The holidays can be extremely stressful for those impacted by the foster care system--even under the best circumstances. For example, kids may struggle with (intensified) conflicting emotions toward their biological and foster families. Biological parents may struggle with more pronounced depression, shame, and anger at being separated from their children during this "festive" time. Transitional Age Youth may struggle with loneliness and unresolved trauma (in addition to the challenges faced on a daily basis). Social workers and caregivers may need to juggle visits, and grieving children, while planning their own holiday traditions. I can tell you from experience ... it can be overwhelming!
If you're looking for ideas that can help ease the stress felt by caregivers, take a look at this article written by Beverly Nelson from Stand Up For Caregivers.
Image via Pixabay
Self-Care Gifts Caretakers Will Love
by Beverly Nelson
Everyone has someone in their life that gives more than they could ever take: a caregiver. Caregivers or caretakers help their loved one (or more than one) live their day-to-day life. They act as an advocate for the person’s health and well being. They are a point of contact for other friends and family and assume responsibility for making sure their loved one is properly fed, clothed, sheltered, and emotionally cared for. Needless to say, this is incredibly time consuming and can become pretty stressful. If they do not take time to also care for themselves, it can take quite the toll on their physical and mental health.
This holiday season, gift the caretaker in your life with something that allows them to indulge in some well-needed self-care.
Why We Need Self-Care
Caregivers spend all their time thinking and doing for others. As noble as this is, it will eventually wear them out, keep them feeling stressed, and run them down until they can’t function. By taking out a little time each day to do something for themselves, they’ll be able to refresh and recharge so they can keep fulfilling their responsibilities without risking their physical or mental health.
Self-Care Gifts for Caretakers
When picking out a gift, use what you know about the caretaker to help find something that appeals to their interests. We are more likely to take time caring for ourselves if we look forward to doing it.
A Journal & Pen
While penning an epic may be out of the question for their busy schedule, everyone has time to do a little micro-journaling that documents what they do throughout the day and encourages them to do something for themselves. It’s a perfect way to unwind and reflect at the end of the day. All they need to do is write the date, 10 things about their day, and one thing they are thankful for… simple! Encourage them to always have at least one of those things be an act of self-care so they can challenge themselves to make it a daily habit.
A Meditation CushioN
Some of the brightest minds on the planet use meditation to stay centered and reduce stress. Gifting your caregiver friend with a meditation cushion encourages them to set up a little space in their own home where they can sit in quiet and focus on the breath or their intention. Anytime they see the cushion you give them, they’ll be reminded of how their friend wants them to take time for themselves in order to care for their overall well being. Namaste.
Sitting down with a hot mug of tea is the easiest way to unwind after a long, hard day. Sipping on something warm promotes comfort both physically and mentally. Plus, teas have various health benefits including disease-fighting antioxidants. Important: avoid any kind of tea that has caffeine which can actually increase anxiety and restlessness. Look for herbal tea blends that include ingredients such as:
Caregivers are amazing human beings. To help a person who has lost capabilities to take care of their own day-to-day needs is one of the most selfless and loving things one can do. Show the caregiver in your life some appreciation with a gift that promotes their own self-care. It’s important that they do things in their own lives to care for their mental and physical health. Gifts such as a journal and pen, a meditation cushion, or even a lovely set of herbal teas for relaxation can promote their well-being while expressing your gratitude for what they do.