My wish list for a special needs caregiver retreat:
- Location needs: Nature and quiet space to reflect and destress. Meals prepared and no clean up.
- Speaker about why we’ve come, acknowledgment of what it is to care for someone with special needs. Importance of self care.
- Workshops for reflection, de-stressing, self care. Can include Yoga/stretching/pilates, nature walks, meal planning, routine building or core essentials for schedules/routines.
- Workshops for sharing advice/tips/support. Can include therapy sessions, writing groups and information sharing. Gather interest and contact information to form groups for advocacy for services, financial and conservatorship planning, tips to lobby government, and IEP workshops.
- More quiet time. Maybe group building activities.
- Group discussions/presentations: Dealing with stress, fatigue, and isolation.
- Teaming up: Share resources, contact information. Build lists to build your support group. Get scripted.
- More quiet time for reflection and de-stressing. Examine what renews you.
- Ending Speaker. Sum up. Encouragement.
Repeat at least once a year. This caring is for life.
This grew out of a couple recent rare weekends when I was able to get away from my regular routine and be in nature.
I realized again the importance of just relaxing and taking care of myself, for a change.
It reminded me of the retreats I attended while growing up -- how much better I felt while attending them and afterward, even though I was much younger and life was simpler.
It also reminded me how, even in the middle of break-ups, endings and some of the most un-fun adulting stuff ever, being able to attend a group function with others who "get it" provides so much emotional release and support.
I remember a "before" time, when dance, hikes, socializing, music, and making art made me feel like Me. How renewed engaging these activities can be for me. How much colour and worth they give to this thing called My Life.
This Retreat is a good idea.
What does your Retreat look like?