Self Care for Caregivers

Self Care for Caregivers

When someone says “Take care of yourself” it is an honest sentiment. But often we do not listen to our bodies and we are left without the skills to take care of ourselves. Our bodies do not come with a set of instructions. We feel hunger, pain and tiredness. These signals are supposed to promote healing actions. In the modern world the demands of our jobs, especially as caregivers, our fast paced personal lives, and the stimulation of our environment creates static “noise” that can keep us from hearing or heeding the signals our bodies are sending.  Read More

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How to Cure the Holiday Blues

When everyone else is merry and seems happy and you feel sad it is easy to compare how people look on the outside to how you feel on the inside. It can be very isolating. This time of year a lot of people are lonely. In fact one in three adults describe themselves as painfully lonely in a new psychological study. The study was co-authored by loneliness expert John Cacioppo, a pioneer in the field of social neuroscience whose earlier work revealed insights that changed how we think about what it means to be lonely. For example, we know from Cacioppo’s research that loneliness exists apart from how many social contacts a person may have.  

“It’s possible to be lonely in any crowd, virtual or physical, because loneliness is an intense feeling of social isolation that persists despite the actual number of people in one’s life.” (Forbes)

The combination of loneliness and sadness and high expectations can be very difficult especially for caregivers. Sadness is a truly personal feeling. What makes one person feel sad may not affect another person. Typical sources of holiday sadness include, stress, fatigue, unrealistic  expectations, financial burdens, and relationship issues.

Sadness or depression at holiday time can be a reaction to the stresses and demands of the season. In other cases, people may feel depressed around the winter holidays due to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as seasonal depression. This is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. It is believed that affected people react to the decreasing amounts of sunlight and the colder temperatures as the fall and winter progress, resulting in feelings of depression.

So, there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the Holiday Blues. Some suggestions to cope with them are:

  • Talk to someone about their experience. Often we feel like we are the only ones having negative feelings and are surprised to find out that other people feel the same way.

  • Start a new tradition all your own. If the expectations of cooking a big meal are too much order out. If hanging out with family is too much take a walk or go see a movie. Do what makes you feel good.

  • Try a full spectrum sun lamp for a few hours a day.

  • Start a mindfulness practice. Even if it is a few deep breaths a few times a day.

For more holiday stress tips watch Lourdes Lorenz on ABC 13. 

What is Integrative Healthcare?

The Integrative Healthcare provides patients and family support providers a healing experience, supportive environment, and hope.  An Integrative Health environment is designed to create a calm, healing atmosphere that promotes feelings of serenity, comfort, and well-being. Patients that experience aromatherapy, massage, guided imagery, music therapy, healing touch or biofeedback for increased comfort for a massage or yoga session is a respite for many patients and caregivers amid a period of stress and anxiety. Integrative Health supplements mainstream treatments with complementary therapies, many of them ancient healing methods, to control physical and emotional symptoms and speed recovery. It includes touch therapies such as massage, mind-body therapies such as meditation and self-hypnosis, yoga and exercise, Qigong and Tai Chi, art therapies and music therapies, healing touch and biofeedback, and acupuncture.


What is Holistic Nursing?

What is Holistic Nursing?

Holistic nursing is the thread that weaves through every discipline of nursing.  The American Holistic Nurses Association defines Holistic Nursing as “ all nursing that has healing the whole person as its goal”.  The roots of holistic nursing began with Florence Nightingale and her philosophy on unity, wellness, and the inter-relationship of human beings, events, and environment.  Holistic nursing is based on empirical scientific knowledge and has a strong theoretical foundation. Holistic nurses demonstrate traits such as having a caring intention, healing presence, and deep therapeutic communication.  Holistic nursing takes into account the individuality of the person and focuses on treating the whole person mind, body, and spirit.  According to the Scope and Standards of Holistic Nursing, “holism involves the biological, psychological, social and spiritual dimension of the person”.  

Holistic nursing is patient-centered, relationship-centered, and uses all available knowledge for enhancing the patient’s experience.  Holistic nurses create therapeutic partnerships with individuals, families, and communities.  Holistic nurses integrate complementary therapies into their clinical practice to treat the whole person.  These modalities include massage therapy, guided imagery, energy modalities, biofeedback, breath work, and meditation.  Holistic nursing requires the nurse to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection into their lives.

Holistic nursing focuses on the optimal wellness of individuals by health promotion, managing chronic diseases, and reducing health risks.  Holistic nurses are proactive, honoring the individual’s life path and recognizing the opportunity for growth toward a healthier lifestyle.  The American Nurses Association published scope and standards of care for Holistic Nursing and Nurse Coaching.