Oct 302013
 

Not only as a caregiver, but throughout my adult life I observed that the days I started well were better days and thus, I developed a number of ways to keep each day going that way, or at least I gave it a try. Sure,  Yoda might have had a point when he told  Luke Skywalker that there is no such thing as “try”, but if you ask me, it sure beats to not even try.

Yoda said that “either you do it or you don’t”. Well, if for one reason or the other stuff happens over which you have little or no control,  you might not have the  saintliness to keep on an even keel, but if your mindset is to stay balanced, there is a good chance that you get that keel straightened out a lot quicker.

I’m mostly a positive person who looks for what’s good about situations. That helps me to keep in a cheerful mood right from the first light of dawn as I wake up to start a new day. Each morning, I tell myself “Ah, another perfect day! I’m ready to start the day and tackle anything that comes my way with ease and grace!”

However, not all my family members share that mindset.  They don’t all have that bright eyed and bushy tailed morning attitude and often impart some negative feelings to me, mostly because they can’t handle that much cheerfulness in the early morning hours.  When this happens, if I’d allow it, my cheerful mood could get beaten down in a hurry. I admit it, it happened often enough, when all my good intentions have indeed fallen by the wayside on mornings when I already woke up with leftover stress or a deep dread of what the day will bring.

Yet, over the years I got better and better in maintaining balance because as I recognize the triggers that can throw me off course, I also learned to not allow these buttons to be pushed or at least not as hard.

The problems of others will never go away.   As a caregiver, your problems also never stop if you allow them to be problems. That’s where attitude comes in. Attitude adjustments are to be made often, but believe me, it gets less and less difficult. Just as bad things seem to built up on top of each other, so do good things multiply. Either way, it is  largely because if we dwell on the bad, that’s what we notice. If we dwell on the good that’s what we notice. Believe it or not, that’s how the world works.

Focus on yourself.  You can’t change the way others act around you.  Do the best you can do, and don’t let others get you down. Starting each day in anticipation of it to go well, more often than not, you can keep it going that way.

May you start each day well and end it well, too.

With love and gratitude.

Margarete

Oct 302013
 

Helpful Tips for Dealing Better with Family Members

There are times, as caregivers, when you will have to deal with non-caregiving family members and relatives of the one for whom you care. Now, we know that these people are always going to be helpful and supportive of our caregiving, and will never be critical, right? Right.

So, how do we deal with family members in these situations?

Here are some basic tips.

· Turn the criticism around, and ask the critical person how they would handle the situation. I don’t mean that you should be defensive or harsh, not; “Oh yeah? So what would you do?” No, just an acknowledgement and question such as; “I understand your concern, and share it with you, do you have any ideas about how I should handle this in the future?”

· Put yourself in their place. I know, I know, you’re far too reasonable and considerate to think the way that critical family thinks, but give it a try. They are concerned, and are likely to be frustrated over not knowing what to do or say to address their concerns. You can understand that they’re being a bit harsh with their words. Remember that, no matter how unreasonable they are, telling them off or blowing a gasket and telling them to take a hike is not going to help either of you. They will probably go around saying rotten things about you, and you will probably, because you are a caring and conscientious person, feel awfully bad about having done so.

· Go easy on yourself. You know that you are doing your best in a difficult situation. Pounding your head against a wall, or otherwise beating yourself over the head, is not going to be helpful. If you need, take a moment and excuse yourself for a brief, private rant with God or the Universe; take a few deep breaths; then, put a drop of essential oil such as Lemon, Lavender, Cedarwood,  “Peace and Calming” or “Forgiveness”  oil from Young Living in the palms of your hands, cup over your nose and inhale. Or, you might choose to follow this advise from a Naval Handbook: “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” Once it’s out of your system, you can deal with the issue calmly. (For me, essential oils worked the best.)

One or more of these three simple things should help you through the situation, and will ultimately help the critical family member through the situation as well, so that you can all go back to doing the right things for the person under your care.

With Gratitude and Love Margarete de Gaston

Oct 302013
 

There is a physical toll on caregivers which is based  on the exertions needed  in daily care giving. Those often include lifting, carrying, stretching, bending, squatting on a regular, often frequent rate throughout the day.  In addition, many caregivers are elderly or in poor health themselves and not used to lift or support the weight of an adult sometimes larger than themselves.

Physical exhaustion combined  with the emotional stress of caregiving can lead to caregiver burnout  and result in many serious conditions  ranging from high blood pressure to a compromised immune system  which shows up as frequent colds,  headaches, and other afflictions.  Highly stressed caregivers are also  more prone to fall, to cut and bruise themselves.  According to a study  quoted in  the Dec. 1999 Journal of the  American Medical Association,  the death rate of older caregivers is over 60 %  higher than that  of  non caregivers in the same age group.

Caregivers, while taking care of somebody else, often don’t seek help for themselves and muddle along to the detriment of their charge and their own.

Signs to look out for:
Various physical health problems showing up.
(back pain, sore feet, eating disorders, elimination problems, headaches, arthritis, vision and hearing problems, tooth and gum problems, inflammation, etc.
Feeling fatigued, tired and listless.
(lack of energy, needing frequent rest, lack of interest)
Changes in sleep patterns.
(not enough sleep, too much, waking frequently and not being able to go back to sleep.)
Change in eating patterns.
(eating less or more than usual)
Changes in hygiene patterns.
(neglecting to bath, shave, brush teeth, wash and tend to hair)
Change in emotional behavior.
(increasing frequency of outbursts of anger, crying spells, self loathing, self pity)
Change in social patterns.
(withdrawal from  family, friends and other former activities)

Are you a caregiver who neglects your own well being?

Stop right now and FIRST take care of yourself because you cannot and should not  care for others without foremost taking care of your own needs. You owe it to yourself and to the one you take care of, as well as the rest of  your family.

As a caregiver, when I was at my wits end, nothing helped me as much as the use of essential oils to quickly regain balance. Taking just a few minutes of focusing on balance while inhaling the soothing fragrance of an essential oils such as Lavender or Orange, or one of the blends such as Harmony, Peace and Calming, or Grounding allowed me to quickly be back in control of my emotions and often also get physical relief.  After refocusing this way, both my husband and I benefited greatly because the stress of what ever the situation was, had been broken.

Of all the various tools to help caregivers to stay balanced, none worked as fast and as well as did organic, therapeutic essential oils. Give them a try.

Oct 302013
 

Each of us either has or will experience the emotion of grieving. Where it will come from doesn’t matter. It may be from the loss of a loved one. That special pet. Or it may be some felt internal loss buried way down deep within you. A failed relationship, losing your job, or having to move from your home, these are all loses that in order to heal require us to grieve.

Funny thing, emotions. While most people think of emotions as being simply a feeling, and if you can just think about something positive the feeling will go away. This is not true. Psychologists and others who study the relationship between our physical body and the mind long ago discovered that when we experience a strong, life changing, emotion, there are physical manifestations of that feeling. This mind-body relationship affects all of our senses. The deeper the grief the more prominent the physical manifestations of that feeling.

While grief is a normal human response it also can take over your life. It is not unusual for unresolved grief to turn into clinical depression. For others the price for not dealing with grief becomes anger. If you could be the fly on the wall in a session with a therapist you might well hear them say “…is your turning your grief inward, upon yourself.”How are we to deal with grief. Especially when the hurt is so powerful that it takes up much of our life? Again, the mind-body relationship must be addressed. Once you can bring these elements into alignment you can get on with your life. This alignment is no great mystery. It simply means that as you are able to relax your body your mind will follow the body’s lead. As the mind relaxes so will your body. It’s a part of what I like to call the circle of life.

Soothing oils is one of the most powerful ways to relax the mind and the body. Found throughout scripture essential oils have long been used to assist people in reclaiming their life. Let’s listen to the words of Fran: “Marjoram is supposed to be very good. They used it at funerals and weddings. It is referred to as the oil of gladness in the Bible. We went to a memorial service yesterday for one of my 2 daughters’ teacher and on the way there my oldest was overwhelmed by everything in general and crying. I gave her Marjoram to smell and it calmed her down right away.”Or how about these healing words from Mona: “…Three Wise Men. This oil has done wonders for me and also helped a seriously troubled young man I am close to get through some major, traumatic grief. He went from acting like the grief would do him in and near freaking out, to simply crying, and to now smiling and almost “miraculously” 90% healed once the old repressed garbage came out. It took a lot of prayer and Three Wise Men to bring the repressed stuff to the surface so it could be dealt with, but it all worked wonderfully! Thank You, God!”

These are but a few of the testimonials flowing in about the power of essential oils in the healing process of grief. Whatever your loss, no matter how much it hurts, ask yourself this one question:” is my unbridled grief what God would have me do regarding this event?” I think not. Remember grief is a normal human reaction to the loss you have suffered. Unbridled grief that keeps you from being that person you want to be is not normal. If you or someone you know can’t let go of their grief maybe it’s time to address the issue head-on. Maybe it’s time to give essential oils a try.

If you or someone you know can’t let go of their grief, it’s time to face the issue head-on. Selecting the right essential oils can give you the strength to start living again.

Schedule a free consultation to discover how essential oils can help reclaim your life! <>

Find more scientific studies, articles and stories on how essential oils influence the body. Follow Essential-Caregiver on Facebook, or check out our blog!

Oct 302013
 

Grieving is experienced not only when somebody passes on, grief can  be deeply felt when we lose valued parts of our lives such as jobs, a  home, a friendship, love ends, or we lose our identity as we find  ourselves “stuck” in caregiving.

I remember vividly when my sister and her husband made plans for an  overseas trip, when I suddenly realized that my husband and I were  denied such pleasures and would never be able to travel. At that moment,  the tears would simply not stop for hours. Of course it was not just  the trips, it was so many other things we had looked forward to  – now forever lost.

Every person grieves differently, grieves over different things,  grieves at different times after the loss. Probably more than at any  other time, I have found essential oils to give the greatest relief as  their fragrances soothed the soul, the emotions in a way nothing else  could.

Oct 222013
 

The emotions are the most elusive part of the human body. Research has only begun to delve into the subconscious mind and to discover how emotions affect every aspect of our lives. Many people find that they are unable to progress in life and achieve sought after goals and dreams due to the trauma of emotional and physical abuse. These deep-seated emotional issues may undermine one’s success, future and life.

To be successful, be it as caregiver, as parent, or in any other endeavor, we must first find peace deep within, and tackle the emotional barriers that hold us back.

The number of healthcare professionals in mental health and other emotion related fields is ever expanding. This need or desire for that elusive emotional health has been the driving force behind a brisk trade in drugs, legal and illegal. Almost from birth, and even earlier, children are given prescription drugs to calm them, to engage them, to numb them, to disengage them. And seniors or those in between don’t fare much better as they experience often serious side effects after drug use.

This is why new avenues for coping with and clearing negative emotions are helpful. Practitioners of  meditation, yoga, special breathing exercises, tapping, color therapy, aromatherapy, as well  the use of coaches and  support groups have turned to those avenues because they  do not carry the potential side effects pharmaceuticals might have.

The use of essential oils for emotional clearing goes back to antiquity. Records of  their use for physical and emotional ailments is found in ancient scripts, tombs and other locations. The use of fragrance, herbs, and essential oils is well documented throughout history. However, only in recent years did therapeutic essential oils get more closely investigated and their healing power scientifically documented.

Young Living Essential Oils is at the forefront of that trend. Founder Gary Young has created a number of essential oil blends, based on extensive research, to help clear emotions. He put together an inspired collection of products developed specifically to achieve a balance of health and peacefulness within each of the areas of our life; the body, the mind, and the spirit.

The use of these oil blends has enabled numerous people to be liberated from emotional bondage to face life with new-found purpose, optimism, and joy.

I found the use of  a number of essential oils a most valuable tool to calm not only me, but also those around me. Check them out, you might discover that therapeutic essential oils do make care giving easier.

If you are interested in learning more, register for our Free 7 Day Mini-Course about emotional release using the new Young Living Feelings Collection.