Overwhelmed. Burnt out. Feeling Lost.
A year ago, caregiver Linsie battled these emotions while learning to care for her husband, Aaron, a retired Navy Lieutenant—and struggling to take care of herself, too.
As Linsie puts it, she didn’t know how to put her own oxygen mask on first. This is her story.
In March, Linsie went to a Hope For The Warriors® Military Caregiver Wellness Workshop—the first of three she would attend this year.
This workshop introduced her to restorative outlets like meditation and art therapy. She felt so fulfilled that she made time for the next one in June, even though it was during the busiest week of her year.
“It was during the week my husband retired, but he still encouraged me to go because the first workshop had such a positive impact. It made me realize that even if things are going well, making time for self-care is incredibly important. If I don’t take time to check in with myself, I won’t have the energy to be there for my family.”
|Linsie and her husband, Aaron|
The third workshop came at the perfect time. Linsie’s family was having a stressful year and she was at her breaking point. Especially after her husband’s retirement from the Navy, she was trying to be perfect for her family and her job, so this workshop helped her go deeper into the therapy process.
“The art therapy session at the third workshop encouraged me to focus on being good enough, not perfect, for my kids, my husband—and myself. That’s a huge stress reliever! Going to all three workshops helped me reinforce the habit of taking care of myself and sharing what I’ve learned with other caregivers.”
The workshops have had lasting effects. Linsie makes creative play and art therapy part of her family’s daily life. She takes time each day to check her emotions, and created spaces around her home to make art therapy part of her physical world to ensure time for it. She finds she’s more in touch with what’s going on inside because she’s constantly reminded to take time for herself each day.
“I love art, but I’ve always concentrated on technique. These Hope For The Warriors® workshops have helped me break free of that. My life doesn’t have to be so regimented either. Like my paintings, I can allow for different shades. There’s room for interpretation, and who’s to say it’s wrong? It’s just a different color.”
The John Stewart Morton, Jr. Matching Gift Challenge
We are humbled by the generosity of our supporters, as we reached our 1:1, $25,000 matching gift goal, doubling the impact to $50,000. But the challenge doesn’t stop there. Hope For The Warriors® needs your help to continue providing HOPE through programs for military caregivers, like Linsie, and their families.
Join Hope For The Warriors® for #GivingTuesday on December 1. To highlight our upcoming ten-year anniversary in 2016, our #GivingTuesday campaign slogan this year is #Give10for10—donate $10 for 10 years of HOPE. Please share our campaign on Twitter and Facebook.
Gifts may be made online, by phone at 877-246-7349 or by mail to 5101C Backlick Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Text the word WARRIORS to 20222 to donate.
Thank you! Your support will help us restore self, family, and hope to military families who need it most.