A Twofer

Sharon

A Twofer

Sharon
phone-499991_640So, I did not have time last week to post before going on my respite trip (more on that in another post) so I am combining Weeks 4 and 5 of Powerful Tools for Caregivers into this post.

Week 4 was a continuation of communication techniques. I found these communication weeks beneficial throughout my entire life, not just caregiving. Week 4 we practiced DESC and Aikido techniques.

We discussed assertive vs aggressive communication; DESC is four steps of assertive communication.

Describe observable behavior or problem

Express how you feel

Specify what needs to happen

Consequence

This style is a "standing tall" style of being direct, clear, straightforward and is useful in setting limits, asking for help, advocating and making difficult decisions.

Aikido is a "standing with" form of communication and helps with emotionally-charged situations, making others feel understood, reducing anger and balancing emotions so you can deal with an issue. it uses 4 steps, as well.

Align Ask yourself, "What does this person want or need from me to feel better?"

Agree Where can you find common ground?

Redirect Move the conversation forward in a positive direction based on common ground

Resolve Seek to resolve differences through a) middle ground, b) a common concern or c) agreeing to disagree

Week 5 dealt with emotions. Like who among us has not felt anger, guilt, resentment and depression?

Feelings are normal. The are also changeable and are an outgrowth of our perspective. We need to Identify our feelings, accept them and learn from them.

We discussed constructive ways to deal with anger. Calming down, taking a break, crying or laughing, meditating, engaging in physical activity, talking to a friend, or seeking counseling.

Close on anger's heels comes guilt. To deal with guilt you can admit mistakes and apologize, correct the situation, forgive yourself, ask for forgiveness, learn or seek counseling.

After guilt, the old depression monster can move right in.

The signs of depression are pervasive sadness, appetite changes, sleep difficulties, loss of pleasure, fatigue, loss of energy, exhaustion, abnormal restlessness, decreased concentration, low self esteem and preoccupation with thoughts of suicide or hopelessness.

Any of these signs that are present for more than two weeks means professional help is needed. Antidepressants can help you get through the depression along with talk/cognitive therapy. Don't feel like you have "failed" if depression takes over. Emotions are normal, and dealing with them in a healthy way is not "failing."

This quote is something to think about:

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then whenever doubt, anxiety, or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal and soon they'll forget my number. - Edith Armstrong

Like in all of life, a positive attitude can keep the demons of emotion away from your door, but never ignore them if they crawl through the cracks.  Acknowledge them, deal with them, and seek help if they are over running your life.

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Heidi

Thank you, Sharon. This is a wealth of helpful information. I really appreciated the Aikido techniques.

Hussy

So true that one must acknowledge the demons of emotion. Failure to do so and all one's energy is spent trying to tamp them down, keep them at bay, deny their existence.