Over coffee, a friend and I were discussing the overwhelming stresses in our lives. As we chatted I hopped from one topic to the next (as I usually do), however; I wasn’t finishing one thought before jumping to the next. In the middle of a sentence (more like a ramble) I stopped and started laughing. Apologetically I said “Sorry, I have scattered brain syndrome”. My friend replied “I’m also afflicted with that disorder”.
This “syndrome” hasn’t just affected my verbal skills, On a daily basis I have lost (and found) sunglasses, mail and car keys, as well as walk into rooms not knowing the reason for the trip.
In our fast pace world many of us experience symptoms of this syndrome from time to time. Add the chaos associated with caregiving to the tribulations of daily life, you may find yourself thankful that your head is attached because you most likely would leave home without it.
In the midst of the syndrome I have found ways to ease the “side effects” if put into practice.
- Slow down – for someone like me who, for the majority of my life, has always been on high-speed this has been challenging. Nevertheless, I will take time during the day to slow my pace to focus on what I am doing. The extra seconds I utilize won’t make a difference in where I’m headed but hugely effect how I get there. You may even need to bring yourself to a complete stop first before slowing yourself down.
- Think – at first I thought I should put this one first, however; it’s hard to think about what I am doing if I don’t first slow down my pace. Before I go anywhere, or do anything I try to slow down and think about what I need to bring or be prepared for before I move into action.
- Check the list – this can be written or mental. Before I go anywhere I evaluate what I need to bring and occasionally will double-check that I have anything before I leave the house (I also do this at home when going from upstairs to downstairs of visa-versa, although my scattered brain has created an unintentional exercise routine in my day)
- Give yourself a break! – When things become chaotic and we are caught up in the labyrinth of our daily lives it can easily degenerate into negative self-talk. If you find yourself heading down the road of self-criticism, take a deep breath and say “I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can do” (sometimes writing this on sticky notes and posting them around your house and in your car can be a great way to remind you to be nice to you!)
Living in the real world there will come a time when scattered brain syndrome may affect you. Acknowledge the chaos and then take steps to control the symptoms. Doing so can make a big difference in your day-to-day well-being.
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