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You are not alone! Learn more about the topics Co-Create 4 Life specializes in through our educational blog. From arguing with your inner critic to a loving kindness meditation, you can find various resources to help you along your caregiving journey.

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A long, light haired person lounges in a hammock, reading. The hammock is tied between two sturdy, wooden pillars on a deck of a log cabin. There are trees and green grass in the background.

Creating a Summer Self-Care Plan. . .

The changing weather reminds me that we’re in a season of change, it is nearly summer and the solstice is rapidly approaching. This all makes me think that I need to adjust my wardrobe, my food choices and my self-care practices to appropriately align with the season.

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An adult learner with curly hair pulled back into a pony-tail sits at her desk with her laptop, with a bowl and spoon held in one hand while the other taps a key on the keyboard. There are plants on either side of the desk, a brick wall in the back of the image, and a mason jar with dried flowers next to the laptop.

From Andragogy to Heutagogy with Circles…

I spent most of my graduate school years (in the 1970s) studying the foundations of Adult Learning as set forth by Malcolm Knowles who advised educators to move into a new age of appreciation for the self-directed adult learner. His book, The Modern Practice of Adult Education; Andragogy versus Pedagogy (see below), guided much of my curriculum and influenced my thinking for my career as a nurse-educator.

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Ground level image of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC with the Washington Monument out of focus in the background. The foreground is focused on engraved names of fallen soldiers with an American flag placed on the sidewalk.

A Memorial Day Monday Reflection. . .

On this Memorial Day, it is worth a moment of our time to remember that we are free to enjoy our holiday, step away from our daily work, and be in a mode of celebration with our friends and family because brave Americans have, for centuries, been willing to engage in military service and, when called upon, to go to war. Our freedom is because of their sacrifice.

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A mid-size SUV drives down an open back road through a field of golden grasses to one side of the road, and green grasses and small shrubbery on the other. The city is faded in the distance as the car drives in the opposite direction.

Celebrating the road trip (again)…

 In May, I am celebrating two road trips and, surprisingly, in June I’ll make a third trip! All this is completely amazing for me because (as those of you who are primary caregivers know) it can be pretty impossible to orchestrate a trip either with your loved one, or even harder, without your loved one!  These are business trips, so I need to make them on my own.

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A laptop displays a financial budget with two hands on the keyboard.

Financial wellbeing, even for caregivers. . .

According to a new AARP study, three-quarters of the nation’s 48 million unpaid family caregivers who responded to their query reported spending an average of $7,242 annually on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving.  That’s a lot of money but it clearly doesn’t reflect the additional costs of housing or memory care should your loved one need care in a facility setting. Those costs can skyrocket to $10-15K monthly depending on where you live, especially here, in Minnesota.

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The phrase "love your life" sits in neon lights over the top of a multi-colored, striped background

What if you could LOVE your life?

There’s a lot of noise out there on how to love your life. I call it noise because the advice I’ve discovered isn’t based on a shared understanding of what it means to love your life. No one’s asking the question, “What’s not to love?” and listening for the deeper, honest answers that reflect what’s not working, what’s causing pain or what’s distracting from a deeper connection with life.

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Light skinned woman sitting down, with a white, fuzzy blanket and a laptop on her lap leaning her head to one side, with her two hands massaging her neck on the other side. There is a side table next to her with three beautiful roses in a white vase, and a white coffee mug.

Translating Body Language

Ordinarily this phrase, translating body language, would mean having the ability to understand what’s going on inside of others when they interact with the world and make gestures or unconscious movements which convey their feelings. 

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Two younger, light skinned hands coming from the top of the frame holding two elderly, light skinned hands coming from the bottom of the frame

Gratitude, Grit & Grace

It’s been a while since I wrote about the 3-Gs that consistently get me through life, Gratitude, Grit & Grace. They’re always present in my life and I hope they are also part of your daily experience.

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Photo of multiple hands coming into the center forming a team huddle

Who do you know?

Building a team of people who can help you is a critical for any long-term caregiver.  We all need folks we can turn to in times of need and ask for assistance.

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pile of painted rocks, in foreground one says "I love you"

I carry it well. . .

A few weeks ago I met a friend for coffee. It had been a long time since the two of us had connected in person and it was so good to see him again. We had a lot to talk about, catching up on family matters, learning about job-related activities and all the usual conversation. I was very pleased to be able to just sit with him and hear how his life is going.

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Checklist with red checked boxes

Writing it down can make a difference! 

I came across a list that I failed to date when I wrote it, but given where I found it, it had probably been sitting at least 18 to 24 months. It was time to clean up that pile of paper and there, among other things, sat a “to-do” list of some pretty big chores.

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organized desk area with light on

Clutter — yep, we all have it!

I’m committed to getting rid of my clutter. My goal (long-term) is to down-size my living space and in order to do that, I need a whole lot less stuff. I know this will be emotionally freeing and physically beneficial for me, but I procrastinate repeatedly when it comes to setting time aside to even start this chore.

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A chart of techniques for mental health hygiene

Mental Health Hygiene…

I came across a piece written by Hadley Leggett for Stanford University’s online publications. She wrote about Mental Health Hygiene, a term we don’t use frequently enough. We talk about sleep hygiene – those tools and strategies we can us to get to sleep, stay asleep and improve the quality

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Blonde Barbie considers Self Care

Who is Barbie?

I was just about to turn 7 years old when Mattel launched Barbie in 1959. Like every other little girl living in mid-century America, I wanted nothing else for my birthday but a Barbie doll in her smartly striped swimsuit, high heels and sunglasses.

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A photo of white roses.

A Serenity Prayer for Caregivers…

God, grant me the serenity to:Accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference. Today I need a serenity prayer. Maybe you do too. There are things I’ve come to accept. I’ve learned that when I spend my time and energy wishing

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Photo of a woman smiling while seated at a table surrounded by people.

Only the Lonely…

Loneliness is a frequent symptom of caregiving. I hear it from my clients and I find it in the literature. And, while I appreciate that loneliness is a pervasive feeling in much of the larger society as well, for caregivers it is often accompanied by a sense of having been abandoned.

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Counting on my core…

Usually when I think of the word CORE, I’m focused on core values, those ideals that most clearly represent what matters most in life, the things that drive a lot of our behaviors, our choices and our big life decisions.  But lately, I’ve been attending a yoga class that focuses on core work and surprisingly,

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Two jars filled with rocks.

Managing the Big Rocks

If you’ve been a fan of Steven Covey’s writing (as I’ve been for several decades now) you’re familiar with the useful constructs he leans on to explain certain life-management choices that simply help us navigate the world. In his 1991 book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he offered

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Once in awhile, we all need a break...

Once in a while, we all need a break. . .

Whether it is a full-fledged vacation or just a quick weekend get-away, we all need to separate ourselves from the day-to-day rhythm of life and do something different. It’s healthy to change things up, see some new scenery, go out to eat someplace unfamiliar and sample something you’ve never tasted

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About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

Popular Posts

A long, light haired person lounges in a hammock, reading. The hammock is tied between two sturdy, wooden pillars on a deck of a log cabin. There are trees and green grass in the background.
Simple Self-Care Strategies

Creating a Summer Self-Care Plan. . .

The changing weather reminds me that we’re in a season of change, it is nearly summer and the solstice is rapidly approaching. This all makes me think that I need to adjust my wardrobe, my food choices and my self-care practices to appropriately align with the season.

Read More →
An adult learner with curly hair pulled back into a pony-tail sits at her desk with her laptop, with a bowl and spoon held in one hand while the other taps a key on the keyboard. There are plants on either side of the desk, a brick wall in the back of the image, and a mason jar with dried flowers next to the laptop.
Simple Self-Care Strategies

From Andragogy to Heutagogy with Circles…

I spent most of my graduate school years (in the 1970s) studying the foundations of Adult Learning as set forth by Malcolm Knowles who advised ...
Read More →
Two women embrace one another with one arm as they look and point to the horizon with their other arms while riding on a boat over water. They appear to be enjoying the adventure they are on.
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What does it mean to live your best life?

I get that live your best life is a common phrase and probably one we use too often, but there is a natural inclination to want to ...
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Ground level image of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC with the Washington Monument out of focus in the background. The foreground is focused on engraved names of fallen soldiers with an American flag placed on the sidewalk.
Simple Self-Care Strategies

A Memorial Day Monday Reflection. . .

On this Memorial Day, it is worth a moment of our time to remember that we are free to enjoy our holiday, step away from our ...
Read More →
How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.