Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? We all get busy. We feel a sense of urgency to keep up and do more. But if we're honest, we realize that very little is really urgent. Still, all of this hustle means we neglect habits and routines that will keep us well and give us energy for work in and out of the studio. And it's even harder when you're also responsible for caring for others. Whether you're a parent with growing children or an adult with aging parents, caregiving can take a lot out of you. It's hard to spend time on yourself when you're maxed out on so many levels. It's no wonder that self-care takes a backseat to other priorities.
On this episode of The Art Biz, I’m joined by Shimoda Donna Emmanuel. Shimoda has been the caregiver in her family, primarily for her mother Izola who recently passed after living with Alzheimer's, but also for an ailing sister. In 2020, Shimoda wrote Sacred Stitches: The Art of Care Giving, which has tips for stitching yourself together when caring for someone with Alzheimer's, but can also be useful to other caregiving roles. Together Shimoda and I talk about her routine, how she keeps her home to maintain a high vibration, tools she uses to de-stress and to stay calm, and how gratitudes and "the rage dance" fit into her self-care routine.
The fiber collages, jewelry, circles of love and sacred stitches of Shimoda’s work. (2:13)
Key tips for de-stressing as a caregiver artist. (14:20)
How to keep your energy high so you can stay positive and productive. (24:52)
Spring cleaning takes on a new meaning with self-care. (28:40)
Finding a support group that can give you the support you need. (31:16)
Handling emotions might mean screaming, crying and doing a rage dance. (34:51)
How to cultivate a space that helps you destress. (36:30)
Making time for sleep and watching your diet. (40:45)
‘Let this be easy’- Shimoda’s mantra for hectic days. (46:05)
A peek at what Shimoda is looking forward to in the New Year, and where her name came from. (49:10)
“I’ve got to take care of myself. The caregiver has to take care of themselves.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
“I’ve got to keep my energy high and keep my vibration high. That’s what’s most important to me.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
“It’s just not good to hold it all in. I can get through emotions quicker if I just let myself deal with the feelings.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
Shimoda Donna Emanuel is a mixed media artist living in Harlem, N.Y. Shimoda Accessories has a range of work that includes intuitive jewelry & fiber art. Her art has been on HGTV as well as the covers of Essence magazine and other publications. Her art is available for purchase at The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
As a caregiver of her sister and her 97-year young mom with Alzheimer’s, Shimoda wrote Sacred Stitches: The Art of Caregiving. This colorful book offers tips for other caregivers. She found solutions that worked for her with creative exercises, rituals, and more.
Shimoda also published Sacred Stitches: Fiber Art Dolls for the Soul and Sacred Stitches, an inspirational 25-piece card deck.
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/caregiving-shimoda-podcast