Show cover of ReThinking Caregiving

ReThinking Caregiving

Guiding caregivers of spouses with colon cancer, on how to invest in their own well-being first, so they can be in a better position to be the best caregivers. If you have any feedback or questions; Please email us at esther@rethinkingcaregiving.com

Tracks

The Biggest Challenge Faced By Cancer Caregivers.
Not taking care of your own wellbeing.I.e being aware of what you are thinking - not all of it of course. How to become aware of what you are thinking. I.e journalingQuestioning your thoughts, helps you realize what beliefs and expectations you have for yourself and your spouse. Answering your own questions - to avoid overwhelm and confusionEmbracing negative emotion - helps you become brave + teaches you compassion- when we let ourselves experience painful emotions, it deepens our compassion for others who are experiencing painful emotions. ( allowing ourselves to meet bad experiences without resistance and rejection, we get closer to the best versions of ourselves.)How do you embrace negative emotions? There are different ways to do it.Not setting boundaries for themselvesResources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your own wellbeing first, so you help care for your spouse.Support the show
40:22 09/25/2022
Setting Boundaries Without Fighting Anyone
During the caregiving experience, there can be a lot of people coming and going in your life. Many of those people mean well, but we can have certain thoughts about well meaning people, thoughts that may cause overwhelm. In this episode, I talk about the boundaries; how do we set healthy boundaries without manipulating the other person?Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your own well being first, so you help care for your spouse. Support the show
22:08 09/18/2022
Wishing For Freedom?
What ever thought you choose to believe, the brain will find evidence to prove it to you. When you think that you wish you had more freedom, your brain will find all that evidence to prove what you are thinking- leading to a belief. When your brain offers you a question of how can I create freedom in my life,  answer that question.  Don’t let the question swirl around in your brain.  Unanswered questions cause confusion and overwhelm.  Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your own well being, so you can be in a better position to care for your loved one. Support the show
30:41 09/11/2022
The Best Way To Support Your Spouse During Their Cancer Treatments.
Your husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. A lot is changing at a fast pace, your family dynamic is changing. Accepting his diagnosis seems so hard right now.  It is so distressing for me as his spouse to see him so scared. People are wondering how I am coping, but to be honest, I am falling apart on the inside.You love your spouse, and want him to be well. He is not doing well. What would you want to feel in order to support them? What thought would you want to lead to that feeling?In this week's episode, I talk about how you can best your spouse during their cancer treatments. Resources:Download our FREE guide on how to take care of your own well being first, to be able to help your spouse. Support the show
37:53 09/04/2022
This SHOULDN'T be happening!!!
We can’t make life unfold the way we want it. We get frustrated because of the thoughts we have about how life has unfolded. Should or should not are perception words. They indicate that something, a situation is supposed to be different than what it actually is….You try to get your spouse to feel good, and not be down etc…. But you can’t prevent him from feeling negative emotion. It is a part of their life’s journey. HOlding space of for the people in our lives when they are experiencing negative emotion; is one of the most difficult things we can learn to do as humans. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your own well being first, so you are in a better position to do the same for your loved one. Follow us on Instagram & FacebookSupport the show
26:00 08/28/2022
Do You Ever Get So Overwhelmed That You Want To Hide?
Overwhelm is a cue that you are holding on to unquestioned thought(s). Overwhelm is caused by our negative thoughts about a given circumstance(s). This leads you to question what you are doing as a caregiver, which inturn leads you to stop what you are doing. In today's episode, I talk about how our thoughts cause overwhelm, and what we can do to relieve it. Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your own well being first, so you can help care for your spouse. Support the show
18:52 08/21/2022
How NOT To Let One Low Moment Erase All The Good Work You Are Doing!
As a caregiver, sometimes you find Caregiving challenging, and you don’t want to do it, other times you may not want to do it. But you also think that well… someone has got to do it, it is my responsibility to do, this is what loyal spouses do.  Nobody else is going to do it anyway.  Then you feel guilty or resentful. Take a moment to part yourself on your back, you are just a human being with a human brain. You are doing a tremendous job;however, allow for your humanness maybe you are operating on less sleep, don’t we all become agitated when we don’t get adequate sleep? How are you physically and mentally? Are you nourishing your body properly?The thing is that when you judge yourself harshly, chances are that you judge harshly the other people in your life. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your emotional wellbeing first, to be in a better position to care for your spouse. Support the show
29:22 08/14/2022
Are You Drowning In Fear?
Part of our brain’s job is to protect us from harm. It is always watching out for danger.  When something is deemed dangerous - Cancer is associated with pain, nausea, cancer treatments can take a toll on the body etc … and sometimes death.   A fight or flight response is triggered.  You feel fear, become angry, in an attempt to drive the thing away.Fear is a strong emotion that is most often triggered in the present moment in a response to a known, definite and immediate threat.  When you experience intense fear and anxiety, and you feel frozen, know that it is your primitive brain trying to protect you.In today's episode, I talk about a few techniques you can use to stand back and let fear pass through you, instead of reacting instinctively. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your emotional wellbeing first, so you are in a better position to care for your loved one. Support the show
21:47 08/07/2022
Who Better To Help Your Loved One Than You?
When our lives are turned upside down, we want to identify as victims or the person responsible for whatever happened. We move towards guilt and shame. And we can still identify ourselves in those roles, we just have to do it with awareness.But this is the hand of cards we just got dealt,Does blaming yourself make the diagnosis go away?We have ideas of how should be…Support the show
17:47 07/31/2022
Feeling Conflicted ?
Your loved one abandoned medical treatments for alternative healing options. You are frantic, you think that he is being reckless, you pressure them to recommit to medical treatments. How would you be showing up if you let go of the idea that your spouse should commit to the treatments that you think are right for him?In this episode, I talk about how to navigate a situation like the above.ResourceDownload our FREE resource on how to take care of yourself, so you are in a better position to care for your spouse.Support the show
15:10 07/24/2022
Feeling Overwhelmed? This Is How You Can Clear Your Mind
Many caregivers experience overwhelm as a result of the responsibility of caregiving.  In this week's episode, I talk about a simple way to manage overwhelm, by learning to discern between fact, opinion and stories that we add to circumstances. Tune in and listen. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to get care for your well-being so you can help care for your spouse. Support the show
28:22 07/17/2022
For You Who Is About To Start Cancer Treatments.
 When you are lying in bed, your body is healing, destroying cancer cells. Even though it doesn’t look like you are working. What is more important than fighting cancer in your body? Your body is the no.1 priority. Accepting - This going to be emotionally terrible.  It is not true that we should be happy all the time. Half of the time it will be terrible. I am going to get through this, even though, in spite of, even if….. We want to be happy, but when things don’t go like that, we feel disappointed. What if you didn't require this of yourself? Be able to embrace not feeling good. It is okay. Of course, you are feeling this way… this is the way. Use your energy to heal your body.Being mad that reality is the way it is………….doesn’t help Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your wellbeing, so you will be in a better position to care for your spouse.Support the show
24:32 07/03/2022
How Your Emotions Fuel Your Actions!
 The doctor said that given the stage of the cancer, chances are slim that the treatment will help her.  When you feel devastated because you have a thought that you don’t want your loved one to be miserable for the time they have left, what are you not doing?You are not being present with your loved one, - which is actually what you want. Looking for information, overthinking, wondering how to make it easier for him, trying to come up with ways to make him happy, all these things take you further away from your loved one. You are not supporting yourself through grace and kindness. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your own well-being in order to be able to help care for your spouse. Support the show
22:18 06/26/2022
How To Give Some Grace To Your Loved One's Emotions.
 Your spouse’s lashing out has nothing to do with you personally. Let us take a peek in to their brain. The doctor said that the treatments aren’t working. Your spouse is scared and fearful of dying, living you and the children. Maybe you had goals as a family, he is now realizing that he will miss out on achieving those goals. That is why they are angry. The thoughts that you have about his anger are causing you pain. Not his behavior. You are making this behavior mean something about you. You think that he should behave a certain way, and not say certain things, it is your expectations that are causing you frustration.  Think about it, what do you do when you think he shouldn’t be lashing out? You probably don’t want to be around them, which takes you away from what you actually want - making an intimate connection with your spouse, especially now that things seem to be deeming. Could you feel compassion for him and say, of course he is scared and fearful? Anytime we come from a fearful space, we come across as angry. When some people are facing their mortality, they get angry.  Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your well-being, so you can be in a better position to care for your loved one. Support the show
21:16 06/19/2022
Do You Have Challenging Dealing With Worry?
Worry itself is harmless; but when we resist and fight worry, we get stuck. Think about this for a moment;  how do you show up when you are worried?  Does the way you show up serve you in your role as a caregiver and interaction with your spouse? Where does worry come from? It comes from our thoughts, that we believe and attach ourselves to. How can you politely acknowledge worry without attaching to the story (thoughts)?When you feel worried, can you look at it with curiosity?  Can you  let yourself feel worried?  What if worry can be there, and you can keep doing what you have planned. When your brain is focusing on worrying, how would you like to direct your thinking instead of worrying? Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for yourself, so you are in a better position to care for your loved one.  Support the show
33:54 06/12/2022
Do You Also Skip Over This?
Many of us are experts in self-criticism, beating ourselves down.  Guilt is our default emotion when we experience humanity, aka …making mistakes.Self compassion is about extending feelings of kindness & understanding to ourselves when we face failure, hardships and uncertainty. Has an element of wanting the best for yourself.We can be compassionate with ourselves even when we recognize that we have some not good serving thoughts."I.e I am aware that I am thinking that I should have figured this out already, and that is okay “I have figured out other situations before, and I know that I will get through it!”We feel the effect of the emotion of compassion, we allow humanness. Going through tragedies is a human thing. We embrace that.  Being kind to yourself as you face the unpredictable and uncontrollable path of a loved one going through cancer treatments. Ask yourself, what do I need? How can I support myself in this challenging situation?With self compassion, you observe what is going on, then restart, so you have a base on which you can take helpful action. I.e I feel fearful and that is okay. I am afraid because of how I think my spouse’s cancer diagnosis will affect him and impact the children.Fear is an emotion, I can embrace fear and still take action. Trying to control the trajectory of the disease is mentally exhausting because it is outside your control circle.  Because you are human, sometimes you feel annoyed by things that are outside your control.  Ask yourself whether getting annoyed will give you the outcome you want, it will quickly bring you back to compassion. The more you practice non judgement of yourself, for how you think or feel, the more you will become nonjudgmental towards other people. I like to think of other people as a different perspective of myself. Because you recognize they are all human, trying to do their best.Non - judgement starts within us. You understand that others have gone through what you are going through and are facing similar challenges.Put an end to your debilitating, destructive habit of self negative talk, and create a warm, loving, caring space for yourself. Nothing good comes from self judgement and unkindness.Download our FREE GUIDE on how to improve your well-being first, so you can help your spouse.  Support the show
23:21 06/05/2022
Feeling Rage? This Is What Maybe Causing It!
  Rage is a secondary emotion, arising from say feeling hurt, betrayed, used etc… There is a thought or thoughts or belief that you have that are causing you to feel hurt, or betrayed. In this episode, I talk about the possible causes of rage and how to process and embrace it, so you don't become paralyzed by it.  Rage just doesn’t happen, it comes from thoughts, sometimes the thought or thoughts maybe a little hard to spot, flying under the radar but believe me they are.  What is the story that you are telling yourself that is causing this emotion sadness, grief etc?That this shouldn't be happening to you? Life isn’t fair?That this is your time to live life? Now you feel betrayed?I want our old lives back, I should be living like i did before my spouse’s diagnosis.  Thoughts like these cause anger, sad & resentmentWhat is the truth of why you are angry?  Is it because my spouse is sick, and I am terrified of losing him?  Is it because I am terrified of the reduction of our family finances changing since my spouse isn’t working full anytime now? And the bills keep coming? Be honest with yourself.Are you scared of raising teenagers alone? Are you worried about the impact your spouse’s illness might have on your children? Give yourself space to acknowledge that disappointment. I am feeling angry because I am thinking that life should make sense.When you allow yourself to feel, it doesn’t stay very long. But when you resist feeling or postpone, it hinders us from going on. Be willing to open up instead of resisting and closing. If we resist the pain, we make it so much worse. Accepting pain, feeling sad, helps us process whatever is going on better.Name the emotion, hand on heart, stomach, Breath through it. Nothing has gone here, even though I am feeling this way.  I am  angry and scared that my spouse is going through cancer treatments, I am terrified he may not make it. This is a part of being human. I am letting it go through my body.  The emotion will rise and rise again, keep breathing and describing what is going on in your body. This could go on for months, I can handle this today, I don’t know about tomorrow……. I will take it from there. Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your well-being, so you help care for your loved one as they go through cancer treatments. Support the show
40:44 05/29/2022
How Can You Embrace NOT Feeling Good?
 We try to escape being human i.e. going through negative emotions that is how people get addicted using drugs, food, alcohol. We can just learn how to feel our negative emotions, and become emotionally strong.  Not only that, but we sometimes feel terrible, unhappy etc.In today's episode, I talk about how the emotions of grief, loss, sadness will appear again and again, because emotions are a part of our being, we acknowledge them again and again, with compassion, supporting ourselves through it all, - you take your hand and place it where it hurts, or where you feel a knot or over your heart if it's racing. Nothing has gone wrong,  I am upset my loved is going through cancer treatments, or he is dying, or I am scared for our future...  Be present with whatever comes up, you will feel the grip loosen.  It can be useful to think that whatever you are going through, someone else out there has gone through it, and many people are going through it!We are conditioned to think that we should be happy all the time. But we don’t want to feel happy when something sad has happened.  How can we be sad and…It is not true that we should be happy all the time. Half of the time it will be terrible. I am going to get through this, even though, in spite of, even if….. We want to be happy, but when things don’t go like that, we feel disappointed. Be able to embrace not feeling good. It is okay. Of course, you are feeling this way… this is the way. Use your energy to be support yourself now that you have taken over your loved one’s responsibilities at home. Things are changing at home, and I am figuring out how to accept that!Download our FREE GUIDE on how to get started as a caregiver. Support the show
42:26 05/22/2022
How Can You Take Your Emotional Power Back?
  Can you get curious to see what may be going on for your loved one? Are they scared? They are human as well, trying their best way they know how to navigate this beautiful path called life. You may not agree with the way they do things, but are you willing to be wrong about that? Can you bring yourself to look things from their point of view? Doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but can you hold space and grace for them? Can you find some compassion in your heart for him/her? Download our FREE GUIDE on how to improve your wellbeing as a caregiver, so you can be in a better position to care for your spouse. Support the show
41:57 05/15/2022
Beliefs - How Do They Cause Us Pain?
Someone reached out to me and asked me what I mean when I say that we can use our emotions and thoughts (beliefs) as information to learn more about our selves. Life is unfair is one of the most used beliefs among people going through cancer treatments. I choose to think that life is neutral, it follows no one's schedule etc..  But as human beings, we have expectations, plans etc.. When life happens - as it has always done, and our expectations aren't fulfilled, then we get annoyed about life being unfair. But it is our beliefs about the beautiful thing called life that cause us pain. In this week's episode, I explore a few beliefs that cause us pain. Beliefs are thoughts that we have been thinking over and over, they become automatic for us. Download our FREE GUIDE on how to get started as a caregiver. Support the show
40:49 05/08/2022
I could have done more....
 First, you are just human, we are just going to observe frustration and anger, and see what comes up for you.What comes up for you can be an insight  into what beliefs you have, and what are you making things mean? I could have done more to slow down the process, but how would you have done that? Is there an upside to that thought? We have no influence over the trajectory of the disease. We only think that we do, but we have no control over what may or may not happen.We are all walking this beautiful path called life, sometimes we stumble, other times we fall, certain times we get knocked over, it may take a moment before we get up, we dust off and continue walking. Things are always in transition, day to night, spring, summer, autumn and winter, childbirth, death, from infantry to toddler, to preteen, teenage, adulthood, etc…nothing is constant.  The only thing that is constant is change.  Download our FREE GUIDE to help you to get started on your caregiving experience.  Support the show
25:17 05/04/2022
Dealing With Anger As A Caregiver - Esther M
The caregiving experience is one that can a roller coaster of emotions, from anger, sadness, fear, joy, laughter, calmness, to frustrated etc..Despite what we are conditioned to believe,  emotions are a huge part of our being;  we can't get rid of them. But we can use them as information to understand what is going on within us, what belief systems do we have etc..In this episode, we take a look at how we can use anger to find out more about what is going on for us, how we can find peace within us, when we embrace our anger. I know it sounds...out there, but it works.Remember to get yourself a copy of our FREE GUIDE to help you as you go along your caregiving experience. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
22:55 04/27/2022
My Experience As A Caregiver The Second Time Around - Esther Mbabazi
I had the opportunity of helping my mom back on her feet after going through major surgery. My experience this time was far better than the first time, because I have the skill set of watching in fascination and compassion as my brain was freaking out and offering me all sorts of scenarios. I hope you learn something from my experience. Download our FREE guide on how to get started as a spousal caregiver. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
25:57 04/24/2022
Things You Can Do To Improve Your Own Well- Being.
When we don't improve our own well-being, we end up getting in other people's business, creating emotional pain for ourselves. This results into distance between the people that we care for. In today's episode, I talk about simple ways to care for our own well being, so we can create the connections we want with our people. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for your self, so you can be a caregiver to your spouse. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
19:18 02/26/2022
How Do You Support Yourself As You Help Care For Your Loved One?
 Be compassionate with yourself, even when you have a moment. Embrace and drop in your body, where do you feel tense? Does it feel like a knot in your stomach, or is your head spinning?   Emotions are the language of the body, while thoughts are the vocabulary of the brain. Embrace whatever emotion that you feel is moving around your body. Support yourself, nothing has gone wrong, I am scared, I am angry, because my loved one is going through cancer treatments. I am a human being, I am going through a human experience. When you treat yourself with kindness and compassion, it is easier for you to treat other people in your life the same way.  You will realize that other people are having their own human experience the same way you are. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for yourself, so you can be a caregiver to your spouse.  Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
22:54 02/23/2022
Bringing Dignity To The End Of Life - Kathleen Putnam
 Families and patients need various types of support, and education, as they ponder what happens at different stages of end of life.What options they have; what about physical and emotional needs, have someone actively listening to them etc…In today’s episode, Grief Coach, Death Doula and Dietitian Kathleen Putnam talks to us about how to bring dignity in a way that aligns with the dying person’s values and wishes. Everything from how to help with making difficult decisions when someone is grieving. Resources:Kathleen Putnam's Website |  Death Cafe Monthly |  Challenging Conversations - join us! | Website Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
43:54 02/20/2022
Can We Be Present With Our Loved Ones During Challenging Times Without Trying To Control The Situation?
The cancer diagnosis isn’t going away? How can we be present with our loved ones despite the presence of the diagnosis? How can we bring awareness? Many times, fear can grip in, and prevent us from making meaningful connections during difficult times.  Being there for them, let them voice out their fears without interfering, lecturing and trying to rectify things. Letting things unfold without trying to change the reality. To be honest, we can’t change the reality, we only think we can.. We let reality be exactly that… Creating room, acknowledging and extending compassion to our selves, by allowing whatever it is we feel to be there, but choose other actions. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to take care of your well-being, so you can take care for your spouse.  Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
31:56 02/16/2022
Do Your Own Needs Even Matter?
 My guess is, you don’t want to feel the way you do, but you don’t know how and what to do. You are only human, and caregiving is a humongous task to take on, for anyone…When events happen in our lives, our brains offer us different thoughts about those circumstances. It is up to us to choose which thoughts we believe  and which ones we don’t believe. Those thoughts that we choose either cause us emotional pain or freedom and empowerment. Take a moment, how do you feel when you believe a thought like your needs don’t matter? My guess is when you don’t show up as the best caregiver or spouse you want to be.  It can be a good skill to question your brain about certain thoughts. Yes brain, I think that at this point, my emotional needs don’t matter, but from what we know, each of us is responsible for our own emotions. So if my needs don’t matter, it is because I am not taking care of my own needs. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how take care of  your own well-being, so you can take care of your spouse.  Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
29:08 02/13/2022
When You Have NO Desire To Be A Caregiver For An Abusive Person!
 Self compassion, you are just a human being. You make mistakes, just as other people make mistakes, forgiving yourself first, will humanize the other people in your life for you.  Not having the desire to care for someone you find abusive is you being human. In all honesty, caring about someone is not for the weak.We can’t change other people, and comparison is the thief of joy.  We get emotional pain when we compare people in our families to other  people.  We are all different, and unique in our own way.  We can choose to embrace other people in our lives for whom they are, instead of trying to turn them into what we want them to be.  We miss out on the person in front of us.Our brains are very powerful organs. Whatever we decide to believe, our brains will produce evidence for that. If we only see the negative in people, the brain will produce plenty of evidence for that. This doesn’t mean to become door mats for other people, we can set firm boundaries to protect ourselves and the other party. You can look at the situation, then make a conscious decision. Making conscious  decisions is about responding to situations or people instead of reacting. This is a better for your own wellbeing. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on  how to care for your own well-being, so you can care for your spouse. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
36:48 02/10/2022
When The One You Are Caring For, Pulls Away.....
 Your loved one is withdrawn, they won’t respond to your communication. This is coming out of the blue, since you two had a solid relationship prior to the diagnosis. You feel devastated and hopeless because you are probably thinking that he shouldn’t be doing this. He should be opening up to you, because you want to be there for him/her during this challenging time. You can see that when you believe the that he should not be excluding me, there is an uneasy feeling, devastation discomfort, fear or panic. All these emotions take you further away from connecting with your loved one. We all have different ways of navigating challenging situations, maybe this is his way of doing that. Who says it is wrong? Perhaps he is figuring it out, he is coming to terms with the news of the diagnosis. Of course, he is withdrawn, his life was turned upside down in a blink of an eye. You could be hopeful that he will open the lines of communication when he is ready. Be compassionate with yourself, you are a human being, your life was turned upside down as well. Be compassionate for yourself, you are going through a tough time right now. You are just human, you want the best for your loved one. Even though the lines may get blurred sometimes. Especially for us who are control enthusiasts. Meet him where he is at, instead of trying to bring him where you are. Not the way you want him to figure it out. Let him handle things his way, not the way you want him to do it. It is okay to be uncomfortable when the people we care about aren’t doing well or when they aren’t doing things the way we want them to.We can learn to make ourselves feel good, instead of relying on circumstances outside our control to make us feel good. I.e. Coercing your loved one to open up, is meant to make you feel better about your self, by trying to manipulate the situation. We can learn to be uncomfortable, when the people we care about aren’t doing things the way we would otherwise want them to.  What is the worst that can happen? It is just a feeling. Anger, anxious, sadness, frustration etc… it is a sad time. Feeling devastated is normal. It is okay, nothing has gone wrong. It is okay to be devastated.  When we judge a situation, we add layers of stress to the situation. Resources:Download our FREE GUIDE on how to care for yourself first, so you can help care for your spouse. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ReThinking )
32:34 02/06/2022