When you care for someone it can be difficult to disengage your mind from the caring role. The worries and caring state of mind remains, and can leave you feeling drained, anxious, overwhelmed and not at peace. It is important, not only for yourself, but for your caring role, to be able to disengage from your caring mind-set when you need. Being able to clear your mind and disengage from your thoughts can help positively contribute to your health physical and mental wellbeing.
How does disengaging help?
Disengaging your mind can improve your care-giving and your personal wellbeing by helping you:
- Relieve tension and feel less stressed
- Feel refreshed and ready to tackle challenges
- Have a more optimistic outlook
- Have clarity and calmness
- Develop an inner confidence
- Be happier and more mindful
- Become more open and willing
- Feel more energetic
We know that meditation and relaxation techniques are useful in stress reduction and promoting a healthy wellbeing, but we don’t always do it. If you can, try to meditate as often as you can, but for those of us who struggle to bring ourselves to begin, feel we can’t do it, or simply feel we have too little time, there are simple activities that can help disengage the mind.
These activities can be done throughout the day and are very quick. They essentially involve being mindful and fully attentive when carrying out activities. When your mind’s attention is held focussing on what’s happening at that moment, or engulfed in an activity, it is able to disengage from any thoughts and feelings. They provide a temporary escape and you can do them with almost any activity (so there are no excuses!).
2 Simple ways to disengage
Here are two simple suggestions from Russ Harris, a stress management therapist.
While making tea:
Notice all the different sounds involved, listening to the changes in pitch, volume, timbre, and rhythm: the crescendo of the kettle filling up, the sharp click of the “on” switch, the rumble of boiling water, the hiss of escaping steam, the swoosh as you pour the water into the cup, the trickle as you lift the teabag out, and the gentle splosh as you add sugar or milk.
Notice all the different visual elements, including shapes, colours, textures and light and shadow: the thick rush of steam spouting from the kettle, the misty swirls of steam rising from the water in the cup, the light rippling on the surface as you dunk the teabag, the dark stream of tea diffusing from through the hot water, the fluffy clouds of milk billowing up to the surface.
Notice all the different body movements required: the effortless interaction of your shoulder, arm, hand and eyes as you’re lifting up the kettle, turning on the tap, replacing the kettle, pouring the water, dunking the teabag and so on.
Pause for a moment before your first bite, and notice the different aromas of the various ingredients and the colours, shapes and textures of the different foods. Then, as you cut up the food, notice the sounds made by your cutlery and the movements of your hands and arms and shoulders. And as you eat the first mouthful, notice the tastes and textures in your mouth, as if you were a gourmet food critic who has never tasted a meal like this before.
Our counsellors offer support for carers through individual counselling. Vision is also a service provider for the NDIS and can deliver counselling to NDIS participant’s carers that are deem reasonable and necessary. For further information and support through counselling, contact us today.Article Title: Disengaging the Carer Mind
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology, Perth, Western Australia
Web Address: www.visioncounselling.com.au
Published: 14/04/2016 “Practicing Mindfulness for Busy People”, Margarita Tartakovsk, (2011), (Psych Central), Available: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/09/26/practicing-mindfulness-for-busy-people/ (Accessed: 2015, February 26). “The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt”, Russ Harris, (Published: 2011). Image Reference: Dollar Photo Club