One of the things which helped me a great deal during the caregiving journey was to use my worry tree. Realizing that I needed a place and time to escape from worry, lest it weigh me down to the point of paralysis, I started a simple habit of "hanging" my worries on a tree outside my front door, each time I entered my home. It was completely optional as to whether or not I picked them up again on the way out. This accomplished several things: it kept my home as a pristine sanctuary where I could relax worry-free, it allowed me a respite and distance from my problems, even just symbolically, that paradoxically let me come up with solutions when my mind was not worrying the problem like a dog its bone. (I will admit that sometimes my subconcious kept working on the problem, even though I had given my conscious mind permission to stop.) The stepping back and releasing of the concern often made creative space in my brain or emotions to find a good solution. The other noticeable effect was that my problems didn't seem as big or as dire as they had when I hung them on the tree the day/night before. They sort of magically were put into perspective and so I often chose not to "pick them up" again. This is a very simple trick for shifting your perspective, but it is amazingly powerful, nonetheless. Try it.
Oh, the other consequence of doing this was that the tree started looking very pathetic. You may want to choose a plant or tree you don't like very much on which to dump your cares. Just goes to show that the mind is a very powerful force!
Karen is a compassionate, enthusiastic student of life, who cared for her mother for 17 years. She brings her insights, compassion, experience and desire to share knowledge and healing to this ongoing conversation with others on the caregiving path. If you are caring for a parent, spouse, friend or other loved one this site offers sanity-saving tips, open-hearted self-care ideas, and an open forum for discussion, connection and sharing resources for the journey.
All Acceptance Aging Together Alan Cohen Alive Inside Movie Alzheimer's Alzheimer's Prevention A Mind Of Your Own Anxiety Aromatherapy Audio Therapy For PTSD Austin Air Hepa Filter Autism Back Care Video Beginner's Mind Being Present Blessing For Caregivers Books Brain Insulin Butterfly Story Calm Calm.com App Care For Veterans Caregiver Advocate Caregiver Coalition Caregiver Comfort Kit Caregiver Guilt Caregiver Retreat Caregiver's Serenity Prayer Caregiver Stress Caregiver Support Care Giving Caregiving Vulnerability Care In Hospital Caterpillar Into Butterflies Chamomile Tea Cindy Laverty Comedian Computers & Exercise Crisis Dan Cohen Deepak Chopra Delirium Depression Diabetes Disaster Preparedness Distractions Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa Dr. Oliver Sacks Eden Alternative Eldershire Elizabeth Dole Foundation Emergency Planning Emergency Preparation Emerson End Of Caregiving Enough Already Escapism Essential Oils Food Safety Forgiveness Funny Stories Gaiam.com Gail Sheehy Gift Of Alzheimer Gift Of Healing Presence GMO Food Green House Project Gregory Fricchione Md Grief Guilt Happy Light Healing Holding Hands Home As Sanctuary Hope Hospital Caregiving Hospital Stay Humor Inspirational Reading Ipods For Nursing Homes Isolation Jacksonville James E. Miller John Denver Johns Hopkins Study John T. McFadden Jon Kabat-Zinn Kelly Brogan Kirtan Kriya Meditation Lao Tzu Laugh Laughter Lavender Loneliness Loss Of Purpose Love Love In The Nursing Home Maya Angelou Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Blog MD Meditation Meditation Garden Melatonin Memory Memory Cafe Military Caregiver Mindfulness Meditation Mr. Bean Music Music & Alzheimer Music And Memory Neurological Research Noise Pollution Operation Family Caregiver Opportunity Overnight Respite Care Pandemic Passages In Caregiving Patience Paul Coelho Peace Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Power Of Love Prayer PTSD Quality Of Sleep Radical Contentment Relaxation Releasing Problems Renewal Research Respite Rewind Rodney Yee Rosalynn Carter Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving Rowan Atkinson Sanctuary Sanity Self Care Serenity Silence Sleep Slowing Time Solutions Soothing Music Stress Stress Relief Sun Sunshine Support For Caregivers Tai Chi Thanksgiving The Care Company The Kiss Time Traumatic Brain Injury Travel With Alzheimer's Person Treat VA Caregivers Valentine's Day Verilux Veteran Farms Veterans Veteran Suicide Vitamin D Wayne W. Dyer Wellness Wendell Berry White Noise William H. Thomas Worry Yoga Yoga Video