machshefa: (tree pose)
[personal profile] machshefa
Hi everybody.

First, I want to extend hugs and thanks to everybody who has reached out, sent healing energy and loving wishes to Mis_T and to the fangurls who were in Chicago to hold her during this frightening time. The power of this community is awesome. 

T has embarked on a journey now, and those who plan to accompany her (from near and far) must support one another and manage the sadness and anxiety that is bound to come up. I will try to continue to check in and post links for stress management and coping. If anybody is having a particularly difficult time, please do let me know and I'll try to help hook you up with support. In the meantime, 
[info]ariadne1  posted a fabulous set of suggestions for how to care for the caregiver here.

ETA: You might find that this crisis has brought up memories and feelings from crises in your own life and/or family. This is to be expected, though it can, in and of itself, be stressful. Even though this crisis has to do with T, give yourself permission to think about or talk about the crisis you or a family member experienced. This situation gives you an opportunity to work through another layer of the previous loss or trauma. It in no way detracts from your concern for T and her family.
 
Today, I'm linking to a list of 
articles on general stress management from a holistic healthcare site. 

More specifically, I want to share a link to a breathing technique that is extremely helpful in managing anxiety and stress and improving focus. It's a Pranayama Breathing technique (related to yoga).

(No laughing, AV).

Alternate Nostril Breathing


Why does this help? I already know how to breathe.

Yes, you do... sort of. But not really.

Any sort of breathing exercise is helpful b/c it increases the oxygenation of the blood, which tells the brain that you are safe. When people are anxious or stressed, they tend to breathe shallowly or even hold their breath. (Pay attention; you'll be surprised.) This reduces the oxygenation in the blood just a tad and tells the brain, "DANGER", which leads the brain to pump the heart faster, which leads to light headedness, tingling, nausea... and in the most extreme case, a full-out panic attack.

So, paying attention to your breathing will make a difference in how your body feels, which will also make a difference to your thought patterns. 'Thought patterns,' you say? 'What does this have to do with my thought patterns?'

When your body is wired, jittery, anxious, the mind says, "what's wrong?" (beyond the obvious in this situation), and searches for something to hang the anxiety on. And then you're distracted, preoccupied, maybe even ruminating (thinking anxious thoughts over and over again).

It's a vicious cycle between mind and body (which are, of course, connected).

So.

Breathe, everybody.

*hugs


Feel free to repost this if you think it would be helpful to others not on my flist.
From: [identity profile] ariadne1.livejournal.com
I can't unlock my caregiver advice LJ post for public consumption; too many of my students know my LJ name, and what it contains is really none of their business. If anyone on my f-list wants to copy-paste that post for a public post, and it's okay with Scoffy (who's mentioned briefly), I'm okay with that.

The summary of the advice is this:

1. Take care of yourself first or you'll be no good to anyone.

2. Watch out for signs of internet reading addiction; we're all avid readers and most of our information is going to come at us through the web - remember to step back and breathe occasionally and remind your friends to do the same.

3. Don't feel guilty about needing normalcy; please post the ordinary things in your LJ - con posts, cute animal pics, whatever you'd usually post. This will help you, it will help the community, and, when T's interested in internet things again, it will help T. Normalcy is precious.

4. Lock your cell phones. -> this provides crucial information if something bad happens to you; unlocked phone use could be a stolen phone; locked phone use is probably you

5. Make sure someone with you knows the code. -> people can get to your family if something bad happens to you

6. Protein load. Events like this wreak havoc with your cortisol levels, and protein restores that balance.

*hugs to all*

~ Ari
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
ACK. Sorry about that.

Thank you for summarizing.

<3

Date: 2011-07-20 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sc010f.livejournal.com
THIS - may I repost?

Date: 2011-07-20 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] machshefa.livejournal.com
Absolutely!

I'll edit to let people know it's fine to cut/paste and repost (just attribute to me).

<3

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