Session 8: Care for the Caregiver
Help caregivers relax and unwind.
1. Clear the Clutter
Caregivers do so much for others. Today, you are letting them know how important they are. Do your best to make them feel cared for and appreciated. Start with ambience: make the space more relaxing than usual. Play around with lighting, sound, or scent to create an oasis that’s inviting and calming. Add personal touches like decorative name cards, personalized cups for coffee or tea, or just simple notes of affirmation. If you can, coordinate with families beforehand to create a picture or thank you note for the caregiver.
As you begin, let caregivers know that this time is meant for them to unwind, and that they can choose to spend time in a way that makes them feel good. The first step to relaxation is to clear the clutter of their minds.
Offer a few options and materials to help:
- Spend time journaling.
- Draw or color a picture.
- Do a “brain dump,” spilling out your stresses and nagging thoughts onto paper.
- Sit quietly.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply.
2. Rest & Recharge
Give caregivers plenty of time to settle in. Then invite them to watch Caring for Brain Injuries.
Talk about what you watched. Who can relate? What self-care ideas did you hear? How do you like to recharge? What makes it challenging to take time for yourself? Remind caregivers, “It’s important to take time for you, too.”
Let caregivers know that relaxation exercises, breathing, music, stretching, and pleasant events can all help reduce stress and recharge them. Review the ideas on the R&R printable, and decide as a group which one you’d like to practice together.
Give it a week. Gently challenge caregivers to commit to taking five minutes for themselves each day for a week.
3. Make and Take
Make and Take
Watch the Slow Down and Settle Down video with caregivers.
After watching, invite participants to make their own mindfulness jar using materials you provide.
16 oz mason jars (or bottles)
Craft glue (try colored or metallic!)
Glitter (add some confetti to vary the sizes)
- Give each caregiver a jar.
- Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of the jar.
- Add ½ cup glue.
- Top the jar off with water.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of craft glitter or confetti.
- Seal the jar, adding hot glue for extra reinforcement.
- Shake, watch the glitter settle, and relax.
As caregivers are crafting, you might play calming music or lead them in an affirmation meditation.