Self-Care Toolkit

KarmaSue’s Self-Care Toolkit is comprised of mindful resources from trusted community partners and beyond.  We have developed this toolkit to meet the needs of families enduring companion animal cancer, but it expands to anyone dealing with compassion fatigue or grief.  Please visit our community partners’ websites for more information or email us if there is anything else we can provide in terms of support.

*Please note that the KarmaSue Counseling Program volunteers are not professional counselors; instead, we act as advocates who empathize and simply, “get it.”  We are happy to set up a call or can talk via email if you’d like.  If you need professional resources, we can help you to find someone that fits what you are healing needs.  We’re always here for you and sending love and light your way.

The Basics
Please focus on these five factors that support healthy self-care.  You only need to make sure these are in your world right now; everything else can wait.
1. Supportive network
2. Nutrition
3. Hydration
4. Movement
5. Rest

Self-Care Toolkit
KarmaSue Compassion Fatigue Presentation Slides
This presentation focuses on how to cope with compassion fatigue and touches on grief as well.  All helpful links included in the presentation are listed below.

Love List Exercise (provided by Tru Community Care)
This exercise helps you outline what you enjoy doing – what brings you happiness.  Once completed, put it on the refrigerator or somewhere accessible.  When you are struggling, take a look at the list and do a little something for yourself.

Rolodex Exercise (provided by Tru Community Care)
This exercise helps you to identify and enhance your support network.  You are doing amazing at caring for yourself right now because you are seeking resources; having the right people in place when you need them will enhance your healing.

Storytelling Exercise (provided by Wildness Wellbeing)
This exercise is to help you process grief through journaling.  Wildness Wellbeing is a wonderful community partner that is establishing an entire course on this premise; connect with them directly for more information.

Yoga Exercises (provided by Allison Nicotera of CorePower Yoga)
This sheet outlines movements that are helpful in times of grief.  KarmaSue worked with an empathetic yoga instructor that showed us these movements in a previous counseling workshop.

KarmaSue Counseling Workshop Presentation Slides: Everyone Feels Grief
This workshop was specifically designed for those grieving the loss of their companion animals right along with the surviving pets in the home. This workshop space provided an open forum, free from judgement, to work through feelings of grief and how to help our pets with the grief they are feeling as well. Grief is a tough topic; we created a safe space for everyone to work through their emotions and those of their pets.

How to Practice Tonglen (introduced to us by Mayu Sanctuary)
Pema Chodron Tonglen Meditation
Tonglen Meditation Practice for Sending and Receiving Compassion

KarmaSue held a workshop on Tonglen facilitated by Dorian Merrill of Mayu Sanctuary.  This meditation guides you through breathing in the dark, negative energy and breathing out white, positive energy.  We find this meditation helpful in times that we cannot do anything for a being or ourselves when we feel tremendous grief; this is helpful for the person meditating and the recipient (even if they are not physically present).

We hope this information helps.  Take good care, and please do not hesitate to reach out if you need additional support; that’s what we are here for.