Caregiving is a crucible of total-immersion self-care training.

You engage daily in a struggle to keep your loved one(s) safe and dignified as you defend their weaknesses and fight for continued quality of life. You’re compassionate, forgiving, and hopeful as you provide meals, personal care, and rest.

But what about you? Who’s taking care of the hero in this epic adventure?

I help you see all the reasons you’re neglecting your needs and why they make sense to you. I don’t give advice because you already know within yourself what you need.

 I teach you how to listen to your brain and the rest of your body as it lies to you and sabotages your efforts to practice self-care. You know, the guilt, the criticism, and self-doubt that creep in when you plan a little time for yourself?

You know deep inside what you want, but you’ve hidden that information away where your own worst critic can’t judge it. I’ll help you uncover the infinitely lovable person who needs you to come to the rescue and notice you.

 I’m so happy you’re here and know I can help you feel peace and confidence as you take care of the hero in your loved one’s story.

 Much love,

Jill

How I became a coach.

I was grateful when my husband survived and returned home after each of his three military deployments to the Gulf in the early 90s.

Then I realized how much he’d changed. I wondered if I’d married the wrong guy. But he was different and became worse, physically and mentally, over the next few years until he almost bled to death and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I struggled with my emotional health as he became completely disabled. It was up to me to provide for our family, and I eventually ended up in a wheelchair as I worried about his and delusions and buffered my pain by overeating.

I’m also a professional caregiver, working as a physical therapist assistant to provide for my husband and three boys. I saw many of my patients’ caregivers learn to practice self-care or crash and burn.

It’s tough to practice physical therapy from a wheelchair, so I enrolled in health coaching school, thinking it would be an easy certification with my medical background. I followed eating plans that I would eventually teach my clients, and I got well!

I began coaching friends and family, sharing the incredible things I’d learned about nutrition. People hired me to help them lose weight, but I soon realized that most of them didn’t need to fix their bodies as much as they needed some TLC and emotional support. THEN they didn’t need to eat to feel better.

I also hired a life coach to help me through the challenges of starting a business. She helped me see the lies I told myself, the criticism I indulged in, and the belief that I was defective. I had begun a steep dive to self-destruction, even though my body had healed.

I learned compassion for myself, my husband, and everyone in my story, and my life changed forever. I realized that I wanted to do for others what my coach had done to rescue me from overwhelming isolation and despair.

Caregiving isn’t a trap; it’s a choice. You’re doing it because of who you are, not because you want a reward or appreciation. But it’s easy for your brain to suggest that you need your loved one(s) to love and respect you for what you’re doing for them.

When the going gets tough (like every day), you deserve support, kudos, and pats on the back, not anger, resentment, and irritation. And it needs to come from YOU. Not them.

Without the skill of getting your own back and accepting yourself, no matter how much you journal, recite affirmations, or take long, hot bubble baths, you’ll struggle with feeling worthless, rejected, and alone in your caregiving journey.

Emotional self-care will help you the most to not only survive but thrive as you enjoy the roller coaster of emotions that flood your days and try to keep you up at night.

I’m grateful and honored to ease your pain, frustration, and worry of caring for someone you love. I believe you are a hero fighting for your very lives.

You have great love and courage. By sharing our experiences, we can help each other embrace our journeys together as caregivers. I’m grateful you’re with me in this marvelous work and service we do in the world.

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