Whether Caring for Family Members, the Elderly, the Disabled or Our Wildlife, You Need Time Out For You!
You Don’t Have Time for Burnout so Let’s Put Self Care on the Agenda – Guided Meditation for Carers
Outside of work, family and finances, many Australians are also carers. You may work in disability or elderly care, care for a relative or Australia’s precious wildlife. 100,000s Australians are stretching themselves thin and are at risk of burnout. Self-care must be a top priority. A highly effective way to reduce and release stress is through guided meditation.
As carers, we do not have time for burnout. However, we also do not have much spare time for self-care. One thing we can all do is meditate. It does wonders for the mind and body and the benefits continue after the meditation experience.
Read on to discover eye-opening statistics about Australia’s carers and how guided meditation helps balance and repair the brain and body.
1 in 11 People are Carers
Officially, 1 in every 11 people are carers(*1). Unofficially, that number would be much higher.
Chances are, you know someone responsible for another person’s well-being, daily needs, health or longevity. You may not identify as a carer, but chances are, you are an informal carer(*2).
To be a carer doesn’t mean to be in an official job role called a carer. Many care for their parents, siblings, friends – and even animals.
10,000+ Wildlife Carers in Australia
All credit of the photo above goes to Sydney Wildlife Rescue and Lynleigh Greig on the far right for regular fundraising to make her mobile vet clinic a reality. Saving wildlife across Sydney and along the east coast, bushfire or flood victims. All are volunteers dedicated to saving our precious wildlife.
Across the country, over 10,000 wildlife carers donate their time (and wallets) to Australia’s animals(*3). Wildlife carers take in native animals who have been displaced or injured. From baby possums who have lost their mothers to bushfires, development or tree clearing to native birds and reptiles who have fallen prey to domestic animals.
Australia’s human and animal carers are our country’s unsung heroes.
Guided Meditation for Self Care: Reduce & Release Stress
When people practice guided meditation, they slowly change their automatic responses to stress(*4). As areas of the brain, such as the amygdala, are exercised during meditation, they grow stronger. As a result, the neurons that fire automatically when a person is under stress become less intense. The benefits for carers and those working (and living) in high-stress environments are three-fold:
• On a day-to-day basis, the body will not be as depleted. The cardiovascular and adrenal systems will be under less pressure and much more.
• Natural responses to stress (increased heart rate, sweating, shaking and then the brain fog and fatigue that follow as cortisol eases) won’t be as intense.
• During the meditation, the body, mind, and spirit are given a chance to completely rest and heal.
Our Physiological Response to Stress is the Same as it Was 10,000 Years Ago
Understanding how stress changes the body is crucial. We are still physiologically the same as we were 10,000 years ago(*5).
So, our physiological stress response is the same whether we have to move quickly to catch someone from falling or if we were facing a lion.
You would think we would have evolved a bit more!
It is important to understand that when our body is under stress, it uses a lot of the energy stored in our body and chakras. It does this because the brain thinks we are facing a life-threatening event and assumes we will need our built-in fight-or-flight systems.
Among meditation’s multitude of benefits, the relaxation of the stress response is possibly the most valuable(*4). Meditation also helps us recover from stressful events and reduces the extent of after-effects such as brain fog and fatigue.
Australians are a caring bunch, and we all tend to take on a little more than we can manage. To keep on top of everything, we must prioritise self care to avoid burning out.
Meditation Classes In Person, Online and Downloadable
We hold guided meditation classes in Sydney’s Inner West. There are also recorded classes (which you can follow like a course) available to purchase. The meditation kit is a complete course with instructions to follow from the comfort of your home.
No matter your weekly schedule, there is a way to access our guided meditations.
Some of our attendees also find our small group classes an ideal chance to let down the walls and completely relax with like-minded people.
References *1. Carer Gateway. About Carers. N.d. *2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Informal Carers. 2021. *3. Wildlife Heroes. Caring for Australian Wildlife Carers. Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife. 2020. *4. Goleman, DJ & Schwartz, GE in Shapiro. Meditation as an Intervention in Stress Reactivity in DH & Walsh, RN. Classic and Contemporary Perspectives: Meditation. Routledge. 1984. *5. Panksepp, J & Biven, L. The Archaeology of Mind: Neural Origins of Human Evolution. W. W. Norton & Company. 2012.