By Gail Shaw, MPA
Training & Support
Dementia Care Specialist
The connection between the mind, body, and spirit is a strong one. Think about this connection for a moment. When do you feel, or have felt, at your very best? I bet the picture you have in your mind revolves around a time when you were experiencing good health, your mind was able to handle whatever challenges came your way with ease, and you felt connected with God. Now, do you remember that time in your life?
A person can accomplish a lot when the body, mind and spirit are working well together. There is a sense of harmony, but if one area is out of synch, especially for a long period of time, it will pull down the other two areas. A caregiver in this stressful situation then starts to find it harder and harder to handle what they need to do for themselves, let alone for their loved one.
Many caregivers do not realize this connection is being affected, or challenged, every day due to all the demands. Others may realize it but are at a loss as to what to do. Each day the duties and tasks grow for their loved one and the household. The pressures build up slowly, so it is easy to not recognize what the 24-hour caregiving job is doing to them.
The mind controls the body by sending messages to various parts of your body, to do what it was created to do. It also provides a way for you to think, reason, feel and remember. When our thinking becomes twisted and spirals out of control, then the body starts to break down. Many illnesses can be linked to the mind- body connection, like blood pressure, ulcers, and stomach problems to name a few. Depression can be overwhelming and can zap a person’s strength and desires to go about one’s daily routine.
Your body is made up of many different systems that work together. These systems allow you to perform a variety of tasks that we take for granted. When our health breaks down, the body may find it hard to function properly. Therefore, making it harder to care for yourself and others. This in turn can affect how one thinks and may bring the spirit down. Physical pain can bring a halt to living.
The spirit is the life force that gives you energy and strength. It is the presence of the spirit that lifts you up and gives you the ability to move forward. If the spirit has been broken, then one will not have the energy they need to handle life’s challenges. It will become harder for the mind and body to want to take care for someone. A disconnection with God can be disastrous to our daily living.
As you can see, it is important to take care of this precious connection. St. John’s Community Care provides educational classes geared to assisting family caregivers with understanding the concept of balancing these three areas, along with the disease affecting their loved one and how to handle caregiving issues. Knowledge is powerful. If caregiving has you feeling out of sorts, then call us. We are here for you and your loved one.