When something’s gotta GIVE

When something’s gotta GIVE.
(and I give you VERY doable ways to find goodness)

Does the title of this message make you think of the movie with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton? Or perhaps it makes you think of the holiday season and having so much to do but not sure how you can.

At this time of year when caregiver appreciation month has passed, Thanksgiving
gatherings are through, and more holidays are upon us, I wanted to share a message with you. My words are not profound nor ones you’ve never heard before. It is my hope that by “giving” you some ideas, you will receive them with an open mind and possibility.

Whether you are someone who has aphasia or know someone who has aphasia, daily communication can have its ups and downs.

Add holiday planning, possible visitors, potential travel, louder “crowds”, music, meal preparation, and communication disruptions can increase. As a result, frustration, withdrawal, anger, or disappointment might show up. And let’s face it, whether you have aphasia or not, these kinds of emotions are part of being human.

Guess what? Without these “negative” emotions, you would be less able to feel happy, cheerful, content, joyful, motivated, excited, and cherished.

Isn’t that strange to think about? We wouldn’t know what “positive” emotions feel like unless we had some negative ones.

Here’s the important part of my message: You gotta GIVE yourself the gift of feeling good. In my opinion, this is something you gotta give YOURSELF every single day.

I give you my 7 simple ideas that are doable no matter what kind of aphasia you are facing. Depending on the type of aphasia in your life, there are many different ways to support communication.

  • Set your alarm to a sound / song that makes you feel happy or Ask the person who wakes you up to do so in a way that would make you laugh.
  • Sing. Sing in the shower or bath. Sing out loud or hum. Play holiday music and tap your feet, clap, or shimmy your shoulders. Sing songs you love and maybesomeone will sing along with you.
  • Feel the sun. Not the sunbathing kind. Be sure to consciously notice and feel the sun every morning or day on your face. There are many benefits to “looking at” the sun and even on cold days it feels good.
  • Smile. Find photos of you and people you know who are laughing or doing something that makes you happy. Stick a bunch of them on a wall that you see everyday. When you see it, you will smile.
  • Laugh. Yes, this might happen when you smile, but literally… force yourself to laugh with other people around you. It will feel SO weird at first. But then, you’ll all just start… laughing. This can improve mood and lower stress.
  • Add color. Look around you. Does the room make you feel happy? Can you buy a fun or colorful pillow to add to the bed or couch? Can you change the color of the paint on the walls to be a cheerful color? What about wearing a clothing item that makes you feel good or silly?
  • Treat yourself. And I don’t mean buying yourself a new watch or fancy car. Treat yourself with food that you love and usually avoid because it’s on the “unhealthy” list. Enjoy the food, notice the flavors with each bite, and let someone know how good it tastes. Have just the right amount and put any guilt aside.

During this festive time of year, it is my hope that you find time to GIVE.
Give yourself daily opportunities to feel good.
When you feel good, people around you will too.


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