Under our Disability Program, Northside offered two carers retreats one in April and June 2017. In total 38 carers were in attendance. This took place in the delightful surrounds of the Sydney Conference and Training Centre in Ingleside.

The Retreat Program focus was on Mindfulness and Compassion: growing empathy and boundaries. Over the weekend there certainly was time for relaxation and learning. As a group we learned about mindfulness and compassion and how to develop both self-empathy and self-compassion. Some of the benefits to this retreat were resting in the company of others who understand the pressure of being a carer; many meaningful connections took place while socialising and enjoying the wonderful surrounds and nourishing food. Carers explored building the capacity to set boundaries when appropriate and necessary in once caring role and experiencing specific meditations for rest and recuperation, had opportunities learn about gentle restorative movement practices (based on yoga) planning self-care strategies.

We received some fantastic feedback

“Wonderful! 2 DAYS So many many many thanks for organising the weekend. I think you have a winning formula which combined location, service, information, presenter and LOVE.”

“We really enjoyed and gained a great deal from the Carers Retreat and cannot really express our gratitude in adequate words. Self-compassion: I will allow myself kindness to my body and health (nutrition) and more respect to my limitations (physical) but try to challenge the range of movement (body) more.”

“Self-compassion: I will allow myself kindness to my body and health (nutrition) and more respect to my limitations (physical) but try to challenge the range of movement (body) more.”

Northside is offering an opportunity for carers who care for young people with disabilities. It is held over 8 weeks to cultivate more physical, mental and psychological resilience and ease Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction brings the principles of mindfulness meditation into everyday life by teaching specific skills and practices that can be incorporated into daily life to help break cycles of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion. Those who have taken this user-friendly course report feeling more engaged in their work and relationships, with fewer symptoms of stress and also an increased sense of authority in their lives. If you are interested in expressing your interest and would like more information please contact Marise at Northside on 1300 134 332.

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