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Support Report: Body, Mind, Spirit Festival Outcomes

The Body, Mind, & Spirit Festival in Marblehead, MA this past Saturday was a huge success. We had about 40 people visit with us at the Marymac Missions table. I gave a 10-minute talk and a 40-minute workshop on the theme: “Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey.” Our table featured a Seven Sustainable Skills digital presentation – people practiced the Seven Sustainable Skills Dance in front of our table! Visitors to the table enjoyed brain food treats including dark chocolate squares and almond snack packs. Many people were interested in our Alzheimer’s/Dementia informational kiosk providing information on current estimated numbers of people living with dementia and unpaid caregivers (local, national and global), key findings from the Alzheimer’s Disease International Report on Early Diagnosis, and a top-10 Brain Foods list. Many people also helped themselves to literature provided by the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Education office.

A couple concerning social themes (well known among dementia-care community members) surfaced at this local community event:

Early Dementia Detection & Diagnosis – System Barriers
A woman who attended my talk shared with me afterwards that she is experiencing memory loss and she is asking her family to keep a journal of when she is forgetting things. She shared that she has tried to get cognitive testing but that her insurance company won’t pay for it because she doesn’t have a family history of dementia.

I encourage people experiencing memory loss to share your concerns with your primary care physician. If you experience barriers to receiving cognitive testing consider speaking with your local Alzheimer’s Association office about this or contact your local or state representative’s office.

Dementia Devastates some Marriages
Two women at the event shared with us at separate times during the event that caring for their beloved family member with dementia caused the break-up of their marriage.

I encourage couples who are experiencing the stress of dementia care on their relationship to consider couples counseling. This was very helpful for me and Karl as we navigated the stresses of dementia care during our engagement.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Morning Report: Japanese Iris, Body/Mind/Spirit Fest

Lavender Japanese Iris Bloom
The Color of Intuition
My intuition tells me… What does your intuition tell you this morning? Take 5 minutes to notice how Spirit is moving you gently towards greater self-love and wholeness in your life.

(Marblehead, MA) Friends North of Boston: Remember the Body, Mind & Spirit Festival tomorrow, Saturday: 10am-3pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. The Marymac Missions table will be inside the building and will offer:
– Meet & Greet: Stop by and say hello!
– A tabletop digital presentation: A short, silent, and colorful presentation introduces Marymac Missions’ service offerings (5 min).
– Marymac Missions’ poster & literature
– “Families Affected by Dementia Globally and Locally” poster & Alzheimer’s Association literature

Also, I will offer three short programs which will take place inside the church building.
“Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey.”
10:15 am 10-minute talk
11:00 am 60-minute workshop
1:00 pm 60-minute workshop

I look forward to seeing you there!
~ Mary

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Support Report: Taking the Time

A common theme in this week’s tele-coaching small group, “My Doable Self-Care Plan,” was “Taking the Time for Self-Care.”

Each group member noticed how taking the time for relaxation, decadence, a slower pace, a deeper awareness of self-presence – helped to better the balance of the week.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Body, Mind, & Spirit Festival this Saturday in Marblehead!

(Marblehead, MA) A friendly reminder to folks North of Boston to check out the Body, Mind & Spirit Festival this Saturday: 10am-3pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. Be sure to visit the Marymac Missions table or attend one of the free “Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey” workshops!

Learn more about this Event >

I look forward to seeing you there!
~ Mary

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Support Report: Self-Care Script

Getting into a habit of reviewing our self-care intentions for the week or day is foundational for a renewing self-care program. For many people including myself, this intention-setting is most effective first thing in the morning, and at the the beginning of each week.

My Doable Self-Care Plan Small Group Tele-Coach participants have been experimenting with setting their self-care intentions for each day and week. Simply listing our self-care goals in a paper journal can be tremendously supportive, life-empowering, and life-changing.

Henriette Anne Klauser, the author of Write it Down, Make it Happen: Knowing what you want and getting it! describes the art and science of this practice:

Write it down to be clear in your commitment to its possibility, and then activity here will create related movement there. Write it down to make it happen. […]
Keeping track on paper changes the conversation in your own head. It helps you to pay attention, to embellish your ideas, and record your inspirations. It pushes you toward the possible.

This week, make a regular morning coffee or tea date with your self-care journal and list the 1-3 self-care intentions for the day – a basic outline for your daily self-care script. Notice at the end of each day how your self-care intentions and actions appeared throughout the day.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Support Report: Insomnia Be Gone!

This week the My Doable Self-Care Plan Small Group participants touched upon a self-care topic common to many long-term caregivers: insomnia. Holistic recommendations for addressing this challenge include:
1. Exercise: A group member shared that despite being exhausted from her dementia caregiving role, the days she exercises she experiences an emotional pick-me-up and she sleeps better.
2. Relaxation before Bedtime: Taking 20-30 minutes before bedtime for relaxation helps to signal the body/mind that it is now time to rest and stop (the lists, the to-dos, the worries, the anxieties). Try: a warm bath or shower followed by a hot cup of camomile tea; a 5-minute guided chair relaxation meditation or a 10-minute restorative posture. Listen and practice: 5-min Compassionate Release Meditation AND 10-min Relaxation Pose
3. Alternate Nostril Breath: This breath is recommended before bedtime and anytime during the night for getting back to sleep. Listen and practice: 2-min Alternate Nostril Breath

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary