Remember The Caregivers!

(Editor’s Note: Gina & Russ – fellow coaches and friends in New Jersey – have different cancer experiences and collaborated on this blog for the benefit of you and those around you.)

GINA:

Sometimes we are so caught up in our recovery that we forget about the needs of others. It wasn’t until almost a year after my first surgery for a double mastectomy that I became aware of what my husband was going through in terms of my cancer diagnosis. I was so involved in taking an active role in my recovery (not to say that this is not a positive action) and the well-being of my children that it didn’t even dawn on me what my husband was going through in the process and I don’t even think he thought about himself either since his primary focus was caring for me.   So this one day about a year after my surgeries and treatment we were having a discussion and he described to me how difficult it was for him not to worry about recurrence of my cancer and it opened up a door to a conversation about the emotions of what he had been feeling all throughout the year long experience we had been through.

I was actually devastated at the thought that I hadn’t even been focusing on what he was going through internally. Caregivers, while they are carrying their own burden can sometimes get lost in the journey. We have to be consciously aware of the emotions that they are going through in the process as well and this is why it is so important for caregivers to feed themselves while caring for their loves ones and for us as survivors, even though we are carrying our own load, to recognize the pain of what our caregivers are experiencing and to simply say: “Thank you” for remaining by our side.

When we look back it’s all so simple, all we have to do is have a conversation, speak up, express our feelings and ask for what we need and what the other person needs in return even if we are afraid to do so.

It’s all about fluid conversations and getting past our fears so that we can remain united and healthy in facing our journey together.

So today, I ask that you tell your caregiver how much their love and support has meant to you on your journey and to ask them what they are experiencing and feeling so that you can give back to them in return.

RUSS:

Gina makes such excellent points.  I so admire her for her strength and insight (and of course her friendship).  Luckily for me, I haven’t been diagnosed with cancer.  My Mom has though – Stage Zero Breast Cancer this Summer.  I can say now that it has had a happy ending.  She’s finished with her radiation and doesn’t need chemo.  Thank goodness.  We’re all very grateful. 

Overall, my experience as a caregiver was positive, because of the support of those around me.  I needed them just like my Mom needed me.  Somewhat early on in her process of dealing with the cancer, I asked if it was alright with her if I posted about it on my Facebook, and luckily for me, she said “please do whatever it takes to get the support you want and need”.  Because of the work I do as an Entrepreneur and Coach, my use of social media is rather frequent and I talk a lot about what’s going on in my life personally and professionally.  For that period where I was coming to terms with what may happen and what was happening, but hadn’t mentioned it broadly, I felt as if I wasn’t living an authentic life.  For me, talking about it publicly was needed.  Much-needed actually.  Once I announced it, the floodgates opened with love and support that still hasn’t stopped 3.5 months later.  It energizes me, and my Mom, who very much appreciates the kind words from people she’s met and many she’s never met.

This may resonate with you, or you may have a very different style.  Whatever you need is your decision, and I’d bet that the people around you will support you in however you want to be treated. 

Here’s my message for everyone reading this:  If you’re a patient, carve out just a little time for the caregivers in your life.  If you’re a caregiver, take time for your own self-care.  Think about what you need and then don’t be shy in telling others.  Lastly, if you know a caregiver, ask them what they need and how you can best support them.

Good luck on your journey!

Love,

Gina & Russ


Gina Costa-Goldfarb is a breast cancer survivor and Certified Professional Coach. She helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. For more on her, go to www.newbeginningswithgina.com.


Russ Terry is a Gratitude guru who’s helping to make the world a happier and more grateful place.  Earlier this year, he published his first book:  My Gratitude Journal:  365 days of the people & things I’m grateful for and the lessons you can learn from them.  He has two more books on Gratitude due out in 2015. For more on him, go to www.russterrylifecoach.com.

5 Things To Do This Year

Hello good people – and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Take a deep breath – can’t you just smell the “new car scent” in the air? This is one of my favorite times of the year. Many of us use the New Year as a turning point, a fresh start, a re-commitment to taking our lives to the next level. 

But SOME of us take it too far. We become overly obsessed with changing each and every area of our lives. And then we get overwhelmed. And because we aren’t able to focus on more than a few new things at a time, we inevitably fall short on some things. And instead of celebrating the good, we beat ourselves up because of the failures. Does this sound familiar?  If so, this message is just for you! As usual, I would love to hear any feedback you'd like to share! 

Trina


As you can imagine, I’ve been busy working on all my New Years stuff. This is naturally a busy season for coaches. As I was pondering what to share with you amid the myriad of New Years wishes, self-improvement gurus, fitness and diet advice, I decided to just give you a KISS instead.  (Keep It Simple Stupid).

So, here are my top 5 tips for making 2015 a great year.

1.  Ditch Resolutions!  Set goals and intentions instead.  Yes, I said it! I stopped making resolutions some time ago. But I do set aside time to really focus on the year behind while deciding what’s on tap for the new year. I’m NOT saying that you shouldn’t work on new stuff for the new year – of course you should! What I am saying is that instead of using resolutions, which many of us tend to talk about heading into the new year and not again after February. Rather, set some meaningful goals and intentions for yourself – and work steadily towards them.  More on that next…

2.  Focus. It’s so very tempting to try to do it all. It’s good to push yourself and expect more. I believe wholeheartedly in raising the bar and not settling. But if you try to take on too many new things on top of what is most assuredly a very busy life, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Choose a very small set of goals to focus on moving this year. Make them big goals. Make them impactful – things that will help you move closer to the life of your dreams or improve the quality of your life.  I recommend no more than 3, but if you must – 5 at the most.

3.  Take one step at a time. But most importantly – GET STARTED! Yes, this sounds elementary, but it’s true. Sometimes we heap so many expectations upon ourselves to ‘nail it this time’ that it paralyzes us. Start where you are – take it a step at a time, and you’ll see results.

4.   Don’t go it alone. Any journey is better with friends. Moral support and accountability partners are the key to making progress on your goals.  You can get this in a variety of ways. Enlist a workout buddy to hit the gym together. For big goals, coaches and mastermind groups can help you stay on track.

5.    Cheat – a little. All work and no play makes Jack/Jane a dull boy/girl.  Don’t make it all about work and achievement. Reward yourself along the way. Build in days off if you are pressing towards a big goal. 

Most of all - remember to have fun along the way. We all get WAY TOO SERIOUS about this stuff. Push, but not too hard that you stress yourself out and don't get to enjoy the ride. 

C-ya next time! 

Trina

PS... As always, I'm available for 1:1 communication and motivation in-between these messages. I'm happy to provide a free Discovery Call to talk things out and see if coaching might help you achieve your goals this year. Email me at tramsey43@gmail.com and we can set something up! 


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

Source: www.trinaramsey.com