At Awakenings, we understand the critical role caregivers play in the healing journey of others. It is caregivers who make lasting, flourishing recovery possible.  But we also know that we cannot care for others when our own cups are empty. And we know from experience that self care and creativity are the most powerful tools to restore our energy and keep our cups full. That’s why Awakenings is presenting  “Self Care for Caregivers.”  This suite contains a variety of journal prompts, artistic activities, and meditations designed to offer a self care solution for any moment. Caregivers are on the front lines during this time where our communities require care on many levels. Caring for ourselves makes us more resilient, and more capable of caring for others.

What Do You Need In This Moment?

Intrusive Thoughts Meditation

Intrusive thoughts can often make us feel overwhelmed and make daily life difficult. This meditation explores ways we can stop to reflect on our thoughts and find ways to handle them in the moment.

Zentangle Drawing Meditation

For those of us who’ve survived trauma, connecting to the present moment can often feel difficult. Zentangle- a doodling mediation- invites us to connect with our breath, focus on the physical action of drawing, and find our way back into the body and the current moment. This is a simple self care activity that can be done any time you are feeling activated to help find and root in peace.

Drawing Breath Meditation

The effects of the pandemic and time at home can be especially overwhelming for those of us who’ve experienced trauma in our lives. We must also find ways to take care of our inner, emotional selves as the situation evolves. It is perfectly natural to experience extreme emotions during a crisis, and sharing your concerns and staying connected with people you trust can provide some relief. During a time when much feels outside of our control, use this Mindfulness “Draw Your Breath” Art Exercise to focus on the things you can control during this time at home.

Words to Live By Collaging Activity

Feeling like a part of a community is difficult right now. With everyone in physical isolation, it’s tough not to internalize that feeling. Community care can be so many things, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be social or in-person. This activity allows us to connect with the ways we want to care and be cared for. By creating a “Words to Live By” collage, you can define your community and core values through visual artistic expression in a way that is personal and authentic to you. You can make you collage using a digital image editor or using glue and magazine clippings, whatever works best for your process and materials. Your collage can be as abstract or as literal as you like.

Morning Check-in

Healing and the way trauma manifests in our mind and body can change drastically from day to day. This Morning Check-In worksheet helps identify emotions and organize a care plan that’s unique to each day. Download this template or use it as a journaling guide to begin your daily reflection process. 

Reframing Traumatic Memory: A Journaling Prompt

Our memories can make a single moment stick with us. While we can’t control what triggers us, we can try to control how we respond to those triggers in the here and now. Try this activity to help you reframe your response to negative memories and challenge your expectations of what will happen. All you need is a pen and paper. 

Self Care for Caregivers was made possible with support from the Chicago Foundation for Women.