“Caring for the Whole Self” Experience

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how long have it been since you last paused and enjoyed a brief moment of peace and silence with yourself?

On 3 March 2012, a “Caring for the Whole Self” Experience was conducted for a group of caregivers to understand more about self-care. The workshop was conducted by the Greenleaf Centre for Servant-leadership (Asia), as a finale event to conclude our “Walk with Me: A Caregiver’s Journey” campaign.

The workshop, or rather, Experience, was held in Henderson Community Club, and much effort was poured in to ensure an inviting and harmonious environment for the participants. The 3-hour long session involved learning more about our own needs (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual, known as PIES), reflection of own thoughts and emotions, sharing, and also practices such as stretching and breathing.

The two facilitators, Yim Harn and Lock Wui, created a welcoming experience for all participants, as they slowly guided everyone through a holistic journey of self-discovery and self-care.  Being a caregiver herself, Lock Wui also shared her own personal experiences which other caregivers could relate to.  With soothing instrumental music in the background, participants were provided a temporary sanctuary from the outside world, taking their minds off from their worries for that brief moment to do some checks on their own well-being.

In their daily routine to care for their loved ones, caregivers shared that they often placed their care recipients as their foremost priority, neglecting their own physical and mental well-beings. However, one of the central motifs of the workshop “We cannot give what we do not have” affirms the need for caregivers to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually adequate in order to provide the best care for their loved ones.

Take a short break from your hectic day, reflect on your PIES, and be aware of the messages your body is sending. This sounds so simple, but is in fact a luxury to have as we so often forget to check back on ourselves.

It is time to pause, and take care of your whole self.

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