Saturday, 1 November 2014

Reflections and Understandings - Tips for Carers


When I decided to be part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge I didn't think about what I had on in terms of work and responsibilities, I just jumped in and had to fit things around writing the posts.  

From Gratitude's Journal - Your life deserves your attention

It wasn't easy and every day I had to encourage myself to share a bit more than I was used to, though I am glad I took the step as there were things I needed to encourage within myself and with each post brought me to a greater understanding of my role as a carer.  I have been encouraged to step up in my creativity, to let go of those things that I can't change, and to make room for the blessings that come when you treat yourself and others with kindness.
Time to recharge those batteries!

So many thoughts have come out of sharing, and so many ideas.  I hope at some point to provide suggestion of creative activities that you can do for relaxation for yourself and with the person you care for all very easy to organize and can fit into your daily schedule.  As a mixed media artist I love making things and have been sharing my art and creativity throughout the posts.  

In writing the posts as part of the challenge, I have gained new insights, grown, shed a few tears and dusted myself off and got up again.  The main thing that stands out for me is about choice we always have a choice in the way we respond, whether we accept things the way they are, or if we take steps for a change.

We can choose to be upset about the one we are caring for and what they can’t do and how much they have changed, or we can choose to celebrate that they have a life, they can breathe or that they woke up this morning and are living life the best possible way with a circle of people that love them and only want the best.
Gratitudes and Celebration Journal - Dream
I choose to be true to myself to love myself and give myself space, to know when I need a break and time out, and to know when I need to go at full throttle, to ask for help when I need it and be open about my role as a carer.  I choose to love my mum a best I can and not feel guilty about not being perfect, and I choose to love me and show love to others by trying to be a blessing in their lives.  
You Are....

For now, take a look back over your past week, or month, what lessons, moments for reflection and insights have you come away with.  If you can put it down in a journal, create a piece of art and be encouraged!

Bless you for stopping by, do leave a comment on how the posts have informed and encouraged you.



You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.

Friday, 31 October 2014

UBC - Day 31 - Celebrate your life

Art Work - Amanda Trought - Realityarts

Welcome to day 31 and the final day of 'Tips for Carers' in the Ultimate Blog Challenge


Each day I have brought you a different aspect of my experience as a carer, to inform you, to bless you and give you some pointers if you are going into the role, or have been in it for a while and just need some new ideas.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ but it is important for us to share our experiences with each other, and share those things about our lives that make us unique.

Each post hopefully allowed you to shine new light into your situation and see it differently.  I hoped you tried to some of the suggestions or altered them to suit your needs.  The one thing I remind myself of is that life is precious and we have been paced here for a purpose. 


As I look after my mum I try not to loose sight of who and I celebrate the life I have knowing that I can make an impact.  In life we have to make the most of what I can do, knowing each day brings along the gifts of life, celebrating those things that we are grateful for.  We each have something that is special within us and whilst we are all in different circumstances and situations we have to find the strength to be more than the role defines. 


I recommend that you make sure that you make the most of your time, eat well, get rid of those things that are toxic in your life, and try and give the best of yourself, enabling your light to shine on those around you, especially the one you are caring for.  Celebrate and love yourself and If you can find the joy, peace, hope and love in your current circumstances, each day will be a miracle.   

As a carer, I don’t allow myself to be defined by the name,  As I work my way through the role   sharing my experiences and building relationships, I seek help, I ask, and manage to get through each day with a story to tell it is not an easy road, but it can be fulfilling.   You are precious, you are loved, and you are appreciated for everything you do.



For now, take a moment to celebrate your life, take time to unearth some of those dreams that were hidden and do one thing that will be a blessing to your life and the one you are caring for.


You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

I am Teaching at - My Color is Beautiful Art - Classes

 photomycolourisbeautiful1.jpg


I am really excited to share a wonderful, collaborative effort that Tiare Smith has put together and that I have been asked to make a contribution - how exciting!

Myself along with 7 AMAZING mixed media instructors will bring you an experience like no other. You will get to immerse yourself in color, creativity, techniques, awesome positive energy and inspiring and empowering techniques.

Here is what you can expect when you join us:

  • 8 wonderful, creative instructors
  • 10 amazing video mixed media main lessons, 1 lesson per week for 10 weeks. PDF Download of each lesson, provided as well.
  • 10 eye opening color challenges and background techniques, videos and/or pdf’s provided. 1 challenge per week for 10 weeks.
  • 10 positive, creative energy boosts and exercises, videos and/or pdf’s provided. 1 exercise per week for 10 weeks.
  • Fun giveaways/prizes.
  • Classroom access through December 31, 2015.
  • Access to a private My Color is Beautiful Art Facebook Group

We will kick off the fun with a blog hop starting November 1, 2014 and you will be introduced to the rest of the wonderful instructors!

Registration will open on November 11, 2014 and class begins February 2, 2015.

My Color is Beautiful will be hosted in Tiare's creative community Scraps of Color. Membership is free and you will need to sign up for an account and access to the classroom. Sign up here for community access.

Once registration opens and you are registered you will be invited to the classroom.

I am really excited to be part of this wonderful collaboration of creatives and to share my lesson and interact with you on both the Scraps of Color Community and the Facebook Group.  

Do make a note that we will be doing a blog hop from the 1st November to the 9th November, where you will be meeting the other instructors, and come back here on Sunday 2nd November and I will be sharing with you what you will be doing in my lesson!


UBC - Day 30 - Give yourself permission to breath - Tips for Carers

Give yourself permission to breath.

It starts with you, from the time you wake up in the morning the hustle and bustle of the day yet to begin.  You make a hundred and one decisions, do the daily chores, look after children and then you have your caring role.  You do whatever needs to be done each and every day, day in and day out and you don’t stop. 

Take a breather....

Sometimes it is hard to see how you can fit anything else into an already busy schedule, but you do.  But along with space and time you cannot fit everything in all at once and once again need to place some strategies for dealing with the load because at some point if you keep going at the same rate you will burn out and then you won’t be any use to anyone.
You have to realistically look at what you have on your plate, setting the tone of your day where possible and look at ways in which some of the burden can be lifted off.  It starts with you taking what seems like a ‘time out’ and begin to breath, to stop and get off the merry go round of appointments, meetings, long nights and take a breath - that thing that we take for granted. 

Take that time out

Taking a breath for some might be that walk, it might be coffee with a friend, or going to an art shop or it might be sitting still 5 minutes letting the sun hit your face as you close your eyes and drift off to that ideal place where everything is alright. 

Listen

I regularly spend time meditating and praying, thinking about a space where my mind can be still, where I can think and just listen to my breath, to the sound of the birds or the sound of children’s laughter in the distance.  I am giving myself permission to take time out just to breath.


For now, every day spend 5 minutes with your eyes closed listening to your own breath, hearing the sound of your home, the noises outside to that place where all is well and just listen.


You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Quote Wednesday - Charles Dement


Dreaming permits each and everyone of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives...Charles William Dement

Our dreams can hold important information, get into the habit of writing them down it may be hard to begin with but you will start to remember them. 

Each Quote Wednesday I share a quote with a photograph that I have taken. Quotes can be so inspiring and uplifting it is a good idea to meditate on the words and make a point of saying something encouraging about your life!  Do something great!  

Join me next week for the next inspiring quote and image. Blessings

UBC Day 29 - Long Term Plans, Tips for Carers

Thinking about the future – Long term plans

Every now and then, I think about what is going to happen to mum as the dementia worsens.  You can’t help think about it, and at some stage you have to address it.   I wonder how long she has with us, ashamed at the very thought and feeling guilty thinking about myself and how long I would be in this role.  I think about the other ailments that silent creep up and one day we find out that we have to make adjustments for them as well. 



Adaptations

I recently moved mum into a flat that has been adapted for someone who uses a wheelchair, we were struggling at her old home with the bathroom and getting in and out with her, and the new flat has a wet room with shower so it has eased the stress that we used to have in the morning.  Additionally with the wheelchair we were having carry it up and down the stairs every day, and with the new flat there is a lift.  I have been mindful to start to anticipate some of her needs that will arise.  Rather than wait for things to happen, I have tried to put things in place before they are needed, but also I have been trying to maintain mums health by giving her nutrient rich foods, she has been enjoying the smoothies that I have made from the nutri bullet.



That said, some hard questions will need to be answered even asked and there are things that we are going to have to face.  It helps if you can where possible put things in place that will benefit your loved one.  With mum, using a wheel chair doesn't mean that we don’t encourage her to walk, and we are trying to maintain her health as much as possible.  For some, as their loved ones get sicker they are faced with 

the question ‘do we put them into a home’  I have thought about it but knowing what I’ve seen from exposes of homes and what you have read in the paper, I don’t think that mum would survive longer than 6 months if that.  When mum went into a respite home while I was away on holiday she walked in when I took her in and had to have a wheel chair out, she could barely hold herself up and that was just after a 2 week stay.  I am sure not all homes have the same effect on its clients, but that is my experience.
 

Essentially you have to start to think about how their illness will progress and what will happen if you were no longer able to physically care for your loved one.  This is where the support network, family and friends come in.  What you do today will have an impact on the outcome of tomorrow.

For now take a moment to think about your current situation, and what additional things could be put in place to further support you in the long term before they happen.


You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.
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