Alyssa Geiger, who attends Calgary's Hillhurst United Church, offers more good medicine. The owner of Pommier Care Company
Geiger is a yoga and meditation instructor, birth doula and ayurvedic
lifestyle coach. She said that she became familiar with — and suffered
symptoms of — compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout “probably
semi-annually.” And she was surprised to experience the same feelings
when she became a mother.
“As a new mother, I was led to a year of introspection, prayer and the study of traditional yoga — and it’s sister science ayurveda
(the study of life and self-healing). Through this journey, I developed
the passion to help other caregivers, and a care plan for myself that
is imperfect but beautiful and constantly evolving." Whoa!
When she told me this, I wondered how my life would have been different
if I’d considered my own needs rather than responding to each crisis as
“I set boundaries,” she continued. “I implemented
self-care programs to deal with the inevitable fatigue. I suggest that
there are three foundational pieces to real, energizing self-care.
Firstly, attention to self and Spirit, and leaning on support people are crucial.
We also need movement and good nutrition to fuel our own fun.
Geiger says: “taking care of myself is about knowing myself. What works
for me might not work for others. What worked in the spring might not
be effective mid-winter or in the next season of my life. Keeping our
vessels full in order to give well of ourselves to loved ones is a
I wish you the blessing of a care-full Advent season. Just remember your oxygen mask.