In With the New...


In With the New...

Most of the working family caregivers I know are thrilled that the holidays are behind, but are not necessarily making stellar plans for the New Year. As fun as holiday gift exchanges, unexpected treats and festive gatherings can be, they can throw off much needed routines and already overloaded schedules. Returning to a predictable day is as comfortable as slipping into a pair of favorite well-worn jeans.

I appreciate it as well and at the start of this New Year, find myself content and breathing a sigh of relief.

Well after my care giving responsibilities had lightened (years in fact), I started doing yoga. I had always liked the notion of mindful pose & practice, but considered it a luxury and certainly not for someone as out of shape and responsibility laden as me. At first I found it uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. But I went again and I suppose I let go of what I thought it (and I) was supposed to be. Now, I try never to miss a class!

Over the holidays I asked our local yoga instructor, Carol, if she would share some thoughts to help kick off the New Year. I explained that family caregivers are typically so focused on meeting their caree’s needs, that skipping their own appointments (with the doctor or the gym) is the norm.

I have a feeling it wasn’t news and marvel at her ability to meet people where they are.

It’s a new year and as a yoga instructor, I ask my students to consider, “What they would like to RELEASE at this time of change, and would like to RECEIVE at this time of change.”


RELEASE one thing that is not making you happy/or will help to reach a goal:

  • Want to lose those extra holiday pounds, give up soda, dessert, or alcohol.

  • Anger or frustration, release into the wind, again and again.

  • Worried over a situation or outcome that is out of your control, let it go, release it from your mind, again and again.

RECEIVE finding Gratitude in your life; simple pleasures:

  • To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter.

  • To be thrilled by the stars at night

  • To be elated over a bird’s nest or wildflower in the spring

Living in New England at the start of a new season, I ask my students “What they would like to Release and Receive at this time of change so we revisit this question though out the year part of our Seasonal Living.

Seasonal living is not a new concept but practiced for years. We got up when it was light, went to bed when its dark, ate local produce when it was in season. However, today we can shop, eat, and bank in front of our computers and electric light continues through the night disrupting balanced energy flowing through the body that equates to perfect health.

Winter is officially started on the 21st of December, but everyone is busy with the holidays to make a serious start to living winter energy, the capacity to withdraw, repair, and rejuvenate.

Good nutrition is an essential part of our winter routine because the body needs good, hearty, hot foods in order to keep itself warm, the worst time to diet and the time that magazines and media promote.

In short, eat properly by simmering stews, warming soups, roasted root vegetables and warm drinks such as green, ginger, or jasmine tea. Add basil and black pepper to increase the warming effect, or the use of pungent spices such as garlic, ginger, and cloves. Hot water is good it flushes the kidneys and cleanses the system.

Embrace the season, find beauty in day, sun on your face, cool breeze in the air…to be alive.

By Carol Dearborn, RYT 

Carol Dearborn was drawn by the peace and centering that yoga brought to her life. She became a regular practitioner in 2008 and still enjoys helping students of all ages develop their yoga ability. She can be contacted at     

(Thanks Carol for sharing yogi wisdom that is both practical and beautiful!)

Sure, some of us may enjoy the surge that goes along with the promise of grand plans and sweeping resolutions. While others might prefer the comfort found in the familiar, in the day to day routine of home and family. It would be nice to hear family caregiver thoughts about focus for the new year... even if it’s a simple single word aspiration to receive or release….

All my very best for a Happy New Year! Sarahbeth
Sarahbeth is proud to be among the first round of students to receive CCC status. Her focus is workplace caregiver support. Pulling from lessons learned during an intense five-year period of juggling family, career and elder caregiving responsibilities, (re: Sandwich Generation) she is now a champion for those doing the same. More can be found on her website,

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Sarahbeth, is it possible to share this blog post on another blog? I have been looking for just this kind of New Year advice and would love to give you and Carol the entire credit. I don't know the protocol for re-blogging an article. I could also quote part of it and then include a \"read more\" link to this one.\r\nOh, and if you haven't guessed already, I really really really like this post. \r\nThanks!\r\nterri