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Connecting to others in times of stress


Question: I am going through a very hard and stressful time dealing with my husband’s illness. He had bleeding in the brain and is in a nursing home for two months.

Dr. Amy: It can be incredibly stressful when something happens to a loved one and suddenly they're sick. All kinds of fears and emotions may rise up. If you have concerns about your husband’s medical care, I encourage you to have an open conversation with his doctors. Give yourself permission to ask your questions and expect thorough and complete answers. Often, not knowing what to expect is a significant source of stress.

In addition to making sure your husband is getting proper care, it’s important to take good care of yourself. Getting enough sleep, eating lots of fruit and veggies, and getting regular exercise will all help you feel your best and make it easier to handle stress. Now is also a great time to treat yourself to some extra attention. A little pampering can go a long way. Listening to music, taking a long bubble bath, and seeing a movie are all easy enough to organize. Spending time with friends will ease your stress, too. Feeling connected to others and feeling that they understand what you're going through is important to mental health at all times, but especially in times of crisis.

I encourage you to talk to your doctor if your stress becomes too much. He or she may recommend a medication or other strategies to help you through this difficult time. I send you strength and peace.



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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. July 27, 2014 at 8:56 am | Posted by Nancy Kunsak

    I am going through my own health issues right now, not really able to be there for anybody but me. I think I have learned volumes about who is in my corner and who just can't be. I keep moving forward and prayerfully offer thanks for each day and receive God's blessings with a grateful, happy heart. I pace myself and review the caretaking I did while I could do it--am grateful for all the intimate times with mom, dad, aunt ann and margaret.


  2. July 4, 2014 at 11:10 am | Posted by Carolyn

    Sorry to hear of your situation . If I could give you any advice it would be Mindful meditation . Mindful meditation can be found on youtube . The ideas Dr. Amy gave are excellent . My outlet other than meditation is singing . I take care of my mom . She has p.s.p/m.s.a . Mom has been in a wheelchair going on two years . She is totally dependent on me for everything . I understand . Hang in there you can do it ! Take care. I love you because you love !


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