Aug 31, 2016

Natural Remedy for Anxiety

Image result for nature photos
"Green tea and dark chocolate can each help take the edge off worries and tension; use them along with -- not instead of -- prescribed anti-anxiety medications." Tieraona Low Dog

What a good suggestion.  Not instead of, but along with prescribed medication.  I think it may not be possible to be a caregiver and not experience anxiety at times.  Dark chocolate gently lifts mood.  Green tea helps induce quiet and calm.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Aug 30, 2016


Image result for nature photos
"Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom." Friedrich Schiller

Grace, graciousness, graceful -- are all important to me.  I was determined to do caregiving with graciousness, which for me meant with integrity and with keeping his best interest, and my own, in mind at all times.

Aug 29, 2016

The Way Can Seem Long

Image result for nature photos
"I took the path less traveled." Robert Frost

Caregiving, whether for a young child or someone who needs assistance, can seem endless.  Caregiving requires that we set aside our own needs to attend to the needs of someone else.  There may be some rewards for doing that, but - let's not kid ourselves -- it can seem endless and tedious.  Having support helps.

Fall Is On The Way

Image result for nature photos
"Fall:  a time for gathering what one has planted."

Driving home from church on Sunday, I happened to notice in my rear-view mirror an aspen tree already golden.  Mornings have a chill about them.  All a reminder that fall is on its way in the northern hemisphere.  It is hard to imagine that summer is nearly over.  It has been a summer of fixing and maintaining our home.  Dwane was so good at that, but he has not been able to for 6 years, and I did not have the energy for maintenance while caregiving.  Thankfully, this summer I have had the energy to paint the garage, shed, trim on house, fix deck.  It feels so good to be a good steward of this property.  And to finally have energy again.

Aug 28, 2016

Letting Go of Things

Image result for nature photos
"Grief is a process."

I am ready now to take the suit Dwane wore to be viewed in to goodwill.  Letting go of his possessions has been a process.  A bit at a time.  I am ready for a new time of letting go.  But, I am so glad I took my time.  I might have sold or given away all his tools, but now I realize I use many of them.  But, for some of the other things, it is time for them to move into new ownership.

Aug 27, 2016

The Road of Recovery

Image result for nature photos
"September:  a time to harvest."

We are almost to September, the month Dwane died.  It will be one year, and it is only in the last couple months that I feel I am returning to myself.  And, that has been with the help of medication for PTSD.  Caregiving takes a toll.  I did it with as much integrity and graciousness as I was able, and - even with my set of skills with my psychological degrees -- it took a toll.  But, the good news is:  time and good habits heal us.  How are you doing?

Aug 26, 2016

Posture Can Strength Bones

Image result for nature photos
"Standing up straight strengthens bones." Katy Bowman, fitness expert

As we age we can lose bone density, and caregivers need to be very aware of this as you transport your loved one.  To have good posture, stand with feet hip-width apart with toes forward, do not lock knees, shift hips back so body is aligned vertically, draw ears back so they are in line with shoulders and keep neck long.

Aug 25, 2016

Help with Sleeping Away From Home

Image result for nature photos
"Sleeping away from home?  Bring your own pillow." Brown University

Having a familiar pillow helps your brain relax -- whereas otherwise it may stay more active in a new place.  Deep breathing, relaxation, quieting the mind --- can also help.

Aug 24, 2016

Importance of Storytelling

Image result for nature photos
"Listening to stories lights up the whole brain, not just a few areas.  Stories engage your brain more than music or math." University of California

Listening to a story activates emotions, memories and sensations across the brain.  Understanding a story requires access to all kinds of cognitive processes, social reasoning, spatial reasoning, emotional responses,visual imagery and more -- according to this study.

Aug 22, 2016


Image result for nature photos
Serenity:  being at peace

Serenity is so important.  I was discussing with another mental health clinician the habits of some of our clients.  He had just had a "no show" -- these were the same people who were 20 minutes late when they came to an appointment with me.  Chaos.  It is hard for me to imagine living in such chaos, and yet, it is everyday life for some.  What is the price of your peace of mind?  For me it is priceless.

Aug 21, 2016


Image result for nature photos
"It is a happy talent to know how to play." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I agree, and it is one of the things I love about hanging out with my 3-year old granddaughter.  She knows how to play.  On our last "nana day", she discovered how to put cd's in the player, and then we danced.  Volume up full blast.  What delight!

Aug 20, 2016

Life Long Learning

Image result for nature photos
"To feel, and think, and learn -- learn always:  surely that is being alive and young in the real sense." Freya Stark

I love to learn and to hear other's perspectives on things -- as long as they are offered as their opinion, and not the one and only fact.  Isn't that what being alive is:  learning and considering new ideas, new ways of behaving, new actions?