Archives for July, 2012

Joan Winifred

July Lessons Learned – Quick Review

What have you learned this past month of July? Nothing?! No way - YES, you have learned something! Something of value - "relative worth, merit or importance, monetary or material worth."  When we learn, we add to our wealth - our wealth of wisdom.

Did You like what you learned?
"For wisdom is for a protection [the same as] money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners."
Wisdom is the ability to use what you have learned in a practical way that can safeguard you and those you love from harm or foolish, stupid risks! As Caregivers, partners, friends, family, individuals, bloggers and readers, we all need protection from one harmful thing or another. We all want to feel safe and secure!

Do you feel safe? Do you feel secure? Wisdom can give us a safe haven. I'm hoping you, your family and friends have such a haven. I hope you will gain some practical insight and wisdom to help you each day. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me share with you what I have learned! Thanks for commenting, and please share what you have learned. Let's not be stingy, but spread our wealth around -- Wisdom!

Some people like to count their money; they want an accurate inventory of what they have. We all spend and want our correct change. We need to know what funds we have to work with. So let's count our wealth -- the wisdom we gained. What have we learned here at Partners in Wellness in July?!
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Boost Your Brain Power – Chew Gum!

 Do you chew gum? What is your favorite flavor? Do you like sugarless? (Better for your teeth, right?) I recently read an article in Time healthland on-line about the benefits of gum chewing and boosting brain power.

Does your brain need a boost? Mine does - pass the gum, please! Make mine Bubblicious. Yum!

As a kid, I loved chewing gum and blowing huge bubbles. (Well, until I got gum stuck in my hair.) Wasn't gum chewing discouraged as a bad habit years ago? In elementary school, gum was under a ban. Of course, some would sneak it in.

Did you ever get in trouble for chewing gum?  If we only knew then what we know now...

A study at the University of Northumbria found that chewing gum offers more benefits than just sweetening your breath. What are the benefits? The study suggests it's “thinking, memory and other cognitive tasks.
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Joan Winifred

Managing Ups & Downs with Music

 Ups and downs are a reality of life. They cause us stress. Are you having a stressful day? I hope not! Are you on a rollercoaster ride, screaming to get off?! Oh, the thrill of the ride and the terror of the speed, the twists and the turns...what a rush.

Good and bad stress eventually takes a toll. Caregivers and partners are not immune to the daily stresses, the highs and lows, the rollercoaster ride of caring, cleaning, loving, giving, helping, forgiving, working and volunteering. Learning to manage it all successfully, including the stress it all causes, leads to day!

Have you thought about what positive, simple tools you can use to manage your daily stress level? How do you get off this ride, and quick?!

Music is one tool some use to cope with ups and downs of life. They drown their stress and their sorrows in song. Do you do that? Do you have a favorite song or artist that you commiserate with or celebrate with? I view music as a gift. Do you? Perhaps you play an instrument.
Music exerts a very powerful influence, either positively or negatively, on the heart and mind. It's an effective teaching tool as well.
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Joan Winifred

Juggling It All: 3 Keys to Balance Your Caregiving

 Do you have a tendency to worry? I do. As Caregivers and partners, we have a lot on our plate and therefore, a lot to worry about. How does one juggle ("hold, catch, carry, or balance precariously") it all?!

With lots of skill and practice and continually picking up dropped balls.
Juggling and worrying seem to go together well. Keeping props up in the air and moving harmoniously in time can be tricky, just like the juggling performance of the caregiver and partner.
Juggling it all and well takes quite a bit of self-control. Getting the mastery over self as Caregiver and partner is a work in progress. There are so many variables that pop up to threaten the balance of our daily juggling routine. Or one can look at these variables as opportunities to exercise and learn better self-control.

Part of the challenge is recognizing obstacles and threats in our path. Avoiding or overcoming obstacles and threats is critical to maintaining routine. Following a steady routine leads to progress in any endeavor. I'm sure you would agree - care-giving is a BIG ENDEAVOR!  Are you aware of obstacles in your care-giving and partner path? Have you personally explored and implemented any strategies to overcome them?
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Joan Winifred

I Need You: Accepting and Giving “HELP!” as a Caregiver and Partner

HELP: a universal commonality. We all need help in one form or another. One thing I've learned since my husband's diagnosis in 2003: the more you know about your loved one's illness, the better you can understand and the better you can help.
I hope the following NAMI Family-to-Family Video Tribute offers you and your family help and a resource. Many families are in an SOS state and knowing your family is not alone "helps"! For Caregivers and partners, trying to help a loved one dealing with an acute illness can be pretty scary. Without any education or knowing exactly what you're dealing with, it's intimidating.
The unknown is frightening...the known conquerable! Don't be conquered by fear. Face it and defeat it with accurate knowledge. Accurate knowledge can "help" you and your family make better decisions. Better decisions lead to better consequences and outcomes both short-term and long.

(See on YouTube:
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Joan Winifred

Don’t Know What to Do? Try Kindness!

So, you don't know what to do? TRY this: KINDNESS!

Did I just hear an audible laugh?! Seriously, when in doubt, life is better with kindness than without! Kindness is essential to wellness. Whether it's a crisis, unexpected chaos or sharp outburst of anger/rage...don't retaliate in kind - well, unless, "kind" is nice.

Did you know, the original meaning of kindness, according to Oxford Dictionary, is "kinship; near relationship; natural affection arising from this"? Acting kindly and showing affection as Caregivers and partners to those close to us can bring immediate and long-term positive results to stressful, difficult, traumatic situations. Kindness helps improve any situation, even with those not so close to us.

Please try it. It really works.

"The practice of being or the tendency to be sympathetic and compassionate, gentle, benevolent, thoughtful, considerate, helpful, generous, hospitable."  Simply put: Don't be Cruel!

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Joan Winifred

Partners in Wellness: Appreciated, Part 2: Relief and Understanding

Relief and understanding go hand in hand. It's hard to bring relief or help to someone if you don't understand what they are going through. It takes time to understand, as well as education and patience. Caregivers and partners need time - time together. We learn so much from each other.

Please, spend time together today if possible. Can you enjoy a simple meal together?

One dictionary defines patience as:

"[a] capacity for waiting: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties."

Can we exhibit more patience? What relationship/s or situation/s would benefit by you being more patient?

Thomas Fuller said: "All Commend patience, but none can endure to suffer."

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Joan Winifred

Partners in Wellness: THANK YOU – Yes, You are Appreciated (Part 1)

THANK YOU!:) Two simple words that often go unsaid. I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog!

I wonder what brought you here today? I wonder if you will find what you may be looking for...comfort, encouragement, help, understanding, relief, acknowledgment, appreciation?! Caregivers and partners in wellness need all those things.

(Please read on and stay tuned for part two!)
Givers and healthy partners usually have to take one or more for the team, and often! This can be exhausting and draining emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Are you feeling tired? How can you fight fatigue?
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Partners in Wellness: RESOLVE To Never Give Up

RESOLVE. I like that word! How about you?

Resolve: "To make a firm and definite decision about something." "Determination." "When you resolve to do something, you anticipate success, and are determined to accomplish it." Resolve, now that's a positive attitude worth cultivating!

The right attitude can and often does make just the right difference in a wrong situation. Do you have resolve? Think deeply about what areas in your life would benefit by resolve. When you have resolve, you don't waver. PLEASE, don't waver in your commitment to care for your loved one who needs you!

Without resolve we flounder. With resolve we flourish! We become steadfast and consistent in our efforts...striving to "solve" or clear up a problem within our realm of control.
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Joan Winifred

Partners in Wellness: Bask in Brilliance!

Our hands may be small. Our voice may be soft...just a whisper. Our imperfect caregiver circumstances limiting...but each of us has an incredible gift and privilege--the ability to DO SOMETHING POSITIVE!

Tiny stitches make up a garment. Tiny stitches hold it all together. Tiny hands sew and patch it. Tiny hands take care of it.
In Care-giving, "It's a Small World!"
Every time our small hands reach out to help, hug, pick-up and fix, we bring help to the helpless. When we fold our hands and pray, speak from the heart, open our mouth and say: "PLEASE God Help!" "I LOVE YOU!" "DON'T Give Up!" "YOU CAN do it!" "It will be OKAY!"...our little voice speaks. (A little voice is better than no voice.) Keep speaking for the voiceless among us! Everyone deserves a voice. Everyone deserves hope.

Hope is being heard and understood. Hope is being helped and loved. Hope is knowing tomorrow will be better than today. Love, hope, help, all start at home. We can make a positive impact each day in our own reality and community. We can bring positive change world-wide. It starts with a whisper...and ends with a scream! Can you hear me? I can hear you. (In care-giving, it's a small world!)
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