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Meditation Rooms for Caregivers: Do They Really Need Them?

Corporate Meditation Rooms
Corporate Meditation Rooms

How are meditation rooms or quiet spaces useful in places like the Ronald McDonald House?

The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home where families stay temporarily while their kids receive treatment at a local hospital. These kids are often gravely ill; and the parents are under tremendous stress. How could a meditation room help in this environment?

Parents need relief. Their kid is sick. They’re angry, maybe shocked; they’re sad or even depressed. They feel a total loss of control since they can’t heal their child. The stress is overwhelming.

What’s the best thing caregivers can do for those they care for? Care for themselves.

Yes, taking a walk helps, being out in nature, swimming or going to the gym, talking to others, taking a bath…all of these are helpful. But some families can’t afford a gym membership or don’t feel like exercising or even talking. Sometimes, they just want to sit down and ‘get away.’ They just need a few minutes to breathe and let go in a quiet, serene environment away from white coats and needles and beeps and medicines.

Stepping, even briefly, into another world that is calm and peaceful and relaxing can bring life back to moms and dads so they can reenter in the only way they can help, which is to be a stable, calm force for their sick babies. Just 10 or 15 minutes a day to focus only on one thing—breathing—this can be life-changing.

Of course it’s ideal to have a beautiful space to sit and relax in, but meditation rooms aren’t always available. If you’re a caregiver, find a quiet room or a park bench and think only about breathing for 15 minutes. Do this every day before you walk in to see your child or parent or spouse. Notice the change in yourself and how you interact with those you care for. You can’t change them, you can’t change the circumstances, but you can change how you react and how you feel.

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