There is a lot of talk in the news these days about mental health or mental illnesses. Naomi Osaka, tennis player, was in the news recently withdrawing from the French Open, citing concerns for her mental health.
Healthcare professionals and myself believe the brain is an organ in our body and when it becomes ill, it needs to be addressed. We need to fight the stigma of mental illness. Over 24 years, I watched my three sisters-in-law struggle with Huntington’s disease , and I carried anticipatory grief in my heart which lead to complicated grief after their death. I saw a psychologist in my community, for 10 years who helped me deal with the fear and sadness I carried in my heart.
The Pandemic continues to confine us to our home waiting for our turn to receive the vaccination, so I want to share with you my exercise routine that John and I do about 4-5 times a week.
I hope you will consider incorporating in your day, stretching and getting your heart rate up by marching in place, as an example. It truly helps you stay positive, feel good about yourself, and uplifts you mentally.
I’m not an exercise expert, I’m giving some suggestions to help you through your day at home.
Have a glass of wine and experience a relaxing, gentle PI-YO (pilates/yoga) class. You deserve it. Kat Fillare, pilates instructor, and Amanda Strewsbury, yoga instructor, will lead you through a calming hour and a half.
While you enjoy you will be helping in the fight against Huntington’s disease (HD); a rare, fatal, genetic brain disorder that has the symptoms of ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at the same time. A child with a parent with HD have a 50/50 chance of inheriting the mutated huntingtin’s gene that causes the disease.
During this unprecedented time, we need to be gentle with ourselves. We have never experienced a pandemic and it has caused us to suffer many losses that we don’t even recognize.
Please take time to ponder about your losses. Having to shelter in place, we have a loss of community because we’re working from home and not going to work and interacting with co-workers. We’re not going to the gym, going out to dinner with family and friends. When we acknowledge these losses we must be gentle with ourselves. Stress and coping with the coronavirus from the CDC
Author Therese Crutcher-Marin, HD Advocate
Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical, social, or occupational. Emotional reactions of grief can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, and despair. Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, physical health, sense of and identity and relationships.
We Can Never Lose Hope…
My author website where my blog is generated from https://theresecrutchermarin.com To receive my weekly blog, go to the website and signup. I’ll send you the first chapter of my nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance, a poignant remembrance of a love forged in crisis.
Definition of Denial. “The action of declaring something to be untrue.”
I must admit, at times, I lived in denial. Denial isn’t a bad place, only if you stay there forever, but for me, that place gave me solace for a short time. Article on Denial: mayoclinic.org/healthy/denial
When situations became unbearable, that is where I sought to be. When Lora died because of Huntington’s disease (HD), when Marcia had a stroke because of Huntington’s disease, when Cindy was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, I went to my special place, denial, to regroup, gather strength and recharge. What is HD? https://hdsa.org/#
To be present and help my three sisters-in-law have the highest quality to their life, for as long as possible, escaping to my denial place helped me cope and face another day.
The nonfiction book I published was written in Lora, Marcia, and Cindy’s honor. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) to help in the fight against the cruelest disease on the planet. Author website: https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com
This blog is continued from December 4th blog on CAREGIVING
6. Don’t ignore your emotions
Pay attention to your own feelings and emotions, and seek counseling if needed. Vent feelings to trusted family members or friends.
7. Take time for yourself
Use relaxation or stress management methods such as meditation, visualization and yoga. Books and videos are available to guide you in these techniques.
8. Read, pray or meditate for at least 15 minutes a day
My 102 yr. old Grandmother Chris Crutcher. My Aunt Trina & 2 cousins looked after her.
Consume daily prayer books and helpful magazines like Today’s Caregiver and Caring Today, or books such as Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul to uplift your spirits. If you’re religious, seek the counsel of a spiritual leader you trust and respect.
9. Chuckle more often
Laugh, reminisce and share stories of happy times.
10. Ask for help
Friends, family and religious groups may be eager to assist and are only waiting to be asked and directed. Doing everything yourself deprives others of an opportunity to serve.