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Friday, Apr 27, 2018

Self Care- May FP e-news article


            The importance of self-care can never be overestimated. As foster parents you have the responsibility for the welfare of the children in your care, especially children who come with challenges due to the trauma of abuse and neglect they may have experienced prior to being placed in your home. The everyday stressors of life along with the added responsibility of fostering should convince you that self-care needs to be a high priority. Unfortunately, many caregivers seem to neglect themselves as they tirelessly give in the service of others. People may associate self-care with visits to the spa or getting a massage, which, if you have the means to indulge by all means do so. However, you don't need to visit a spa or take a vacation to decompress. This month, I’d like to suggest the use of something as simple as water to help you relax and rejuvenate yourself.

            The uses of water are limitless. Is it any wonder that so many of us plan our vacations around water? Every year millions flock to the shore, to the river or to the falls because whether they know it or not water has relaxation properties. I’ve discovered in my own experience that after listening to the rhythmic cadence of crashing ocean waves for a little while my own breathing falls into the same rhythmic pattern. Almost automatically. It has been discovered that the air around falling water is more oxidized which has its own health benefits when breathed in deeply.

            So you say, “That’s great! But it’s not like I can go to the shore or the falls anytime I’m stressed.” Agreed, but you do have running water in your home and so you have the means of brief relaxation encounters that can provide good self-care benefits. What can you do at home to access water’s relaxation health benefits? Well first you can drink it. Sip a cool glass of water. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge with sliced lemon and cucumber slices or sprigs of mint and you have a glass of refreshment at any time. Your body is less stressed when it is well hydrated. Next when you shower try to alternate between hot water and tepid or even cool water if you have the nerve for it. This was the practice of the old hydrotherapy spas which alternated between hot and cool water to stimulate blood flow in the muscles with hot water bringing the blood to the surface and cool water forcing it inward again. The results are incredibly relaxing to the entire body. If you think that is too extreme then perhaps just finish off your shower with a little cooler water. A hot bath is always a retreat away from a hectic world and even a warm foot bath produces wonderful relaxation results. Some have invested in CDs of ocean waves or thunder storms or rain forests to create a less stressful atmosphere.  I’ve worked in offices where desk fountains were employed for the same reason. With summer coming (eventually) even sitting near the lawn sprinkler with a cool glass of water provides a quick break and an opportunity for the body and mind to relax for a moment. Incorporating the relaxation properties of water are easy enough and if you can make a trip to the shore, the river or the falls don’t hesitate to do so.

            Whatever you do, make it a point to take care of yourself. You’re worth it! To yourself, and to your loved ones. We appreciate you.

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