Being a parent can be tough, but it becomes even more difficult when our children are diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability. It is normal to go through a wide range of emotions including denial, anger, frustration, guilt, resentment, depression, and fear. These are all natural feelings.
Often parents feel alone and helpless, as they have never experienced anything similar in their lives.
During this unbelievably stressful time parents must also learn how to cope with their own feelings and stressors.
Learning to take care of your own needs will determine how you are most able to effectively help your children.
My friend and colleague Lisa McCrohan recommends "Stillness" as one approach to deal with Overwhelm.
In her newest blog post "STILLNESS: A SACRED RESPONSE TO OVERWHELM," Lisa describes these 7 Sacred Practices for healing the overwhelm:
Nourish the Senses, Go Outside, Practice Gentleness, Take the Long View, Learn to Pause, Notice Delight, Start Your Day with a Blessing
1. Nourish your senses
Our senses are on overload. Our minds are decision-fatigued. Little breaks of tending to our senses through an embodiment practice can be so deeply nourishing and supportive for our overwhelmed and frazzled nervous systems. I created a YouTube video for you on how to take a Sensory Break: Sensory Break.:
Walk. Feel yourself breathing fresh air. Be in the quiet of nature.
3. Practice Gentleness
4. Take the “longer view"
In Sri Lanka, A.T. Ariyaratne, a former schoolteacher and Buddhist elder, is considered the Ghandi of Sri Lanka. In 2002, after decades of civil war, he proposed a 500-year peace plan. “It has taken 500 years to create the suffering of our civil war including the painful effects of 400 years of colonialism, 500 years of struggle between Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, and several centuries of economic disparity. Therefore, it will take us 500 years to change these conditions.” Ariyaratne then proposed his long term plan to heal the country.The plan begins with several years of cease-fire and ten years of rebuilding roads and schools. Then it goes on to twenty-five years of programs to learn each others’ languages and cultures and fifty years of specific projects to right economic injustice and bring the islanders back together as a whole. And for five centuries, every hundred years there will be a council of elders to take stock on how the plan is going.efforts, it is even beyond our vision. [...]
The Longer View” is not popular in a “quick fix” society, but it is necessary to remember that we do our part and pass on to our children ways of doing their part so they pass the same thinking on to their children…and so forth. [...]
Delight softens, strengthens and opens us in a gentle, nourishing way. There is a profound power to notice the “everyday delights.” Make it simple. Look around the room where you are right now. Notice what delight is right here at your fingertips. [...]
We need these little Sacred Pauses in our day. Silence and stillness nourish us. We learn to let the “ten thousand joys and sorrows” just be — seeing them as waves and part of this human experience — and extending compassionate spaciousness to what arises. You can find meditations here.
5. Learn to pause – or even learn to meditate!
We need these little Sacred Pauses in our day. Silence and stillness nourish us. We learn to let the “ten thousand joys and sorrows” just be — seeing them as waves and part of this human experience — and extending compassionate spaciousness to what arises.
6. Notice delight
Delight softens, strengthens and opens us in a gentle, nourishing way. There is a profound power to notice the “everyday delights.” Make it simple. Look around the room where you are right now. Notice what delight is right here at your fingertips. You might also bring to mind one of your dear ones. Got a picture in your mind and heart? Notice what is delightful about them.
7. Start your day with a blessing – and teach your children to do the same
In my new self-study course, Regarding Our Girls: Feminine Embodiment Practices to Empower, Uplift and Connect with Our Daughters, I share the Embodiment Blessing that can so easily be weaved into your everyday life and that you can teach to your daughter (and son!).