Episode 62: Bridging the Gap of Self Care and Caregiving with Dawn Renee
This episode welcomes Dawn Renee, the founder of the Traveling Caregivers. Over the past decade with a holistic approach Dawn has devoted her life to uncovering ways to heal chronic illnesses and support patients and caregivers through managing energy.
Read on and discover:
🌟 How Dawn regained her health after being bed bound
🌟 Some of the biggest self-care lessons learnt
🌟 The remarkable story of being a full-time caregiver for 7 years
🌟 Ways to manage energy on a daily basis
🌟 Why the fundamental essentials and joy in life are so important
🌟 What may hold people back from filling up their cup first
Dawn reveals how she struggled for a long period with various chronic illnesses which eventually led to her being bed bound and not knowing if she was going to recover. She was following the advice of medical professionals but wasn't tuning in and listening to what her body really needed. Over this period of time Dawn learnt that she needed to check in with her body and give herself permission to act how her body needed her to, rather than resisting. If she felt tired she allowed herself to rest and recover. At the time, Dawn was caring primarily for animals and she realised that she didn't take care of herself in the way she should be. When Dawn was able to recover and learn these essential daily tools of self-care and wellness it made her more aware of how to care for others.
Dawn goes on to share how her incredible holistic care giving journey then evolved after reconnecting with a husband and wife she had met years previously who was now severely unwell in hospital with motor neuron disease. Dawn found herself drawn to helping Anne and over a series of 7 years they made adjustments to her diet, which she was receiving through a feeding tube, her water intake, took time every day to focus on her energy levels, what her body needed at that moment, as well as breathing exercises and visualization practices. For a long period of time Anne was gaining strength in many ways and was even able to walk again and found so much comfort in these improvements to her life for the remainder of her days.
In today's busy world it's easy to burn ourselves out and feel guilt for needing to slow down and rest. Especially when it comes to caring for others, whether that be as a career or caring for our friends or family members, Dawn shares that it is a work in progress for herself to get the balance between caring for herself and others on a daily basis- which I think many of us will relate to. It's essential to check in with yourself and notice if you are taking care of yourself each day with small, simple check lists- Have you drank enough water today? Have you had enough rest? Have you fueled your body with nutritious food? Have you exercised or moved your body in a way that feels good to you? You need to block time for yourself and give yourself the permission and boundaries to dedicate time for yourself as well. Another key element is asking for help when you need it, releasing all feelings of guilt that you aren't able to carry it all on your own.
Dawn also shares her experiences of the consequence's of not listening to her body, ignoring her headaches, sickness or other symptoms due to lack of self-care and consistently prioritising all others around her. If she is trying to care for others feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired she can try to suppress those feelings and leave her baggage at the door but she will inevitably continue feeling that way until she addresses why she is feeling that way and takes time to balance looking after herself too. Dawn expresses that she has found journaling and painting to be methods of self-care that quickly help her to release any negative thoughts, reset her mindset and balance her energy so she will always have these on hand.
Traveling Caregivers began to blossom as Dawn wanted to help caregivers and patients in different area's of their lives to enable them all to balance their lives and care routines by following holistic approaches. Dawn shares the importance of finding out what works for you as an individual and bridging the gap between being a caregiver for yourself and others. Speaking from experience, Dawn explained how she spent many years being a 'people-pleaser' and it took a long period of time to realise that she deserves the joy that she also want's to radiate to others. You need to give yourself permission to stop and prioritise what you really need to feel your best so you can be the best version of you for those around you.
Dawn describes her daily practice she follows to 'fill up her cup' with 5 joyful experience's. I invite you to take a moment to check in with yourself and make a list of 5 simple things that bring you joy. Challenge yourself to try to carry out these 5 tasks each day and begin a new habit that will adjust your life to reflect this.
If you would like to listen to the recent 53 minute podcast of this episode, you can click here.
I hope you have enjoyed reading,
Love Sam x