Caregivers Corner: Finding Joy in the Journey of Caregiving

Michelle Wunsch, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC, ACM

How do you find joy, balance, and peace during this holiday season?

It is important to care for yourself while “giving” so much to others. As caregivers, we know what it feels like to give from a depleted vessel. This holiday season, prepare and guard yourself from absorbing unwanted negativity that might surround you. Learn how to fill your cup and stay hydrated with peace and joy!

You can protect yourself from all the external circumstances and not allow them to disrupt your joy.

How? you ask. By protecting yourself with self-care. Try these small steps and start each day with this simple health practice:

1. When you wake up, do not get out of bed right away. Stay in bed and take 10 slow, deep breaths. Count to five on the inhale, hold for four seconds, then count to six on the exhale. Mindfully feel and say words of gratitude silently while completing this practice. You could say words of gratitude that could include, “I am loved, I am safe, I love my home, I love my family, I love my friends and community, I am healing while I breathe, I am grateful for this new day.”

2. Stretch your body for five minutes. Sitting in a chair, slowly allow your body to feel each motion, each twist, and each turn. Roll your shoulders from front to back in slow, thoughtful motions. Thank your body for showing up and carrying you today.

3. Acknowledge yourself. While brushing your teeth or hair, look in the mirror, smile as big as you can, and say, “I am safe, secure, and loved.”

These three actions take less than 10 minutes to complete. You can gift yourself 10 minutes each morning to begin a bright new day.

Finding small ways like this makes a massive impact on our daily lives. Your joy starts with you, and you are the only one responsible for protecting your inner peace and health.

I hope this holiday season finds you with love, laughter, and joy.

You are also welcome to join us for a free Caregiver Support Group on the fourth Wednesday of every month at Sun Lakes Cottonwood Country Club, 25630 S. Brentwood Drive, in Sun Lakes, in the Computer Learning Center.

If you are unable to join our group, call today and inquire about a one-on-one coaching session to learn more about caregiver health and wellness.

Go to or email me at [email protected] or call 480-256-2092 (office) or 740-971-8298 (cell).