Tag Archives: caregiving

Could your new BFF be a Journal?

My new BFF is a Journal

For some, the act of writing in a journal is “like having a best friend that didn’t talk back. I didn’t get interrupted mid-sentence.” B. Lynn Goodwin, the former caregiver, and author admitted in an online article I recently read. And, while it is important to cultivate social relationships, like in the Shining Lights Community Small Group setting for Caregivers of Special Needs Loved Ones, sometimes your best relationship may be a “non-judgmental piece of paper.”1

Why? Well, for many reasons, such as:

  • Emotions are fickle.
  • There are good days and not-so-good days
  • Family and friends are not always available to talk to
  • You can keep it real. You can’t take back words said to people but you can ball up a letter and throw it in the trash if you like.

But before you toss this notion of “getting it all out on paper,” know that there are many benefits to expressive writing. Some of which are changes for the better in your:

  • Outlook
  • Concentration
  • Sleeping
  • Relationships
  • Immune function2

Sounds appealing, right?

So what should you journal? The short answer is … anything you like.

My personal suggestion is, to begin with, a gratitude journal. Since we as humans are much too quick to forget all the blessings we have. You could try to count them one-by-one, and collect your memories in a singular notebook, store-bought journal, or in a word processing document.

Other options could be to capture the main events of the day, a reaction to a bible scripture or a quote, or quite simply jot down the thought that is on your mind at the moment. It’s entirely up to you. Remember this is expressive writing and it’s for your eyes only.

Do you have time? Probably not, so you have to make the time and do your best to be consistent. Around 7 to 10 minutes a day in a private setting is a good start. Whether it’s morning, evening or at home on the throne, it doesn’t matter. The best time is always, whenever it works best for you. And if you miss a day, write about “why” the next day, or scrap it and focus on the present.

Whatever, you do, start today! You may find journaling to be the best friend and listener you’ve ever encountered.

The above is a transcript written for the Shining Lights Community Small Group for Caregivers of Special Needs Adults.

  1. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/journal on 10/30/18@ 2:08 PM, article, “Dear Diary: Journaling for Caregivers,” December 8, 2011.
  2. Article by Robert Busha, Ph.D., LifeWise Living Ministries, Copyright 2014

It’s time to SHINE!

diego-ph-254975-unsplashHear ye, hear ye! Fellow caregivers and earthshakers around north central Florida will now have something to shout about, and it is all because of those beautiful special needs people you and I have the privilege of caring for.

The opportunity that we possess to be able to help someone who cannot independently help themselves is a beautiful privilege and a blessing and should be celebrated.

So, a caring team made up of a caregiver, a sibling of a special needs person, and a care-professional connected together to form this Community Life Group called Shining Lights.

I’m the sibling (and the scribe), and it is my pleasure to invite you on the group’s behalf to come, cast your cares and celebrate!

“Celebrate what?.” I hear you asking. “Celebrate that as a caregiver you feel underpaid and unappreciated?”

Well, I agree you may be underpaid and underappreciated, but those are only the temporal time and energy stealing thoughts and realities.

We will recognize those things, but we won’t be celebrating them.

No, Celebration means to honor (an occasion, such as a holiday) especially by refraining from ordinary business” and that is what we intend to do: Honor caregivers, while they abstain from their busy lives.

Too often because the earth is constantly turning on its axis we feel that we have to turn as well.  And in our turning, we see others doing things we wish we could do. Comparing.

And in our turning, we feel that time is running away from us and we become desperate to beat it. Competing.

And in our turning, we hear ourselves discussing all that is wrong in our lives. Complaining.

When we were designed to rest from all that madness, allow the earth to do its thing, and celebrate the beautifulness around us.

Like the way extraordinary daylight hits the top of green hedges outside our windows; the feeling we get when a loved one gives us a super-sized hug or a gentle smile; or the sound of our favorite song repeatedly playing in our head.  Those are mine for this morning, and there are so many more things to Celebrate.

I hope you will think of your own and share them.

So that is what we will be celebrating. The 1,001 things that make us happy or that have brought joy into our lives! Starting with you…

“Shining Lights” exists, as a Community Life Group to give our friends and fellow caregivers a time to “breathe,” in the words of a friend who worked many years in this field.

Ahhh… to breathe and relax and to rest…Yes, to take a selah and celebrate life and your caregiving, muscle-toned strength!

And, it all begins Thursday, September 6, 2018, in a real building (not online, yet). The celebratory event is only for an hour a week; no longer than your 12:30 to 1:30 lunch break.

It will be our time to Lunch, Laugh and Learn new things, like how to support one another through those non-celebratory moments that turn us on our axis.

And it’s okay to turn for a moment, but as a part of this group, we will be there to set you upright again.

Hey, let’s all take a pause to celebrate that… Ahhh..feels good to know we are never alone.

Comment if you are interested in attending or you have a piece of gladness for the rest of the readers. I’ll start.

I’ll be there!!!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.              Prov 17:22

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu.

A simple celebration, a gathering of friends; here is wishing you great happiness, a joy that never ends. – Zahid Abas

Loving life and you,