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By: Bari Sobelson MS, LMFT & Hannah Hyde, M.Ed.

Caregiver book cover imageWe can’t talk enough about the importance of self-care. We also can’t talk enough about the importance of resources! VA Caregiver Support offers training, educational resources, and many other tools to assist and support caregivers in their important role in the health and well-being of Veterans.

We found the Caregiver Self-Care Activity Book which is a resource full of great self-care suggestions and tips. The following are some of our favorites…

  1. Go Outside!
    As John Muir eloquently put it, ” Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”  Go outside and relax for a little while! VA Caregiver Support recommends leaving your cell phone inside to minimize distractions.
  2. Stretch Away
    According to VA Caregiver Support, “stretching increases flexibility, range of motion, and energy levels. It reduces muscle tension, and provides relaxation and stress relief.” Not sure how to get started stretching for self-care? This section provides a list of stretches that you can do any place, any time!
  3. Create a Mindfulness Glitter Jar
    If you like to get your creative juices flowing, this is a great activity for you! Here you can find how to make a glitter jar and the ways in which this jar can be helpful for you through creating a clearer mind and focused breathing.
  4. Make friends and improve your social life
    The Mayo Clinic contends that friendships can enrich your life and improve your health in a number of ways. Here you will find a detailed list of ways in which you can make friends and improve your social life!
  5. Walk down memory lane
    “Reflecting back on a happy or joyful time is powerful. It can ignite gratitude, hope, and remind you of your strengths.”  VA Caregiver Support suggests an activity to help reflect back on good times.
  6. Laugh
    Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Take a look at the different things you can do to get that silly bone working! If you like a good corny joke check out their list!
  7. Comfort Stone
    Have you ever heard of a Comfort Stone? Learn more about what it is and how to use it in this section of the activity book.
  8. Journaling
    “Journaling is a creative and therapeutic activity that you can do for yourself anywhere, anytime. You can explore your innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences.”  In this section, you are provided with some ideas to get your ideas flowing for journaling on your own.
  9. Prepare Yourself for Sweet Dreams
    According to NIH, “sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” This activity book provides things you can do to prepare for a good night’s sleep!

Interested in further exploration of this resource?

You can check out this resource from VA Caregiving Support at Caregiver Self-Care Activity Book.  We suggest you look at all of their recommended activities in detail if you are looking for ways to increase your self-care.

Written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT of the OneOp Family Development Team and Hannah Hyde, M.Ed., of the OneOp Military Caregiving Team.