Seminar: Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver of a Special Needs Child

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Proven Secrets to Give You Immediate Strength, Comfort and Calm. The seminar was filmed live at the 92nd Street Y. Click here to watch the recording for free.

In order to care for our children, it’s crucial that we take time to nurture ourselves. It’s very common for caregivers to harbor feelings of guilt and a sense that there’s simply no time or energy left for themselves. And when a family or friend makes a well-intentioned but ultimately hurtful comment, we’re left feeling raw. This seminar brings you together with two distinguished experts, Lisa Honig Buksbaum, CEO & Founder, Soaringwords, and Dr. Catherine Lord, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, who will offer powerful tools, resources, and ideas that can transform any stressful situation for caregivers. This program is made possible through the generosity of the CVS Caremark Foundation.

Gary

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Larger than life.

My brother Gary had an infectious smile and a way about sensing what was going on for others. He was a brilliant lawyer, loving brother, son, uncle and friend. But what really made him exceptional was his love of life and ability to connect with others in deep and authentic ways. He was larger than life.

Today is the anniversary of his birth, he would have been 50 years old! To celebrate his legacy, I invite you to do something nice for a stranger or someone you love.

Larger than life – That’s what each of us becomes when we choose to help someone in need. It just takes a second to make the choice. And, if you have cultivated the habit of being a do-gooder, then you don’t actually have to choose, it simply comes naturally for you.

The moment you help someone pick up something they dropped, pause to hold the elevator doors for someone who needs a little more time, or visit or call someone who is going through a difficult time, that’s when you expand who you are, radiating love and compassion, even for a few fleeting moments. While the gesture is quick, the impact lingers in the air like the delicious aroma of fresh-baked bread or the smell of Oreo cookies that my brother and I devoured on spring nights as they were being baked in the Nabisco cookie factory, several miles from our home.

When you experience gratitude it reminds you of all the micro-moments that all of us often take for granted. When we experience connection with someone else, it triggers a positive chain reaction that cascades into other parts of our day. It produces more oxycotin (the happy hormone) which literally makes you feel better.

Sunny Day

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The Power of Positive Thinking

Imagine you wake up, look out the window and see a sunny day. You turn on the radio and learn that there is a 75% chance of rain. Before you pull on your slippers, thunderclouds already gather over your bed. While brushing your teeth, your mood darkens further as you imagine a soggy, miserable walk to school or work.

Stop for a minute. Let’s explore another way to start your day. You can choose to put your attention on something hopeful, the veritable silver lining. By putting your attention on something positive, you can broaden your perspective. Think of one thing, one small thing for which you are grateful.

Think of a person who has made a difference in your life. Close your eyes for a couple of minutes and think of a wonderful conversation, meal or activity that you enjoyed with this person.

Now you can put on those slippers and start your day.

Stop the Downward Sprial

This momentary reflection stopped negative emotions from pulling you into a downward spiral. Barbara Fredrickson calls this the Broaden and Build Theory. The more positive emotions you experience, the broader your perspective becomes.

These positive emotions build upon each other creating an upward spiral, rather than making you feel that the world is closing in on you. You should pack your umbrella in case of showers, but taking a few moments to pay experience positive emotions guarantees that you’ll have a more radiant day, no matter what external circumstances come across the horizon.