Caregiver Kit: En-couraging Self-care

by Deborah Grassman

“Caregiver Burden” is a common term used in healthcare to describe the stress that accompanies taking care of someone. Caregivers may have become so consumed with caregiving that they lose their own life or sense of self. When this kind of difficulty occurs, we provide “caregiver kits” to acknowledge their struggle. The “care bag” was designed by Susan Schaeffer. It contains symbolic reminders: a rubber band “to remind you to be flexible because things might not go the way you want,” a pencil “to list your feelings,” a band-aid “to heal hurt feelings,” an eraser to “remind you that everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay,” gum “to chew sticky stuff when you feel you’re falling apart,” a tea bag “to help you relax daily and take time for yourself,” a bell “to remind you to let others know what you need,” and tissue because “it’s okay to cry.”

When caregivers receive these “gifts,” they often respond with tears. Frequently forgotten, consumed with demands, this ritualized gesture validates caregivers’ suffering and en-courages personal needs. However, some caution needs to be used: Be careful to not give them to caregivers who are reluctant to caregive because they are too self-absorbed.

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Education. Compelling workshops presented in unusual and engaging ways on intriguing topics: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Aging, Personal Healing, Veteran issues, Self-Care, Chronic Illness, End-of-Life care, Spiritual Growth, PTSD, Forgiveness, Good Grief.

Low-cost Retreats. 1, 2, or 3-day retreats in your city or ours (Tampa). Topics include: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Personal Growth and Healing, Forgiveness, Aging.

Soul Restoration Ceremonial Workshops. Caregiving, whether personal or professional, takes a toll! Understandably, we often disconnect from the pain. Disconnecting from the part of self carrying the pain contributes to loss of energy, emptiness, and compassion fatigue. This 4-8 hour ceremonial workshop will provide a restorative experience for your staff or your patients’ families.

Soul Injury Ceremonial Workshops. We will help your community organize, plan, and implement a ceremony for combat veterans which helps them lay down any burdens of unmourned grief or unforgiven guilt they may still be carrying. The gaping hole in our society from the aftermath of war can be healed!

Book Circles for Personal Growth.Utilizing the book, The Hero Within: Redeeming the Destiny We Were Born to Fulfill, we will help you grow small communities of people who want to cultivate pervasive personal peace.

Book Circles for Veterans. Utilizing the book, Peace at Last: Stories of Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families, you can become an agent of healing for our nation’s heroes by hosting a book circle for veterans and their families.

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We offer these services with our Opus Peace prayer: Cultivate in me, oh God, the willingness to re-own and re-home scattered pieces of myself so that I might be restored to Your wholeness. Grow in me the honesty, humility, and courage to release my fears of who I am and who I am not. Fuel me with your Grace. Amen