Taking Care of Yourself When you are Caregiving

Let’s talk… This pandemic experience has made for a tricky year for all of us. What can be uncovered from this? As caregivers and soon-to-be caregivers, there can be a lot of pressure to be “healthy”, “stress free”, and just generally “ok”. For many of us that is just not the reality. I am here to hold space for you and let you know that it is okay to not be ok. It is ok to be struggling with the state of our world, your home, your mind and your body. I think during this pandemic we have been given this rare opportunity to turn inwards. Yes, for most of us, it was forced, but I believe that if we’re open to it, this could be a positive shift. We don’t have the long commutes, we’re connecting with our families more, and some of our external distractions are no longer an option.

May this month be the focus of love for you. Yes, please love your partner, your family, your support team, your pets. But most importantly, love yourself! The idea of self love can seem so simple yet quite challenging to prioritize. Self love can also be a variety of things and may be different from day to day. Some days that may mean five extra minutes of undisturbed shower time. Perhaps it is 15 minutes of reading a book, or even taking the time to clean that one place in your house that bugs you the most. As you’re settling into your rhythms this month, take some time to reflect what fills your cup and what may use up your much needed mental capacity. What practices do you love but are finding aren’t getting prioritized? How can you make a little shift there? Can you incorporate it once a week?

Self love has never been so important. In my practice, I have found that most people are holding a lot of stress, whether it’s in the mind or the body, this is important to recognize. Self love practices can be a lovely way to help you and your nervous system down regulate and gently invite your systems to come out of the fight or flight point.

Some of my favorite self-love practices are:

1. Take a bath. Make it special, Epsom salts, essential oils, candles, do the whole thing or don’t! This is your time.

2. Grounding Practices. This can be as simple as taking 1-5 minutes of purposeful breath work. Try sitting or laying down in a comfortable position and focus on your inhale and exhale. When other thoughts creep up, bring your attention back to your inhale and exhale. Inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth, notice sensations, temperature, ease of breath, rhythm of breath and/or choose a mantra that resonates with you that day! For example “I am energized”, “I am loved”, “I am safe” (especially good for those of us who are super anxious right now).

3. Go for a walk with your favorite person or animal. I’ve really enjoyed going on a “walk with a friend” by walking and talking on the phone with a friend. Although we may not be able to physically see each other, it’s a lovely connecting time with a friend, plus you get some benefits of movement. Or simple go for a walk, breathe, connect with nature and move.

4. Move. I personally love a variety of different kinds of movement, but I try to incorporate as much movement as possible in my days. Some days it’s a full hour of yoga with 20 minutes of a HIIT workout, some days it’s 20 minutes of some pilates. Other days I have “movement snacks”. I have really started to love these….These things can be something that just gets you out of your normal position. Been sitting for 2 hours? Stand up and do 20 chair squats, do some balance work, push ups on the wall or desk etc.

5. Read a book. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, make it something lovely and enjoyable. Have your favorite cup of tea, warm blanket and curl up.
As a movement coach and wellness practitioner, I have found the importance of establishing these practices in my life and allowing myself grace as I’m learning, growing and being. I am passionate about movement, breath and truly just taking care from a whole body perspective. If you would like to learn more about the different modalities that I do, please book a free intro session below.

Your Advocate and Friend,
Louise Love, Fitness Consultant