Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... today is mindful Monday and I wanted to start out with the why... that we need to devote 20% of our time to our attitude. I confess that initially I think I needed to spend almost 70% of my waking time there.... why? Well I alluded to something last week that I want to spend a bit more time on today. I was blessed to learn to fly when I was in high school. Little did I know the lessons that it would have for me later in life but it has. I made a statement last week about having a destination when I flew... in other words... I didn’t just go up in the air to exist! I had a place to go.
Early on in our stroke the doctors laid out a plan of rehabilitation for us... not quite knowing what will happen but they should spend a bit longer explaining the power of the mind and how important it is and having a good attitude are to our recovery. During the first year of our recovery we bounce between happy and sad... I mean (dependent on the severity of our stroke) somewhere between being thankful we are alive and wishing we were dead because we feel we just can’t tolerate who we are and what we’ve become. I get it! I was there. But at the same time doctors are laying out that plan they say things like...
It could have been worse...
Just be content....
All you get in the first 6 weeks to 6 months is all that will return...
At the very time that we need to rebuild our strength and confidence they are shrinking it and setting the bar low... I understand they don’t want to get hopes up... law suits you understand... but really!? I guess that’s why when you talk to those of us who have survived... 5 years... 10 years... 20 years and longer we’ll say hogwash!
There is no end date! So the sooner you hold on to that hope the better. You are going to have tough days... count on it... so plan and have a strategy to combat that.
Do you know the first thing I learned in flying? Emergency landing! I had it drilled into me over and over so if and when I needed it... I’d have it. So too, we need to plan and prepare for down days. We need a strategy prepared in advance and be prepared to enact it.
I have a business partner and when I know I’m having a particularly emotional day... the first thing I say is “storms up”. It lets her know what I’m dealing with and we both have strategic things we do to deflect and deal with difficulties on those days. They don’t happen often any more... but initially they were weekly.
I’ll never forget my first instructor pilot... he explained to me that landing a plane was just a controlled crash... (hopefully without damage or injury). The goal was to bring the plane within inches of the ground and then pull back and make the plane fall those last inches onto the ground. Yup! My first landings were like that... I hit hard! I finally got good and could kiss the runway and glide in smoothly.
Controlling our attitude and emotions is a lot like landing that plane... hard to control at first (uncontrolled bursts of tears, sadness, guilt, and yes... anger) but slowly and steadily we get control. Do we have mental and emotional relapses or “emergencies”.... sure but we plan how to handle them.
Ok I’ll bet you’re asking what do you do? What’s your plan? So here goes... depending on the stressor or emergency I look to this list:
Limit the energy loss and put some things off...
Things I do...
We often have to remind ourselves that it’s ok to have “bad days” now and then... but if we are in a cycle of “bad” we need to invoke our plan to get out of it. I hope and pray you have at least one person you can be honest with... they are necessary. Hint: this may not always be your spouse... for men it’s usually their wife but for women it’s often their best friend (a woman) and not their spouse. It’s critical to recognize our attitude and how important it is in our healing and health.
Well ...that’s all the time we have for today ... I’m glad we had this chance to talk about our attitude and “bad days” and the importance of having a strategy to deal with them...
... thanks for joining me today and I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow about hand exercises, ...please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global, I enjoy seeing them all.
It really is an honor and it’s been a pleasure sharing today and I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well I look forward to learning more with you tomorrow.