Photo = Bel smelling large orange flower
Cultivate self-care all year round
It is easy to get swept away in the current of unfilled demands from our families. I would like to encourage every care-giver to cultivate your own self-care by tithing time for the things that really nurture your spirit. When you do, you will find renewed strength to keep caring for your loved ones.
Fragrant Ways to Nurture Your Spirit
- pick a posy of flowers or buy a bunch of blooms as a reminder to yourself that a gift from nature can boost a sense of peace and gratitude
- use aromatherapy as a fragrant way to bring pleasure by placing a few drops of pure essential oil into a spray bottle of water as an air-freshener to uplift your mood
- gather lavender heads or lemon-scented geranium leaves from spring and summer and crush into scented bags to place among your clothing – the scent revives the mind and spirit
- disappear into a candle-lit bathroom and sink into a bubble bath to soak up the sounds from a soothing music CD while warm water washes away the cares of the day
- indulge your senses with fragrant moisturiser and massage it gently into your face and neck before bedtime – then jump into bed a little bit earlier than usual and enjoy an audio book
My Nurture Story
Many moons ago, I somehow fell into the role of caregiver for my mother-in-law even though I was caring for three young children and was helping my husband to establish his business. Eighty year old Vera arrived for a two week holiday and ended up living with us for seven years!
During her visit, Vera had called out in the middle of the night, suffering symptoms of a possible heart attack. We called for our local doctor, who came immediately and diagnosed Vera as having an irregular heartbeat. He prescribed medication that she would have to take for the rest of her life and advised us that she should no longer be living on her own.
Before I knew it, I had been appointed as her caregiver and blind chef.
Plans swung into action to build on a new private living area to our country home as her new old age accommodation. Vera beamed, ‘Sounds lovely’.
It didn’t take long for Vera to settle into her new ‘nursing’ home, adjoined by a common door which was sometimes open, sometimes closed, depending on her mood…and ours.
Daily Routine Highlighted My Own Care Needs
it was novel for my children to have their grandmother living with us and we all soon settled into a daily routine. With my children packed up and off to school, I took Vera her morning coffee at precisely 10 AM and soon found myself trying to keep up with her highly regimented timetable.
With such a tight routine, finding a balance between meeting her needs and looking after my young family, as well as squeezing in a few moments for myself to recharge every day, was crucial for the well-being of my clan.
I learned that to take time to care for myself, even if briefly, was not being selfish but gave me more energy and love to devote to others as I filled my inner cup of peace which could in turn, overflow to those I was caring for.
Mother Nature – Nurtures Mother
With my children happily playing in their rooms, and while Vera snoozed or listened to an audio book, I would zip outdoors to tend to my garden. I spent a little time mulching and weeding, planting seedlings and pruning shrubs – invigorated by the natural pulse of Mother Nature pumping through my hands. It gave me so much pleasure to nurture a healthy soil and feel plants growing under my care.
It was my way of recharging my batteries. I was tithing time to myself – and could return happily to my family, often with the added bonus of a harvest of some sort.
I’ve always found peace within a garden patch and it is the first thing I do when moving to a new home. It’s one of the best ways to find solace – being in touch with my inner garden, allowing me to engage more fully in an outer one with others.
I’d love to hear how you keep your vision on self-nurture. Please leave a comment here
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Copyright © 2017 Maribel Steel
Photography Copyright © 2017 Harry Williamson