The Healthier Healer: Self-Care for Caregivers

Taking care of others, whether personally or professionally, is hugely demanding. “Burnout” is a common condition amongst long-term caregivers: a state of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual exhaustion. The excess of responsibility creates an inability to respond, and the caregiver’s system shuts down, either gradually or suddenly.

Much of the stress of caregiving can be traced to the caregiver’s own needs and demands, rooted in her or his personality style and beliefs. These factors also influence how the caregiver copes with the stress on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Many of our stress responses are unhealthy, and therefore become stressors in themselves; overeating and drug abuse, for example, are both responses to and causes of stress. Unhealthy, ineffective stress responses bring us to burnout sooner than need be, hurting both ourselves and those dependent on us in the process.

Most of us have some idea of improvements we could make in our health habits. The Healthier Healer Seminar© provides inspiration, support and encouragement in these, along with presenting a wide range of other possibilities. The four levels of stress and health-enhancing responses for each are discussed and practiced.

The Healthier Healer Seminar is designed for the layperson or professional caregiver who realizes that their own well-being is the foundation of their ability to serve others. A wide variety of self-care methods will be taught in brief: these may include relaxation practices, stress pattern identification, self-massage, gentle yoga,  conflict resolution, compassionate communication, prioritizing, nutritional support, and centering meditation, among others.

The Healthier Healer Seminar utilizes large group, small group, paired and individual work. Lecture, discussion and exercises are employed, and written notes are provided. The total seminar time can be adapted to any length, from one hour, to a full day, to a weekend retreat. Any physical limitations can be accommodated.