Scholarly articles and many suggestions exist to help with clearing the mind and lifting the spirit. I’m sure we can all come up with our own as well. I will have to say that rumination of the mind is the worst, especially when sleep becomes interrupted. Our focus this month with the Think Caregiver™ Simple Self-Care Suggestions was just that: how can we clear the mind and gain the result of lifting the spirit.
In the dog days of summer, our bodies naturally begin to relax and slow down due to the heat of the day. However, is slowing the body down enough to create the effect of clearing the mind or lifting the spirit? From personal experience, I would say somewhat, but not completely.
The Benefits of a Break From Daily Tasks
Relaxation that you gain from vacating your day-to-day tasks, work and schedules can reduce stress enough to clear the mind. However, something changes quickly when we return from that time away. If this temporary ease of our burdens happens while we vacate our day-to-day lives now and then, how do we continue to keep our minds clear and our spirits boosted on a more regular basis?
Good question, right? I know that I struggle with this aspect of caregiver self-care, as many others do. It feels great taking time away from the grind of life and then rather quickly, my mind returns to the overtaxed details of life and work. My mind fills up again and the heaviness of life creates weariness on my spirit. I tell myself, stay grounded and stay engaged in the lifeforce of what really matters. Joy!
Caregiver Self-Care Routines Can Help
What I find helpful is a routine. A routine of self-care. A schedule of meditation, using a labyrinth, engaging in nature, exercise, and eating right, not in any order. The result is a clearer mind, a lifted soul and most of all, the ability to sleep, uninterrupted. All routines start with good intentions, it goes well for a few weeks and then life gets in the way. I then get bogged down in thoughts of everything around me. The result of a clear mind, lifted spirit and improved sleep starts to go away. I think this happens to a lot of us.
The one thing that I find works to get back in the routine is to write everything down. I use a journal book and/or ‘to do lists’ on a notepad, not a notes app on my smartphone. There is something about the process of putting pen to paper – not sure what it is, but it works! The result: a return to routine that helps to get my mind clear again, which in turn, lifts my spirit.
Give it a try, find a caregiver self-care routine that works for you, schedule it and see if you can keep the pace. You can also think of this schedule as a dentist or doctor appointment that you made. We seem to always keep those appointments, why not the one we make with ourselves? When life takes a turn, which it will, punt, using Plan B, until you can get back on track with Plan A. My daughter has four children, all in sports and a hectic schedule. I admire her because her routine for self is very rarely ever interrupted. She makes herself a priority and I love her reminder on her wall in the kitchen, “Life is all about how you handle Plan B.” And don’t forget to breathe!