Hello to all Caregivers ~
So I am not sure if this is the most appropriate place to post this but I recently went to a Mindfulness retreat for work purposes to aid in helping us in the field to become aware of various emotions that may come up due to being a caregiver. Although it was work related, I truly believe that this can be helpful to those of you who are taking care of your loved one day in and out through this journey in Cholangiocarcinoma.
From first hand caregiver experience with my father, I think that it's important to make sure that our caregivers know that you are cared for. I have been doing some searches and came across some non research articles that I thought I'd share.
Although a couple of years old and the focus is on caregiving those with dementia, this link is a good read, in my opinion, on mindfulness for the caregivers out there: http://www.mindful.org/when-caregivers-need-healing/
As a summary from the article, just remember:
"Be where you are
- It’s a central principle of mindfulness: trying to do one thing at a time, and knowing that you’re doing it, and doing it with kindness toward yourself.
-make a list of activities that nourish you, and try to build one or more of these into your days: journaling, say, or taking walks outside, calling a supportive friend, taking some time to do yoga, meditating—whatever helps you come back to yourself and the moment you’re in.
"Be gently aware of loss and change
-Caregivers often experience long (or short)-term uncertainty—and this can be very stressful.
"Meet your family member where he or she is
"Seek out support. Ask for help. Share your story.
-Caregiving is isolating; it usually happens in private homes, behind closed doors. Yet connection is vital to us as human beings.
"Be kind but don’t try to be a saint
-Being kind doesn’t always mean feeling kind. It does mean doing the right thing in a particular moment. Of course, trying to feel compassion, having that as an intention, is good—but of course one isn’t going to feel compassion in every moment.
Again, some things apply more than others. I hope that you find a way to take care of you during this time with your loved one.
Many hugs to you all