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Caregiver Wellness Retreat Replay

Wellness "Retreat" hosted

in beautiful Santa Fe,

New Mexico!

Wellness experts share their tools and secrets to peace and patience through the arts, movement, mindfulness, and more! 

Access all of the retreat sessions on one page and refer back to these practices as often as you like —
the material is yours!

Day 1

October 2, 2020

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While Caregiver Wellness Retreat’s goal as a nonprofit is not dementia education, Ruth comes with years and years of experience in this field as a caregiver. She shares some of what she calls the “G Words”: Guilt, Greif, Grit, Gravity, Giggles, Gratitude, and Grace. We explored our relationship with each G-word and how it affects our lives.


Vista Living:
Mindful Dementia Care book:

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Tapping for Emotional Freedom

with Hope Carwile

Tapping is a free Emotional Freedom Technique which can be use anytime, and anywhere. The technique is can be used to interrupt the body’s stress response quickly and effectively. When tapping through 8 points of the upper body and repeating a meaningful statement, an affirmation of acceptance of yourself with the problem at hand is utilized to begin the process of clarity.

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Marigold Sounds Angels' Realm 2

AMP Concerts: Postcards from Santa Fe

AMP’s "Postcards from Santa Fe” with Marigold Sound featuring Lisa Marie Stuart & Haley Ackerman. This piece is an homage to our majestic "Sangre De Cristo Mountains" here in Santa Fe.


The outdoor life in Santa Fe is singular in its expansive beauty and is one of the greatest treasure's in New Mexico. Share this postcard with everyone you know who loves and misses Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Postcards project is made possible by the generous support of Falling Colors Foundation.

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Taking photos is permission to speak without words. Jesse shared easy and effective techniques for creating better photographs of your loved ones including how to find good light, how to create a simple yet powerful composition, and tips for letting your portraits tell a story of love and interaction. A well-made portrait allows the best memories to live on, as well as provides a creative healing space for both caregiver and patient. Photos are used tell the subject’s story and your story.

This class is very beginner-friendly whether you use an iPhone or DSLR camera. Jesse says, the best camera is the camera you’ll actually use. That said, no equipment was necessary, just bring yourself and a pen and a notepad.

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Calming qigong form: Straddling the Waters

with Daven Lee

Daven shares a simple, calming qigong form: Straddling the Waters. This form is intended to calm the nervous system while nourishing the kidney qi, or life-force energy. When we are caring for others, and our energy becomes depleted and out of balance, our nervous systems can get stuck in a “fight, flight or freeze” stress response. Everything feels like a crisis, and we disconnect from our center and our innate wisdom. This qigong form can bring us back to nature: that which is around us and that which is
within. This practice nourishes us at our source, allowing us to give more fully and generously from a place of grounded presence.


Daven offers an accessible and gentle session that is not intimidating and is easy to follow. She offers it both seated and standing for the participant to adapt to their needs. The practice feels a soothing release and one in which the mind can quiet while the body is attended to.

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Respite Care Resources

with Beth Hamilton, Ken Hendricks, Meg Hix & Alexandra Villano

Beth Hamilton, NE Regional Manager of Alzheimer's Association of Northern New Mexico
Ken Hendricks, community Service Representative of Home Instead, Santa Fe
Meg Hix, Strategic Partnerships Director at the Global Headquarters of Home Instead Inc.
Alexandra Villano, Hilarity for Charity, also known as We are HFC.


We explore what it means to find respite for the caregiver, how to find pockets of respite during the day, as well as, learned about all the options for in-home respite care for a person with dementia. There can be a stigma around families seeking outside care. We discuss how to release that stigma and how respite is a source of both renewal for the caregiver but also for the person being cared for.

Hilarity for Charity’s YouTube Channel:

To receive more info from HFC:

Other resources discussed:
Agency on Aging and Long-Term Services
In Home Support Services: Homemaker and Respite Care through Senior Services
Senior Scene Newsletter (Available Online and Free via Snail Mail)

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Nacha Mendez on Museum Hill

AMP Concerts: Postcards from Santa Fe

Nacha Mendez performs "Angel en la Esquina" from Milner Plaza on Santa Fe's Museum Hill.

Produced by AMP Concerts Video by Andy Primm

Day 2

October 3, 2020

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Yoga for Brain Longevity®

with Kirti Khlasha

In this interactive presentation, Kirti reviews the neuroscience of yoga and demonstrated 3 specific techniques to improve brainpower for better memory, concentration, and overall resilience. Each exercise is done seated with small, accessible hand movements. We also mention the Kirtan Kriya which we offered in our first on-demand retreat. The link for that practice is here:

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Simple Hands-on Meal Preparation

with Jillian Parkhurst

Jillian presents 2 simple hands-on meal preparation recipes. The practice of preparing ingredients in advance to save time, energy and ensure that you eat well throughout the week. Click here for the shopping list. You might want to shop ahead of time so you can measure and assemble along with Jillian during the session. By the end of our time together, you will understand how to meal prep can support their well-being, and you'll have breakfast prepared for the week ahead!


Links to things Jillian mentions:
The best unsweetened protein powder
best plastic bags to use
The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life: Plant-Based Meals with Options for Any Diet
The Living Kitchen: Healing Recipes to Support Your Body During Cancer Treatment and Recovery

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Poetry As Self Care

with Donald Levering

Using poetry, we can draw closer to ourselves to foster resilience and make meaning in challenging times. Donald shares and discusses his poem, “Splashed by a Bus.” And he also shares a few other poems he wrote specifically for this retreat.

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Splashed by a Bus

by Donald Levering


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Strategies for Coping using Writing

with Alisha Yi and David Xiang

Writing can be a way of working through emotions from happiness to grief and burden to hope. In times where everything feels uncertain and situations might feel beyond our control, poetry offers a moment of solace to process our feelings and experiences and externalize what is inside.


This workshop offers a starting point and one method to cope and encourage healing with our emotions through poetry and consists of reading/sharing/writing exercises. On the thinking level, writing forces us to organize our experiences into a sequence, giving us a chance to examine cause and effect and form a coherent story. Through this process, we can also gain some distance from experiences and begin to understand them in new ways, stumbling upon insights about ourselves and the world. While caregiving can upset beliefs about how life works, processing the experience through writing gives us a sense of control.


The Print That Whales Make Poem can be found here:

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Art for Mindfulness and Personal Connection

with Elaine Ritchel

In this session, we slow down, turn inward, and enjoy the present moment by engaging more deeply with visual art. Elaine shares how to use any image or work of art as a tool for mindful reflection and reconnection with yourself. Elaine asks us to make 3 observations: notice, make meaning, and to reflect.

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Drawing as Meditation

with Liz Brindley

Paul Cézanne said, “the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” Liz’s session takes a closer look at the natural world, also known as the cross section of a carrot, and offers an opportunity to use drawing as a tool to find peace in the present moment.

Liz leads us through a variety of accessible drawing exercises to press pause and get grounded. Materials used: a pen, some paper, and an object from nature for inspiration.
Free printable coloring pages:

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Perseverance and Peace for Care Partners

with David Davis

Perseverance and Peace is a result of vigilant self-care. David shares from his own raw experience in the trenches of caring for his mother with Alzheimer’s disease. This session is a time of integration and plotting the steps forward to stay connected with others walking along side you on this
journey. We talk about a theme woven throughout the retreat: hope.


David’s question: “what resource can I share so someone else’s experience is better than mine?” is truly a question for everyone – in almost any season of life.

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