Category: Creating ME Time

Planning Summer Fun – Even for You!

Summer activities for family caregivers

A calendar year can be like a book with the seasons being different sections.

As family caregivers, one season can easily roll into another, sometimes without an intentional thought. Or perhaps we do think ‘I’d like to do that this summer’ but find when fall arrives we feel we squandered our summer and wonder what we did.

Imagine yourself sitting at your desk in September saying farewell to summer with not feelings of regret but feelings of gratitude.

Let’s make this summer different. Let’s design our summer with good intentions…and a big dose of FUN! (more…)

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My Favorite Podcasts for Family Caregivers

In the past few years, I have discovered the wide wonderful world of podcasts!

From news junkies to entertainment seekers to those looking for personal growth and business training…there is certainly something for everyone!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file available on the Internet or as a download to your computer or phone. It’s like a radio show on a topic you care about or love. You choose when you want to listen and you can skip through the advertisements.

For me, my podcast smartphone application is like my TV’s DVR. Once I either hear or read about a podcast, I search for the name on my phone’s Podcast app and listen to one of the recent episodes. If I like the program, I will ‘subscribe’ to it. Then my app knows that I want new episodes automatically downloaded to my device. (more…)

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How to Identify and Create Boundaries while Caregiving

Boundaries while Caregiving

I believe many Caregiving conflicts we have with others stem from unspoken expectations. A lack of understanding of personal boundaries.

Think about your last Caregiving related conflict you had with someone. Was this the case? Was something this person expected you to do or say? Or, were you expecting them to do or say something?

Do ever feel like the universe is sending you signs? One particular book kept popping up in a variety of conversations. The book is called “Boundaries”. At one point, the universe (or my co-worker) put the book in my hand and said ‘you really need to read this.’ I didn’t know he gave it to me until after I read it which was probably a good thing since I read it straight away like I was borrowing it. He insisted afterward that I keep the book or pay it forward.

So I read “Boundaries” because of all the mentions and because I can always improve my relationships with others.

I took some notes while reading this book so I could share the key points in this post. (more…)

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Webinar: Finding Time for What You Love

Finding Time Webinar

Recorded Webinar

As part of fulfilling my requirements to become a Certified Caregiving Consultant, I needed to facilitate an online chat, hold a phone support group call, or do a webinar. I chose the webinar as part of my ‘final’. (By the way, If you want more information on becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant, please let me know. I have a coupon code you may be interested in).

This webinar was presented live on Caregiving.com on 3/14/2017. The recording is now available for you to watch at your convenience.

I know what it is like to be sandwiched between caring for aging parents while raising teenagers and working a full-time job. I have cared for my mother-in-law and father, and currently help care for her chronically ill mother and developmentally disabled brother.

In 2014, my world flipped upside down when my mother-in-law was in her fourth year of battling lung cancer and both of my parents were fighting for their lives. My father passed away in August 2014 putting me in an immediate position to move my mom and become her primary caregiver. That December, my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer. I had to learn how to integrate Caregiving with my demanding family and work responsibilities and somehow not lose myself in the process.

This webinar is a result of what I have learned on this journey. You will hear practical tips on how to create time for the activities and people you love (and miss!).

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Announcing the ‘All Things Caregiving’ YouTube Talk Show

All Things Caregiving youTube talk show

A New YouTube Channel for Caregivers

My friend, fellow global Caregiving advocate, and now YouTube channel partner Carole Brecht of SanGenWoman connected with me last fall to see if I was interested in creating an inspiring & uplifting Caregiving talk show with her on YouTube. After lots of phone and email conversations, recording nights, behind the scenes prep, and YouTube training…we are here! Launch time for the All Things Caregiving YouTube talk show!

(more…)

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5 Ways for Caregivers to Save Time and Minimize Stress

How Caregivers can save time and stress

A guest post written by Jessica Hegg.

Being a Caregiver can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. Most people giving care for loved ones don’t get paid – and many caregivers work full or part-time, or have children or other responsibilities that mean their life gets very, very stressful.

It’s very tough to juggle time for all the responsibilities of your normal life and of your caregiving. And if you’re not careful, this can lead to caregiver burnout – physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can affect your ability to provide care for others, and cause stress, fatigue, and other deleterious health outcomes.

The way this most often manifests itself is a lack of time – it seems like Caregivers never have time to everything that they need to in a day. We’re here with 5 simple tips to help you save time and minimize stress in your day-to-day life as a Caregiver. (more…)

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Can having less stuff make you happier?

Having less stuff

“I’m looking for less stuff to take care of.”

This phrase is something my friends and family would hear me say when I was deep in the role of being the primary caregiver for my mom on top of working full time, raising two children, spending time with my husband, and taking care of me. Oh…and my husband was his mom’s primary caregiver as well so we both felt like we were drowning in stuff to do.

It became crystal clear to me that I had way too much on my plate. I feared something important was going to give or drop whether I liked it or not so I needed to be mindful of what I could sacrifice. It felt heavy to take care of so much stuff and difficult to keep so many plates in the air.

While I know I needed to be focusing in the moment, I was constantly distracted by worrying about all my other plates. When I was with my mom, I was thinking about my kids. While I was at the office, I was thinking about my mom, and whenever I was taking some time for me I felt guilty. This nonstop feeling of being needed and not feeling like I could ever do enough reminded me of a mother robin tirelessly feeding a nest of hungry baby birds. I wrote more about this frustration here.

Does this sound familiar to you? (more…)

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Caregiver Spotlight – Priya Soni

Caring for aging parent

I regularly feature one-on-one conversations with a family Caregiver from either my Happy Healthy Caregiver Facebook Group or 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 encouraged by others.

Meet my caregiving friend and fellow caregiver advocate Priya Soni. Priya’s caregiving experience with her dad and recently with her mom continue to shape who she is and inspired her to start a movement called The Caregiving Effect. Usually Priya highlights other family caregiver stories through The Caregiving Effect but today the Caregiver Spotlight is shining on her. (more…)

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Caregiver Spotlight – Carole Brecht

Caring for aging parent

I like to regularly feature one-on-one conversations with a family Caregiver from either my Happy Healthy Caregiver Facebook Group or 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 encouraged by others.

Meet Creative Family Caregiver – Carole Brecht

Carole Brecht’s first exposure to family caregiving occurred when she had just closed her art gallery and was planning to secure a job in her industry. Her dad worked full-time and her mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Carole had the time to step up as the daughter to help, not even knowing what a Caregiver was, nor hearing the word Caregiver until the end of her journey. She just knew her mom needed assistance with daily tasks and transportation and advocacy at her doctor appointments. Like many of us, Carole had no formal training in caregiving and learned as she went. Her caregiving journey with her mom lasted  several years until her mom passed away two years ago. During this time, Carole didn’t have a support system. She felt caregiving was a lonely, isolating journey that caused her to withdraw. Carole is currently her father’s Caregiver.

Caregiving took Carole down a path she didn’t anticipate. Her personal experiences inspired her to explore two positive, creative outlets: Zentangle art and writing.

(more…)

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5 Calorie-Free Holiday Treats that Will Keep You in Good Health

5-calorie-freeholiday-treats-blog-post

A guest post written by Lorna Scott, The Caregiver’s Lighthouse

It is a pleasure to be here today and a huge bundle of thanks to Elizabeth for inviting me to share with you some ideas and strategies to help you get through the holiday season without having to dig deep for willpower to say no to every yummy looking holiday treat.

Beware of the Holiday Sugar Monster

I’m not sure how the last two months of the year became most famous for all the sugar filled food that you find on every corner in every store. In Canada, it starts even earlier with Thanksgiving in October. Soon it’s Halloween, American Thanksgiving and before you blink an eye you are rolling into the rush of Christmas. There’s no time to catch your breath in between pumpkin pie, Halloween kisses and candy canes. How can anyone expect to get through the relentless bombardment of “eat this treat and be happy” messages?

This can be especially true for family caregivers. Really, what is easier than grabbing a leftover Halloween goodie or candy cane to give you a boost of energy? Sounds good and you might even feel great for a few minutes. And then the fatigue and fogginess returns quickly, and often is worse than before. So you grab another treat, the same thing happens, and you grab more, and soon, you have been sucked into the grasp of the sugar monster.

I know how easy this is to do because I just lived through it. For some reason I caved into that cycle this week. I have a sweet tooth and while I’ve never sworn off all sweets forever, I am usually very careful about giving in to the sugar cycle. I know it takes me off course in every aspect of my life, hurts my body and adds weight I’ve just worked hard to release. It’s insidious, and I gave in to it.

(more…)

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