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It's time to take care of YOU!

Welcome to the official online home of jennifer Cares - make yourself at home! We're happy to have you with us. We can help to make your life easier. Don't be a stranger.

Don't stop caring. Care Smarter. Care Stronger.

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We now offer Corporate Wellness Programs that help to keep family caregivers who work outside the home happier, healther, and more productive! Wellness workshops, teleseminars, webinars, management sensitivity training, and more available.  Visit us at http://CaregiverAtWork.com

ZUMBA fitness classes! Jen is a licensed Zumba instructor, and member of the Zumba Instructor's Network. Join the party! Find out more at http://ZUMBAjen.com

 

 

 

 

 



Why Don't You Do Something?

That's a great piece of mom-psychology, don't you think? Moms never seem to like to see their kids just sitting around.  Mom was on to something:  just sitting around isn't good for us! Our bodies and our brains crave stimulation.  It doesn't have to be big or fancy...the main thing is to hold on to the things that bring you joy. Need some ideas?


Hobbies Can Make You Happy

Hobbies are fun---but also beneficial to your health and wellbeing!  Escaping for even a little while in gardening, doing a crossword puzzle, or working on a sewing project helps to relieve stress, and increase self-esteem. 

Hobbies are great distractions from everyday worries.  Allowing yourself to get lost from time to time in something you really enjoy doing makes you a healthier, happier person.

Studies show a link between hobbies that stimulate the brain, like reading, playing cards and games, and doing puzzles---a a decreased risk of memory loss.  Resarchers go as far as saying that mind-building hobbies may actually prevent Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia!

 

Top Stress-Busting Hobbies

1. Hand-Made Crafts: painting, embriodery, scrapbooking, anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed.  Projects like these require your thought and attention.  One medical study of heart patients found that heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate went down while participants worked on crafts.  

2. Gardening: Being outside working with growing living things is a wonderful form of self-expression. Many people report feeling at peace while designing and planting a garden---even outdoor chores like weeding and raking leaves have been shown to provide stress-relief.

3.  Playing with a Pet:  Research shows pets provide wonderful social support.  You've probably heard about the benefits of the "unconditional love"-kind of relationship that comes with caring for a pet. Health care centers and Hospices are paying attention to this research, and many offer Pet Therapy sessions.  If you don't feel you have time to keep a pet yourself, many animal shelters welcome volunteer dog-walkers, etc.

4. Photography:  You don't need a big, fancy, expensive camera to exprience the positive feelings that can come when you shut out everything else around you and look at the big world through a tiny lens for a few minutes. Focusing in on something in that way allows you to more fully see and appreciate the beauty in life around you. 

5. Physical Activity/Sports: If you're able to bowl, or ski, or walk with a friend or two, you're getting multi-health benefits.  The activity itself, of course, will strengthen your body and brain, as well as trigger hormones in the brain that will help to rellieve stress.  Doing the activity with others helps self-esteem and confidence by allowing you to feel part of a healthy, positive group.  

 

Fun Family Project:

Create a Family Tree

This project is a nice way to keep children familiar with relatives who live far away, or who have passed away. Try not to feel rushed with this project. Spend time smiling and sharing stories about the people in the pictures. When complete, display it, or use the pictures and leaves, and add little written facts and stories about each family member to create a scrapbook that you'll cherish for years to come.

What Do I Need?
Assorted colors of cardstock (find it in the scrapbooking section of most craft stores)
Leaf pattern/template - (we used a cookie cutter)
A variety of pictures of family members and pets
Thread
Tree branch with several shoots to be able to hang leaves from
Flower pot or other container
Styrofoam ball or foam brick
Spanish moss or shredded colored paper
Marker
Acid-Free Glue Stick (safest for working with photos)
Hole punch
Scissors

How Do I Make It?
1. Trace and cut out several leaves on the different pieces of cardstock
2. Cut out faces of family members from pictures
3. Glue the cut out pictures to the leaf shapes. Write the name of the person somewhere on the leaf (on the back if you'd like to play a little "Who's Who in the Family" game with the kids)
4. Punch a hole in each leaf, insert some thread and tie to make a loop to use to hang the leaf from the tree branch.
5. Wedge a Styrofoam piece into the flowerpot, or other container you are using to support your family tree; insert the branch into the foam to secure it.
6. Hang your leaves with pictures on the branch to create your tree.
7. Use Spanish moss or shredded paper to fill in around the base of the branch and finish off the look.

 

 

 

Easy No-Sew Fleece Crafts

If it's beem a while since you've tried any crafting, or if you don't consider yourself crafty at all I have two words for you:  Polar Fleece.  Just looking at the rainbow of available polar fleece colors all lined up on the shelves of the fabric store will bring a smile to your face.  Polar fleece is soft and cuddly.  It doesn't fray.  It's criminally easy to work with.

Making a cozy scarf or throw blanket is as simple as cutting a piece of polar fleece to the size you want.  You can cut fringe ariund the edge to finish the project off and you're done!

You didn't skip over the rest of the directions,  Cut and fringe.  You're done!

I like to make reversible throws by cutting out two pieces of fleece in different colors.  Place the pieces together and cut a 4 to 5 inch fringe all the way around, cutting through both pieces.  To finish, bring one piece of fringe in each color together and tie a knot.  Do that the whole way around.

These fast, easy, inexpensive projects make thoughtful gifts.  Customize them by using your favorite team's colors, or school colors.

Bonus Tip:  Use this tip to update the pillows in your home for the holidays,  Just cut two pieces of fleece to the size of the pillow with som extra length for the fringe.  Cut the fringe, place one piece of fleece on either side of the pillow and tie away! If you're feeling extra crafty, grab some fabric glue and add buttons, sequins, beads, or appliques. Have fun!


 

     
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