Meditating Throughout the Summer

By Roz Jones

When Caregivers meditate, you can use your surroundings to help you. Many people try to block out the world and simply look within themselves when they meditate. This can be very useful, but there are also other ways in which you can practice meditation. While you may want to avoid noisy rooms and other distractions, Caregivers can certainly use warmth and nature to your benefit.

Meditating in a summer environment can help you focus on the continuation of life. There is great beauty to be found in existence, and there is a season for everything. As you work to internalize an innate understanding of nature, you’ll be more likely to feel peaceful, complete, and where you should be in your life.

Warmth and Meditation

In order to meditate more easily and focus on what matters most, you should be comfortable. That means sitting or lying somewhere that makes you happy and peaceful, but it also means enjoying the right temperature. If you’re too distracted by the fact that you’re too chilly, meditation will be more difficult for you. You can escape that challenge by staying warm and cozy during meditation.

The summer is ideal for meditating because the days are longer and the nights are warm. The soft noises of crickets and other small creatures can bring you peace and make you feel more connected with the world around you. As you start to relax and feel more comfortable, the warmth will help you focus on harmony and joy.

Avoid meditating in the extreme heat, as this can make you feel worse and can result in a heat stroke. Instead, find a place where it’s simply warm and comforting. 

Evenings in the summertime are often good for meditation, and the pitter-patter of rain can be peaceful as well. If you live in a desert environment, rain can bring about relief, great joy, and a deep appreciation for nature that you can use to help focus your meditation.

Grow and Develop Throughout the Summer Months

The object of meditation is growth, and the summer months provide several factors that you can use to speed that growth along, such as:

  • Warmth
  • Longer days
  • Quiet, restful, peaceful nights
  • Occasional rainstorms to renew and refresh you
  • A break in between caregiving tasks
  • A stronger bond with nature and existence

There are many ways you can benefit from the warmth of summer when you want to meditate. The longer days are often helpful, and perhaps you’ll take that vacation you need, so you may have lower stress levels than you otherwise would. Even if you’re not able to take a break from Caregiving, you can still use meditation to help you feel better, calmer, and more relaxed.

Focus your mind on the beauty that summer has to offer. Blooming plants, quiet nights, small creatures and insects, rain, and the joy of being part of the cycle of life and existence can all be wonderful triggers for meditation and help bring peace and happiness.
Use what works for you. Everyone is different, and meditation is a very personal experience. The way one person uses the summer might not be the same way someone else uses it. Your meditation time is your own special getaway. Take the warmth, peace, and beauty of summer and use it in the way that feels most comfortable to you.

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What Activities Can an Elderly Parent Participate In?

By Roz Jones

Whether you’re living with your parents to provide care or dropping in to provide them with care, you may find that their wellbeing is always at the forefront of your mind. We note, however, that a rise in age comes with the decline of certain aspects of a person’s life. These include a person’s health and their ability to engage in physical and social activities. 

Engaging in a variety of activities stimulates your client or loved one’s brain and encourages a healthy lifestyle, which leads to a better quality of life. 

Our aging parents, unfortunately, may be hard-pressed to engage in the activities younger people actively enjoy. Still, there are several appropriate activities you can help your parents and loved ones enjoy. Let’s walk through some of these activities.

Activities elderly parents can engage in:

  1. Outdoor walks. Walking is one of the healthiest activities for humans. It requires little effort or equipment, but it still has long-term health advantages.
  • Our elderly parents, who have a harder time moving, should go for a stroll at least once every two days. It doesn’t have to take long, and it doesn’t have to be far.
  • Set a date with your parents, take a walk through a park and enjoy the scenery together. This would certainly be an activity your parents would enjoy.

  1. Playing board games. Enjoy classic games of old or learn new ones together.
  • Board games and card games are not only entertaining, but they can also assist your parents to keep their minds sharp.
  • Like board games, puzzles of all kinds can work too!

  1. Reading. For parents who may find it difficult to take part in activities that involve higher physical energy, reading is a fun pastime you can do with them.
  • Reading might help you relax and boost your memory, as well as your parents. Consider going to a park or beach to read together.
  • You could also try forming a book club for your parents with a few of their acquaintances. This is a good way to keep your parents engaged in vibrant discussions while also socializing as they get older.

  1. Gardening. Gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable activity your older parents might enjoy. It’s simple to enjoy in the sun or shade from the comfort of your parents’ house. You can still plant or re-pot flowers with your elderly parents even if they just have a small balcony or a windowsill.
  • Gardening is also an activity that may be enjoyed by multiple generations. You, your parents, and any children you have can all take part in planting bulbs or seeds and watching them grow into flowers or food that you can all eat together.

  1. Family bonding. Family activities that allow your elderly parents to interact with their children and grandchildren would surely appeal to them. Spend time with them while preparing meals for the family. Plan family cookouts or picnics.
  • Take them on vacations with the family. Spending quality time with loved ones is an activity that the elderly, who are more likely to be lonely, would enjoy.

Today’s culture, with its technological advancements, has led to a transfer of most people’s activities and attention to virtual spaces, and it’s easy for our aging parents to feel left out as they can’t keep up.

We can reassure our elderly parents that they are cherished and can still find delight in their later years by participating in these activities.

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Are you a Caregiver taking care of two loved ones? Did you check out Part 1 of last week’s episode? Check out Part 2 to hear more from Caregiver, Christine Psalms and how she takes care of both of her parents!

Christine Psalms continues her story with us in this episode.

As a caregiver for both her parents, Christine shares:

1. How she worked on herself to prepare to be her father’s caregiver
2. How therapy, counseling, and journaling changed her life as  a caregiver
3. Navigating relationships with loved ones without resentment.

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Stay Fit, Trim, and Healthy with Safe Exercises for Seniors

By Roz Jones

Seniors have a lot to gain through regular exercise. Staying active can improve your client or loved one’s physical and mental health and extend their ability to live independently. Below are some tips for developing a beneficial exercise program for your client or loved one and sticking to it.

Designing a Safe and Balanced Exercise Program

  1. Increase endurance. Aerobic exercise like walking or biking is great for your client or loved one’s heart and circulation. Swimming is especially good for seniors because they get a total body workout with low impact and little risk of injuries. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity daily for your client or loved one.
  2. Build strength. Muscle mass declines with age, but resistance training two to three times weekly can help offset that loss. To be safe, start off with easy exercises and progress by increasing weights and repetitions gradually. You may want to take your client or loved one to visit a local gym or take a class at a senior center.
  • If your client or loved one prefers working out at home, you can buy weights or use household items like bags of rice.
  1. Stay flexible. Stretching will keep your client or loved one limber and help protect them from injury. Have them do it as often as possible – daily is great! Warm-up with some light aerobics and then ease into a stretch gently. Have your client or loved one hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each movement a few times, gradually extending your client or loved one’s range.
  • It’s good to feel some slight tension, but if your client or loved one experiences any pain, stop and have them withdraw back to a more comfortable position.
  1. Improve balance. Protect your client or loved one from falls and broken bones by working on their balance. Tai Chi is another low-impact activity ideal for seniors. It promotes balance and strength. Even just having your client or loved one practice standing on one foot can enhance their stability.

Sticking to the Exercise Program

  1. Set realistic goals. A regular workout routine is safer and more beneficial than scattered efforts. Keep your client or loved one motivated by establishing realistic goals. Find activities that they can easily incorporate into their daily schedule such as cutting back on TV viewing to going for a daily swim. When their favorite program is on, they can even exercise during commercials.
  2. Have fun. Think about the pastimes your client or loved one loves and expand upon them. When children visit, go for a long walk through the park. If your client or loved one gets tired of using the treadmill alone every day, sign up for a yoga class with a buddy whose company you enjoy.
  3. Make contingency plans. Life events will sometimes interrupt your client or loved one’s normal schedule. While traveling, look for hotels with fitness centers. If it’s too cold to ride bikes outdoors, browse the public library for exercise videos for seniors.

Other Safety Tips

  1. Talk with their doctor. If your client or loved one has been sedentary for a while, their doctor can advise them on how to get moving safely. No matter what health issues they may experience, there is usually some form of exercise that they can engage in even if there’s a need to modify the standard positions.
  2. Learn to breathe. Proper breathing will help your client or loved one maintain good form. Generally, you exhale when you exert effort and inhale when you relax. So have your client or loved one breathe out when they lift something and breathe in when they lower it.
  3. Drink plenty of water. The body needs water regardless of whether you’re sweating. By the time you’re thirsty, you’ve gone too long without drinking.
  4. Wear the right shoes. Your client or loved one can exercise without spending a fortune on expensive equipment, but good shoes are worth the cost. Get protective footwear that’s designed for their chosen sport, whether it’s golf or tennis. If tying laces is a struggle, Velcro closures will give your client or loved one a secure fit.

Exercise is a great way for older adults to stay healthy and fit. Follow simple safety precautions so your clients or loved ones can remain active and enjoy the pastimes they love.

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7 Tips for Restoring Your Self-Worth After Toxic Relationships

By Roz Jones

Well, that didn’t go right.

As Caregivers we tend to walk into relationships with so much enthusiasm. We think what we’ve found is the best thing in the world, which is a heady feeling, while it lasts. Sadly, when a relationship is toxic, we’re frequently the last to know. By the time we decide it’s time to escape, our self-worth has already taken a hefty blow. 

So, how do we restore positive feelings about ourselves as Caregivers after toxic relationships?

Release Your Victimhood

The more we focus on what happened, the more we get stuck. So the sooner we can quit revisiting the past and dwelling on perceptions of ill treatment from loved ones and clients, the sooner we can put all of this behind us. This doesn’t mean to say anything was your fault, but obsessing about the ‘shoulds’ and going back over every encounter only hurts us regardless of whether we were in the right or not.

Drop the Blame

Was it your fault? No. The sooner we can let go of any residual guilt or bad feelings about the relationship, the happier we’ll be. This next step should help.

Silence Their Voice 

The problem with toxic relationships is we tend to believe what the other person said about us, no matter how outlandish it seemed at the time. Now their voice is there, lurking in our heads to remind us of all of our so-called shortcomings at every opportunity—time to tell them to shut up once and for all!

Embrace the New You

Find joy in the severed relationship. Do the things you would miss doing. Take lessons, build your skill set as you build yourself up. Become your own best friend in a way that doesn’t require validation from any outside source.

Believe Your Friends 

You hear the compliments, but they’re going in one ear and out the other. Rather than brushing off the nice things, people around you are saying, start listening. Listen until these words become a part of who you are.

Create Goals You Love

What would you like to do with your life? Too often, our goals reflect the needs and desires of our clients and loved ones. Now is the time to reverse this. Accept you are capable, and your goals are worth fighting for, what do YOU want to do? 

Affirmations

Work through the worst offenders of negative self-talk through positive affirmations. Take note of what you’re telling yourself. Rewrite the script and turn these statements around into affirmations that you read to yourself every day.

Remember, this is a process and is likely to take time. By reminding yourself of just how amazing you are, and focusing hard on these steps, eventually, you will start feeling the difference even if you don’t see it yet. Hang in there!

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Are you a Caregiver taking care of two loved ones? Check out my latest podcast to hear from Caregiver, Christine Psalms and how she takes care of both of her parents!

Each of our aging parents is unique.

Some people age so well that they need little help until they are well into their eighties, while others need hands-on care as early as their fifties or sixties.

Adult children are often faced with the task of caring for both parents and this was the case for Christine Psalms.

She shares her story with us in this episode and how she became a caregiver for both her parents. 

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5 Steps for Caregivers to Shift Limiting Beliefs for Good

By Roz Jones

How are you your own worst enemy? As Caregivers, we limit ourselves so much. We live in our heads and come up with all these ways to keep us from getting anything accomplished. Even though deep down we know we’re good enough, and how much we’re fully capable of getting things done. 

The only way to get past these self-sabotaging behaviors is to take active, intentional steps to remedy our thinking. Let’s look at 5 steps that will shift Caregivers limiting beliefs for good. 

Stop

Wait a minute; what were you thinking? If a thought feels off about something, it’s time to stop and examine this idea much closer. Is this perhaps a self-limiting belief? 

Think About What You’re Saying

Where is the lie in this thought? You’ve already figured out there’s something wrong with it, or you wouldn’t be going through this process. This means something about it is not ringing true. When you understand where the lie is, it becomes easier to know how to counter it.  

Look for the Proof

Is there any proof this self-limiting thought is true? Let’s examine the part you feel is a lie. Here’s where you need to take a step back from the situation if you can and look very impartially at what’s going on. Is there any grain of truth in what you’re thinking? 

Take Control

If what you were thinking is a lie, it’s relatively easy to counter the false aspects of the statement with the truth. But what if this thought was at least partially true? You start by reminding yourself this isn’t always the case. For example, you might be thinking you are always late. Maybe you are, in fact, late sometimes. To perform this step, you would need to recall various instances when you were on time. By countering the lie, you are taking control of the situation, and not allowing the limiting belief to have any sway over you. 

Get Help

Sometimes it can be challenging to remove limiting beliefs by yourself. In these instances, it can be beneficial to talk to a friend, or even a counselor, to help you see the truth. There is nothing wrong with getting help, especially from someone who is in a position to be impartial.

Self-limiting beliefs don’t have to control your life. By examining your thoughts, especially those that seem to hold you back, you will find it much easier to move forward toward your goals. Soon you will realize success!

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