

You have a big heart. If you also had a surplus of extra cash for charity, there would only be so much good you could do before you’d have to return to work or acquire donors for your cause to earn more cash so you could go out and do more good.

If you were a full tank of gas there would be only so many places you could go before you’d run out of gas and need to stop for a refill. (more…)

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3 Happiness Hacks Caregivers Can Start Today

happiness hacks

A guest post written by Beth Phillips, blogger and Happy Healthy Caregiver Community member

As caregivers, we are vulnerable to stress, exhaustion, anxiety and a variety of other factors that can lead to depression and other types of illness. We know that paying attention to our own health and happiness will give us the energy to care for others but it’s hard to find the time or energy when there are so many other things on our plates.

Lucky for us, there’s a lot of new science on happiness and it’s role in success, productivity and high performance. Even better, researchers have identified simple practices to increase happiness. Many of them can be executed in less than three minutes a day and the tangible, physical and emotional benefits can be realized in less than a month, if practiced consistently. (more…)

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Natural Energy Sources are the key to Caregiving Success

Ashley Poptodorova Expert Interview

Expert Interview – Ashley Poptodorova

Ashley Poptodorova herself is a natural energy source. Spend five minutes with this certified fitness professional and you’ll leave recharged and wishing you could wear yoga pants, tanks, and flip flops to work every day.

A and A Wellness small group energizes me

Ashley and her husband Alex have been my training team for two and a half years. A friend of mine was their client and I had watched her achieve amazing results. I was frustrated with where I was with my health goals, had tried dozens of diets and exercise regimes on my own, and decided I had had enough of navigating through all the different health and wellness information on my own and it was time to bring in the experts. When I first met them at a local coffee shop, I shed tears of frustration and they assured me that it would take time but that they could help. Little did I know then, what an emotional journey I would start. Soon after hiring them to create a personal nutrition plan for me and start my group strength training sessions, my mom was hospitalized and I’ve shared the rest of the story in several posts on my site (here and here).

Ashley is also a professional speaker and aspiring author who has such a drive and motivation for encouraging others to see the best in themselves. Ashley embarked on her own journey to health with the help of her husband Alex. At one time Ashley weighed 208 pounds and successfully lost 80 pounds. To me, Ashely is more than an expert, she is a friend. I strength train with her twice a week and she has pushed me to new heights, physically and emotionally, including sharing my personal stories and starting Happy Healthy Caregiver. She’s positive, encouraging, beautiful on inside and out…and the strongest woman I know!!! (more…)

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Healthy Meal Planning Basics

I like the benefits meal planning and preparation affords me all week long more than I dislike the two hours it takes to plan the meals, go to the store, and prepare everything up for the week.

Have you tried weekly meal planning and preparation yet?

(more…)

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How to make meditation a new healthy habit

Making Meditation a Healthy Habit

I have read and heard much about meditation, especially in recent years as our lives continue to get stuffed with so many demands.  ‘They’ say it can improve your life.

Once you hear that, how can you not try it?

The benefits of meditation

Then you hear about all the benefits of meditation.  Here are a few that captured me:

  • it reduces stress (Yes!  I need that!  What caregiver doesn’t?!)
  • it improves concentration and mindfulness (Ok, guilty of not always living in the moment…that sounds good.)
  • it encourages a healthy lifestyle and benefits cardiovascular and immune health (I want to maintain that!)
  • it increases happiness (wait, healthy AND happy…I’m sold!)
  • it slows aging (I’d like to be around longer especially if I’m healthy and happy!)
  • it increases self-awareness and acceptance (validation that I am enough is always welcomed.)

Top that list off with the fact that you never hear anything bad about meditation and then you really feel like you have to make this a new habit. (more…)

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Caregiver Spotlight – Beth

Caring for aging parent

Each month, I have a one-on-one interview with a caregiver in the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community. I call each of these recorded conversations a ‘Caregiver Spotlight’. I started these because each caregiver journey is unique and I know every time I talk to another caregiver I learn something new and I leave that conversation knowing I’m not alone and feel a little bit stronger.

Beth lives in Pittsburgh, PA area and has been caring for her 80 year old elderly aunt in her home for almost 2 years. Beth has four teenagers and says she is married to ‘one of the nicest people she’s ever met’.  Beth enjoys running and writing about interesting things on her ‘Being Home‘ blog.

Beth’s mother lives across the street which she says played a huge part in allowing herself to even consider taking this primary caregiver role on in the first place. In addition to her mom, Beth has lots of local support including her cousin and a doctor neighbor who willingly makes house calls.

Beth is also grateful Aunt Linda is overall pleasant, in spite of her progressing dementia and other ailments, including diabetes. (more…)

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10 healthy snacks for busy caregivers

10 healthy snacks for busy caregivers

When I get way too hungry, or ‘hangry’, I tend to make bad food choices.  You know what I’m talking about..the ice-cream, popcorn, sour patch kids, potato chips or french fries.  Having a few healthy snacks with me at all times helps keep me on track for my nutrition goals.  I also take a bottle of water with me wherever I go.

(more…)

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How to use your masters in caregiving to create a new career

 

Throughout our caregiving journey, we are developing so many new skills and collecting more resources than we know what to do with.

It can feel like we are getting our ‘masters in caregiving’ and preparing to write a thesis!

Getting her ‘masters’ was an expression that Colleen Kavanaugh, Certified Caregiving Consultant, used to explain why after a decade of caring for her own parents she decided to pursue a career in caregiving.

Whether we like it or not, caregiving changes us.

 

(more…)

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