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Celebrating Caregivers: Let Go and Practice Mindfulness

This May, as we celebrate National Caregivers Month, we recognize that spring is known as the season for renewal, rejuvenation, and growth. It’s a time when many caregivers clean, organize, and let go of clutter both physically and mentally. For many individuals, letting go and embracing change can pose significant challenges. Fixation on maintaining the status quo can negatively impact our well-being, particularly in terms of flexibility and coping with life’s changes.  

As caregivers, it is important to foster adaptability and acceptance of change to alleviate anxiety or anger. Mindfulness practices, such as guided relaxation, conscious breathing, and sound meditation, offer valuable tools to enhance acceptance and promote personal growth. 

Jennifer Castillo, an ASD Consultant at Kinark Child and Family Services, offers a few suggestions on how to cultivate acceptance and practice mindfulness for parents, caregivers, and children and youth with autism. 

When struggling with the idea of letting go, it can be helpful to start small. Begin by identifying items or aspects of your life that are less meaningful or necessary, and practice letting go of them. For example, donating clothes you no longer wear, clearing out clutter from your living space, or letting go of habits or routines that no longer serve you. 

It is important to recognize that change is a natural part of life and resisting it can often lead to more stress and frustration overall. Practicing mindfulness is one way to cultivate acceptance as it makes us aware of our habitual patterns. 

Here are some mindfulness practices you can try out this spring:  

Guided relaxation – observe sensory input without reacting.  

  • Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down 
  • Take 3 minutes to sit in stillness  
  • Notice and accept the thoughts and feelings that arise; try not to get distracted

Conscious Breathing – become aware of your breathing.  

  • Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down 
  • Focus your attention to your breath on the inhalation 
  • Maintain your focus as you exhale 
  • If your mind wanders, gently guide it back to focusing on your breath

Sound mediation – Activate your senses in this activity by focusing your attention on what you hear.  

  • Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down 
  • Close your eyes and listen to your surroundings 
  • Focus on your listening sense and try to turn off all other senses. 
  • Take about 3 to 5 minutes and make a mental note of what you hear 

Interested in learning more tips and tricks for supporting your child with Autism? Follow us on Instagram @KinarkAutismServices and visit our Parent & Caregiver Education page for upcoming events. 

Jennifer Castillo, ASD Consultant at Kinark Child and Family Services in blog on celebrating caregivers and promoting mindfulness.

Jennifer Castillo is a dedicated Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over six years of valuable experience in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Joining Kinark with enthusiasm, she is eager to utilize her expertise as an ASD Consultant, focusing on collaborating with families to create effective support plans and facilitating social skills groups. 


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