The role of a caregiver can be mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. If we, as a community, can encourage one another to embrace self-care and continually be our best and most inspired selves, we can find the balance we need to provide the best care to our loved ones while avoiding burnout. Let us take you through a personal guide to maintaining caregiver well-being and mental health.
Caregiver self-care and empowerment was the focus of an energizing six-part series with teacher and naturopathic physician, Dr. James Rouse. The Kensington hosts events such as these to support caregivers in our community, providing the tools you need to navigate personal wellness.
If you missed the events with Dr. James or want a refresher on the top takeaways, view each week of the recordings on Kensington Konnect under Wellness.
Let’s take a look at the highlights of the series to help you manage your own daily needs as a caregiver.
How to Cultivate Soulfulness as a Caregiver
Dr. James’ goal is to take caregivers on a “soulFULLness” journey, explaining how to create and cultivate elements of self-care, powerful daily practices, finding peace, and transforming the ways you think, act, and feel.
This transformation will result in you unlocking the best caregiver and best version of yourself — and maintaining this version for the rest of your life.
Stop Viewing Self Care as Self-Indulgent
Introduce the idea of making yourself a loving priority on your to-do list. This includes moving from “to do” to “to you,” and intentionally beginning each day with an act of self-love and self-care.
Shift from viewing self care as selfish. Define what self care looks like to you, as it can mean something different for everybody.
Dr. James encourages focusing on the word “kaizen,” which is Japanese for continuous, never-ending self-love and improvement.
Watch the recording: A Caregiver Guide to Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse
Try These Five Empowering Practices for a Healthy Mind/Brain
Focus on the power of diet, movement, meditation or prayer, purpose, and spirituality. The combination of the “high five” supports the creation of a life you will love by serving to strengthen the mind and brain. Focusing on taking small steps in each of these areas will help you build a strong foundation, which will also help to fuel your efforts as a caregiver.
Once you realize the benefits of empowering yourself in these ways, you may find it easier to ask for help to support you in making time to prepare a meal for yourself, take a walk, pick up a hobby, whatever it might be that allows you to recharge.
Watch the recording for actionable ideas on these empowering practices, as well as simple rituals that can easily be integrated into your daily life, for the rest of your life.
Make, Circulate, and Radiate Good Energy
No more “too tired to keep running and too scared to stop,” says Dr. James. Finding the source of your positive energy can help you build momentum even when you feel exhausted from the demands of your daily caregiving responsibilities.
Dr. James focuses on the science behind and the path to creating, sustaining, and circulating inspiring energy. By learning to make your own positive energy, you can recover from burnout and become the person you love to be.
Watch the recording: Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse – Week 3
Decrease Stress and Increase Longevity
How do you sustain and balance your well-being and mental health along with your caregiving duties? It helps to find personal peace and meaning at the speed of your life.
Through mindfulness, meaning, and peace you can maintain your footing to feel grounded and reduce the feeling that you may be immersed in constant chaos.
Learn when you need help and what works as a pressure release for you. Does baking relieve stress? Does exercise invigorate you? Do you need quiet and calm activities such as yoga or reading to help you slow down? All of these efforts can give you the time and space to cope with your situation and create awareness around your own needs.
Watch the recording: Cultivating SoulFULLness with Dr. James Rouse – Week 4
Create a Life You Love Through Gene Expression
Dr. James encourages caregivers to clean “dirty genes” and change the trajectory of their lives using actions and words.
You can learn to understand your biology of belief, as well as how to build a new one that alters the path of your life — no matter what your history looks like. Notice patterns that no longer serve you and figure out how to adjust them to better match your current lifestyle.
Building this new biology will transform your body, mind, and emotions, and help you to create a new destiny for yourself.
Watch the recording: [Link to recording]
Imagine A Day in the Life of the Best Version of You – Everyday
A Day in the Life of the Best Version of You means expressing the version of you that you will love for the rest of your life. Establishing what this could look like allows caregivers to maintain their faith and willingness to express the truth of who they are.
Taking all of the above steps will help you get to know yourself, your needs and wants, your strengths and weaknesses. Focusing on your well-being and your best life can help you become aware of areas where you understandably need your own care and support.
Watch the recording: [Link to recording]
The Importance of Caregiver Well-Being and Mental Health
When an aging loved one becomes sick or starts showing signs that they need assistance, you might feel responsible for their care. Of course their care is important to you but it doesn’t need to fall solely on your shoulders.
Caregiver well-being extends all around you. Getting burned out and struggling with your mental health certainly affects you, but it also impacts the senior receiving your care. It’s important to remember the full impact so caregivers are encouraged to look out for themselves.
Caregivers are selfless people who often are willing to give much of themselves to others. Framing the need to care for yourself in the context of others can offer the perspective some may need to take the first step in learning about self-care and how to create a balance in their life. Caregivers must realize and understand they deserve care, too.
The best way to develop a self-care routine is to start by giving yourself space, rest, and an outlet. Talk to family and friends, ask for help, journal, and try to get as much rest as you can. Learn what you personally must do to best support your mental health and your body.
The Kensington – A Partner in Caregiver Support
The Kensington Redondo Beach’s passion for care extends to its community of caregivers and friends. With the special events we host as well as our regular virtual caregiver support group, new members or attendees can continually seek support from experts and other caregivers to improve their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
The Kensington team is always available to answer questions about our community. Our wide range of services and support extends from seniors who need little support all the way to advanced assisted living and memory care.
Our cozy spaces were thoughtfully created to be a real home for seniors — allowing them to truly “age in place” and receive the appropriate amount of professional, loving care at each phase of life. At The Kensington we Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.
Please contact us today to learn more about our community, our team, and our dedication to providing the highest levels of care.