Last week, Denise Brown of CareGiving.com hosted a webinar titled “Healing from Bad Luck Fatigue.”
The title is a little strange (I think). The premise is that caregivers sometimes feel as if they have bad luck as they are constantly coping with problems. Denise Brown provides some tips on dealing with the associated fatigue.
The webinar recording can be found here:
Brain Support Network volunteer Adrian Quintero listened to the webinar and shared notes.
Notes by Adrian Quintero, Brain Support Network volunteer
“Healing from Bad Luck Fatigue” Webinar
January 31, 2018
TAKE A BREAK AND THEN FACE FORWARD
- The advice of taking a break may feel counter-intuitive. We can believe that if we are not actively trying to find solutions to the problems, we are not taking the problems seriously enough.
- It is possible to overwork a problem, over work your brain. With too much stress, we can’t think clearly and find solutions we need. One suggestion is to tell yourself “I’m going to go to bed, when I wake up I”ll know just what to do.” This allows a way to both take a break, and also be working on the problem too, subconsciously.
- It can be easy to obsess about the past, what has or hasn’t happened. The suggestion is to “face forward”, and that the solution is ahead of us.
- Taking a break could mean a day to not think about it, or even just for a moment.
- Important to remember taking a break is not giving up responsibility, but “giving solutions a chance to find you.”
- Moving from resentment and bitterness into possibilities and opportunities
- Being present in what is can help with figuring out what to do next
- Rather than beating ourselves up over something we can’t change or control
- To remember mistakes are okay, we are all human
- Letting go of emotions that can drain our energy, such as past hurts
- Letting go of the idea we alone must fix the situation we are facing
- Releasing feelings such as irritation, anger, frustration. Remembering that bad luck has happened in our lives, and we have every right to be mad about it
- Releasing in a physical way- walk, jumping up and down, any thing that feels good. Physical activity, even simple, can help let it out.
- There is much research that says exercise can really help our mental health
- Writing, venting to friend or support group, helps bad luck not take a hold so tightly
- “Once you let it out, you can let in” Releasing what’s not wanted or needed allows space for answers, support, resources, new insight into our situation and problems we are facing
- We want to let in the idea that others can help, even if this may be others we don’t yet know
- We alone, as individuals, don’t have to fix everything
- Our faith (if that is part of our lives, support, ideas
- Often times shame (maybe of how we are handling a tough situation), can keep support away from us
- Remembering we deserve support from people who understand our situation and struggle
- Curiosity is a great skill to have in life. It can be a way we stay well, though we often don’t think of curiosity this way
- When we are open and curious in our lives, we remain out of judgement of ourselves, situation, and others
- Suggestion to think and ask ourselves “how will this work out?”
- We could start the morning with question such as “who will help me today?” or “what will make me smile today?”
- When ask a question, our minds search for answers. Asking a question that can lead to an answer that will help.
- Think about questions want answers for. We can start the day with question
PICK UP PENNIES
- May sound goofy! It can be thought of as a practice in accepting abundance
- When we are deep in bad luck, we are fighting scarcity, and feeling there is not enough. Pennies can be a simple way to think about abundance differently
- Working with the idea of not to walk by and dismiss abundance, but take it and receive it
EMBRACE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
- We might feel like “I am the only one with the worst luck in the world” This can feel very true, but doesn’t serve us well to see life this way
- Can be helpful to understand it’s not just any one of us. We have bad luck right now, and we are not the only one. This idea can be isolating and make it harder to see an end to bad luck. Our shared experience with others, and reminders the bad luck is not personal, even though it can feel that way
- Looking to nature for inspiration: There are 4 seasons, winter doesn’t stay for 12 months, we move through changes just like nature does. Bad luck might be the winter of your year, you will move into spring (that could be part of the curiosity questions “When is my spring coming? When will days be longer and heart be lighter?”)
- Giving thanks to other things we may see (nature, etc.) even during times of bad luck. Perhaps feeling grateful for opportunities to learn from nature
- Looking for opportunities in our day to give thanks. Maybe in ordinary parts of the day we normally overlook. (gas in car, food in fridge, etc)
- Could create rituals around gratitude during an activity we love. She gives an example of swimming laps, touching the wall, thinking “thank you,” each time. Could be giving thanks in the morning for a fresh start, new chance
- This can be a calming way to manage the chaos of bad luck
ACCEPT THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP ANOTHER
- This might seem odd when you are barely able to help yourself, overwhelmed caring for another, and overtaken by things not going right. One of best ways we can help ourselves is to help another. How can we help without it feeling like a burden? Could be a simple thing- smiling at someone, opening a door, something small and simple, that doesn’t cost you anything
- This can serves as a way to see oneself in a new light. Sometimes caregiving can feel like we aren’t making a difference, the declines are winning, and helping other in a tangible way where the difference can be seen can be inspiring.
BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC OF THE UNIVERSE
- During times of bad luck it can feel as if there is no good magic in the world, and no possibility of miracles
- Magic could be defined by faith, such as a bigger purpose, or higher power, someone/ thing that we can’t see but touches our lives. In this way, magic is always there, even during bad luck times
- Magic could be that the sun rises the next day, and we can too
- Think about what you’ve achieved. Not the traditional achievements we might think of, but in standing up and supporting another during a difficult time, you bring magic to that, you make that happen.
- You’ve been magic or a miracle for others in the caregiving work that you do