STRETCH & REST CARE for the wellness warrior
Even though I've worked in health care for over 30 years and know the importance of self-care, I didn't truly become proactive with my own rest "care" until I was introduced to Yoga Nidra in 2018.
At the time, I was struggling with the physical, emotional, and mental demands of being the primary caregiver for my father who had a stroke in 2015 that left him with memory and vision issues. He went from living on his own and Commander of the VFW in his retirement to living in an assisted living facility and needing help with everything.
I was managing his medical care and life.
After his stroke, he had multiple health conditions and cancer diagnoses that had to be addressed. Just when we got one area under control another would pop up. Before his last cancer surgery, we weren't sure if he could get strong enough for surgery or have to go into hospice.
For years I'd help patients and families through the similar situations, but when I got on the other side and became the caregiver for the "patient" I experienced a different level of exhaustion and stress.
I needed to ramp up my rest care toolbox for sure as my normal coping strategies and mind body practices weren't enough to ride out the waves of his medical crises while juggling a career at the same time.
I was at the peak of my caregiver fatigue after helping my dad through 3 cancer surgeries in a year when I was introduced to yoga nidra.
That ended up being a turning point in my own self-care journey.
It's when I truly started to prioritize rest.
It was simple so I could stick with it.
I just had to close my eyes and listen to a meditation for 15 minutes.
I would get the rest medicine I needed that day.
Nothing helped me feel as refreshed, re-energized, and back in balance than those nidra naps.
It quickly became a non-negotiable and daily practice for me.
Even though my caregiver journey with dad has ended since he passed away last year, I'm passionate about sharing the powerful rest tools I've found over the years with the helpers & healers of the world. They're some of the most high risk groups for exhaustion and burnout.
In a culture that values busyness and views rest as lazy, it takes courage and support to prioritize having a Rested Body & Lifestyle.
I recorded a podcast with Genevieve Richardson, a Speech Pathologist and owner of Life Speech Pathologies, to share a little bit of my rest story and burnout prevention strategies for caregivers. Genevieve works with and has the Listen For Life Aphasia Podcast for stroke survivors that have aphasia and their families.
We discussed Rest and Relaxation Practices to help manage the stress and fatigue associated with caregiving as well as how to set yourself up for success by shifting your mindset around rest, prepping for rest, and building a rest support team.
Anyone, not just caregivers, can benefit from the rest tips we shared on this podcast episode (episode 37).
The good news is it doesn't take hours and hours of resting or meditating all day to feel more energy, ease, & flow each day.
It's all about resets and reps when it comes to calming your nervous system & turning on your bodies healing powers.
Listen to the podcast to find which rest move you want to add to your rest toolbox today.
Please share with any of the nurturers, caregivers, or stroke survivors in your life.
To A Rested Body!
P.S. Want to experience yoga nidra with me? The wait list for our NEW Rest Camp: SHINE™ is open.
Mollie Miller, PT