|Navy Spouse and Caregiver Linsie Ojad|
In both March and June of 2015 Hope For The Warriors® hosted daylong Caregiver Workshops, which focused on self-care and mindfulness practices for military caregivers. Linsie Ojad, attendee of both workshops and caregiver to her husband, Lieutenant Aaron Ojad, United States Navy, shares her story on how the workshop activities gave her hope for a life of less stress and renewed her mind to care for her husband and herself.
“The workshop is really a gift for everyone that attends. I found each workshop session extremely beneficial – it was hard to choose between the eye-opening and honest discussion session, the relaxing yoga, the delicious lunch with the inspiring speaker, the art therapy session, and the applied theatrics session.
The one technique I have used most since these workshops are the art therapy tools. The Zentangle set gifted to us has been so big for me; giving me a focus point and creative outlet as I take some much needed quiet time. This has really had a lasting effect for me. Each facet has had a lasting effect in its own way really, for example doing some simple yoga stretches in the morning to loosen tight muscles, or writing out my intents for the future like I learned in the theatrics session. These have helped me be mindful of my own body and my needs. It has also helped me stay focused on making sure that I am getting my tanks filled so I can be stronger for others. It’s a common analogy heard today about “putting on your own oxygen mask first”, yet we rarely hear actual life application examples, let alone have the ability to be nurtured and taught how to do them!
The Caregiver Workshops take place four times a year and are truly a special time for caregivers to bond, relax, and learn to find hope in new practices that are not only beneficial to their service member or veteran, but to themselves. Hope For The Warriors® staff member and caregiver Patti Katter says, “It’s a very powerful thing to watch military and veteran caregivers connect with one another. Many caregivers walk in the door of our workshop feeling lonely and overwhelmed, but by the time they leave – they are leaving with new friends, new resources, and new hope.”
To learn more about Hope For The Warriors caregiver and family programs, please click here. If you are interested in participating in the next workshop join the Facebook support network for military caregivers by clicking here.
Also, we invite you to learn more about Hope For The Warriors® annual Spouse/Caregiver Scholarships that provide aid in continued education at a reputable, accredited university, college, or trade school for spouses/caregivers as they assume critical roles in the financial well-being of their families. To learn more click here.