1. Wake up five minutes earlier than your Caree. Meditate for at least two minutes to greet the day. Try this:
- Take in a deep breath. Feel the expansion in your rib cage down through your diaphragm until you feel the expanse of your breath with your back.
- Slowly exhale this breath to the count of five.
- Repeat three times. On the second exhale, say this mantra internally: “Darling, I am here for you.” (This mantra is by Thich Nhat Hanh- one of the great meditative minds of our lifetime).
- At the end of the third breath, place your hands in a prayer position over your heart, saying quietly, “Namaste,” (Nah-mes-tay), meaning: I bow to your true self–a salutation to the day. Support yourself in feeling loved and loving– ready to start the day.
2. Have a wonderfully yummy, warm drink: an exotic healthy tea, or coffee with a great creamer.
3. Smile. When you find yourself smiling, celebrate the act. Joy is good. Always appreciate a moment of relief. Your body is gathering ways to keep you in motion. Never feel guilt for moments of fun.
4. Stretch. When you are not able to go for a brisk walk, give your body a full stretch. Arms, legs, back, neck, etc. This will remind you that you are still connected to yourself with health. Plus, it just feels good!
5. Appreciate. Tell yourself one thing you appreciate about yourself, the day, etc. Tell your Caree one thing you appreciate about them.
Let’s begin to see self-care and caregiving as a motion like shaking hands. You need two hands to complete the act.