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Compassion Fatigue and Tai Chi

This is a guest post by Celia Grand of the Riverview Foundation. Many thanks to Celia for sharing this information! compassion fatigue (dictionary.com) fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses. Many of us work in high stress jobs, have too many personal responsibilities and little time to balance ourselves. Stress is a force that interferes with mental clarity, stability of emotions and physical ease. In addition to life stress, as caregivers we are susceptible to compassion fatigue. We take in volumes of overwhelming emotional material. Our bodies, mind and spirit strategize to cope with all that we hold outside of our conscious awareness. For example: our adrenal glands may pump out extra adrenaline to get us through the day while cortisol rushes through our bodies to try to bring it back into homeostasis. This taxing of our adrenals causes problems with sleep or may lead us to over eat to keep our energy going. Exercising may not energize     . . . read more

Parenting: Are You a Fixer or a Guide?

It seems to me that well-meaning parents lean towards one of two strategies (but often do both): being a fixer or being a guide. Neither is wrong. Like I said, these are what caring parents do. The trick is getting the right ratio of guiding to fixing, and knowing the limits of each. Guiding is teaching, explaining, validating, comforting, supporting, discussing, asking questions, and encouraging exploration. Fixing is about taking charge and changing a situation. These are very different strategies and both should be used intentionally. Guiding Guiding helps children learn lessons and skills that they can take with them their whole life. It is a process that takes time. It embraces life as a journey and kids need help along the way. Guiding is appropriate for situations where safety is not an issue. It’s for when a child is     . . . read more

My Work/Life Teeter-Totter

I came home to a mountain of dishes tonight. Okay, a small hill. I wasn’t shocked, because I left them there, saying, “One good thing about it still being cold is we don’t have to worry about bugs!” The dishes were congregating in and around the sink not because I’m lazy, but because something else was more important the evening before. In this case, it was going to the gym and then, with what little time I had left, relaxing with my husband. So, they sat until the next day until I got home from work because the house and family time was the priority then. This is how my life is: an ever-present tension between things that are important to me. A clean house, a healthy body, connecting with my husband, positive attention to my daughter, bills that are     . . . read more

Your Time, Your Priorities

It’s a very simple truth: how you spend your minutes, hours, days, and weeks is how you spend your life. As I was avoiding writing today, I decided to get lost in the internet, then eat something even though I wasn’t hungry, and finally ask myself, what am I doing? How much time do we lose not really knowing what we are doing? Time spent without intention seems to get away from us rapidly and with little joy or satisfaction. At least it does for me. I caught myself, eventually, and remembered something important: time is a resource with which I can accomplish things that are central to my life priorities. Your life priorities are not things you say to look good. They are how you actually live. If, for example, your health is important, that will be reflected in     . . . read more

Encouraging Words

I’m working on my new website, which I’m very excited about. It should be done soon so stay tuned! It was strongly suggested that I ask clients to contribute testimonials for the new site, as it’s a great way for potential clients to know what it’s like to work with me. In the past, I’ve been hesitant to ask clients to do testimonials for me. I guess I felt like it was too sales-y and that people wouldn’t want to do it. I was wrong. Many of my clients seemed really open to doing it. Plus, I learned a lot about what people are finding valuable about the work they are doing. Most of all, their words reinforce something very important: working on our emotions makes a huge difference in our lives. But I’ll let you see for yourself. Here     . . . read more

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