Hope for living, loving, and caring with no regrets!

Additional Help with End-of-Life Preparations

Episode 132

Rayna Neises, ACC, host, shares two important tools to help caregivers manage the stress that can be experienced while caring for a loved one.  She shares examples and insight on reframing and “Both/And” Thinking:

  • [2:21] When we frame our experience with good in mind, it is easier to see the good.
  • [4:26] Reframing helps you to see all of the picture, not just one little part.
  • [5:15] Take a deep breath and notice if ‘your camera is zoomed in’ or your perspective is distorted.
  • [5:39] Reframing will help you strengthen your mental resolve.
  • [6:36] “Both/And” Thinking vs. “Either/Or” Thinking
  • [7:50] Unlike compromise which requires giving up something to agree, “Both/And” Thinking let’s both exist together.
  • [9:37] Read more at: “Both/And” Thinking, Say What? – Undaunted
  • [10:34] “Both/And” Thinking creates breathing room and helps you to appreciate what you have lost and to appreciate what you have now.
  • This episode has been brought to you by No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season. Purchase your signed copy and special bundle by visiting NoRegrets-book.com. Once you have read it, please consider leaving a review at any major retailer or Goodreads.

This Episode was Sponsored by:


*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation


[00:00:00] Rayna Neises: So if you have a cup of coffee and have about a third of it left. Do you have a little? Or a lot? It could be both. But it definitely depends on what you do with it. If you drink it, there’s only a little left. If you spill it on yourself. There’s a lot. Perspective has a lot to do with our stress level. 

[00:00:23] Hi, this is Rayna Neises, your host of A Seasonal Caring Podcast, where there’s hope for living loving and caring with no regrets. Thank you for joining me today. I’m looking forward to talking to you about a couple of tools for your caregiver toolbox that will help you manage your stress. We’re going to be talking about reframing and both in thinking

[00:00:45] Let’s start with reframing. When I think about reframing, I always think about the pictures that I found in the attic whenever we were cleaning out our house. They were paintings that my mom had made in high school, and I had [00:01:00] never seen them before. They were so pretty. I was really attached to the colors and just the fact that honestly, my mom had signed them. You know, she’s been gone a really long time. So seeing her signature and knowing that she did it when she was a young girl, it just really spoke to my heart. So I took him to the craft store and I was looking at mats and frames and trying to decide what colors I liked best

[00:01:27] There’s this beautiful fuchsia color in both of the paintings. And I found this beautiful purple matte, purple’s my favorite color. And it really pulled out that pinkish purple in the paintings. And it was so pretty. The only problem is my family room doesn’t have pink or purple. And so I thought, oh, not a good plan. I tried black when I put the black mat on it with a cherry wood frame. It drew out these beautiful olive colors, browns, and brick [00:02:00] red colors. All colors that looked beautiful in my family room. It was the same paintings nothing had changed about the paintings, but what was around them help to draw your eye to certain parts within the paintings. And really helped you see different things that made the paintings beautiful. 

[00:02:21] Reframing can help you do the same thing. Reframing life events, or even stressors. They work the same way. If we’re always focusing on the difficulties, that’s what we see more of. If we frame our experience with good in mind. It is definitely easier to see the good.

[00:02:40] When I started my caregiving season, I was working part-time as a reading specialist at a local Catholic school. I really enjoyed helping the kids and the flexibility of the job. I worked about four hours a day, four days a week. And that worked perfectly on Thursdays for me to be able to finish up at [00:03:00] school, get home pack, make dinner. Hop in the car and make that 220 mile drive to my dad’s house. I spend the time with him until about Sunday afternoon, and then head back home to the farm again, and to start the week over. It was doable. 

[00:03:15] It was tiring, but it was doable. But I found myself as. I did this for about six months, realizing I think I’m ready to go ahead and let my teaching job go. If I had only focused on giving up my job. Then I would have. Probably eventually resented it. I would’ve found myself feeling like I had lost something or that taking care of my dad had taken something away from me. 

[00:03:44] But instead, I was really able to put a different frame on it and realize that I had more energy, more resources to spend and invest in my time with my dad. As well as to invest in time with Farmer, when I was [00:04:00] home. And I had a brand new grandson that I had a chance to hang out with during the day. I wouldn’t have been able to do that. If I was working still. 

[00:04:08] I also was able to step up my classes and finish my coach training and really start a profession that I totally love and feel so blessed to be a part of today. So, not only did I make a career change, but I also made a change that’s helps me to support others who are in their season of caring. 

[00:04:26] So by reframing this one. Sacrifice I say with quote marks around it. It helps me to really see all of the picture, not just one little part or one thing that’s really standing out, which was letting go of my teaching job.

[00:04:45] Another aspect of reframing is really where you focus in the picture. Imagine taking a picture, using a camera, focusing in on the foreground or something right up close to you. Or zooming that camera [00:05:00] out and allowing yourself to focus on the full backgrounds. It’s very different images, even though you’re standing in the exact same place. If you were zooming in on that one flower, you’re going to miss the whole field of all the beautiful colors. 

[00:05:15] In order to reframe something you first have to be able to take that deep breath. Notice that your camera is zoomed in possibly on one specific thing. And your perspective is distorted. So you need to work on being able to correct that and recognize that so that you can take that big, deep breath. Have a chance to really zoom out and see the big picture. 

[00:05:39] The more you practice that skill. The more naturally you will find yourself doing that. I feel that cognitive reframing will really help you strengthen your mental resolve. And start reaping the rewards of letting go of unnecessary stress and even finding greater [00:06:00] peace in this caring season. 

[00:06:01] So the second strategy for your tool box is called both and thinking. I love both and thinking, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something that I’ve learned in my coaching practice to help others see. So I’ve started to see it more in my own life. 

[00:06:21] I have the tendency to be very black and white. It’s a hundred percent true or a hundred percent false. There’s not a lot of in-between. I think for most of us our human nature is to be very black and white. 

[00:06:36] So you may be asking yourself, what does it mean to have both and thinking. It’s really just a logical concept that is different than the either or thinking that we’re used to. And really that we’re kind of indoctrinated with from a very early age. 

[00:06:52] Either or thinking leads us down the path of looking at solutions that are either good or bad. They’re either [00:07:00] right or wrong. They’re either all or nothing, but actually being able to look at a problem and consider that possibly more than one thing can be true at the same time is where both and thinking comes in. 

[00:07:15] Actually being able to step outside of it, that allows us to think more about two ideas coexisting at the same time. Allowing multiple solutions or possibility of marrying a couple of solutions together to get the best option. For example, instead of choosing either chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream. You can have swirled or you could have a scoop of both. So being able to learn, to see that they can co-exist together. I mean, I love ice cream don’t you?. So give me a vanilla and chocolate. Let’s go for it. 

[00:07:50] It’s kind of a simplistic way of thinking of it, but it really does make a difference when we stop to think about maybe, for example, emotions. [00:08:00] So many times in our caregiving season, we have conflicting emotions. We have joy in something that’s happening in life. Maybe it’s a child who’s getting married or a grandchild who’s being born at the same time we’re losing something. Our loved one. Isn’t able to do something they’ve been able to do in the past, whether it be go shopping with us or be able to feed themselves. It just depends on the situation, but we often are experiencing these two conflicting emotions. We want to only feel one of them, or we feel guilty for feeling both of them. The truth is we can hold them both at the same time. Unlike compromise, which requires us to give up something to come in agreement, both and thinking let’s both exist together. When we’re trying to make decisions or come up with solutions, we try to figure out if we can combine both concepts and come up with something better then either concept on [00:09:00] its own. 

[00:09:00] Again, I find this to be true of families when they’re thinking of caring for their loved one. They have to be at home or they have to be in a community. There’s no, in-between. That’s one of the things I love about the way we were able to care for my dad. There wasn’t in-between we had a day stay option. Dad was at home. He also went to a community and enjoy the interaction with people and the activities that were offered there. Both and allowed us to have both things for him and really provide the best solution because it wasn’t either, or it was both and. 

[00:09:37] It’s easy to fall into the either or trap. But just the slight change of perspective can make a huge difference in how we interact with each other, how we engage our struggles or even problem solve. You can read more@undaunted.blog. There was a great article there at Both and Thinking, Say, What. 

[00:09:57] Both and says that you can almost [00:10:00] certainly feel more than one thing at a time. You can feel both grateful and resentful for this caregiving season, you’re in. You can feel both excited about the time that you’re able to spend and the success that your loved one is having in recovery, or you can feel overwhelmed by the sacrifices of the demands of what it’s taken to help them get to this point. 

[00:10:21] We can both love our career. And wish that we were at home with our loved ones more. We can feel both things at the same time, the full, complicated reality that life presents. 

[00:10:34] Both and makes room for the full range of experience, both in terms of how many things we can and will feel at once and regardless of how others experience their own lives. Both and creates breathing room. So you can work through an experience without judgment. If you’re consistently employed either or thinking really think about how you can adopt both and thinking instead. [00:11:00] It requires a conscious moment of asking yourself some questions. Can both of these things be true? Can I feel multiple things at one time? Maybe what multiple things am I feeling? Cause you are feeling multiple things at one time. You just often focus in on one of them. Can I just notice what I’m experiencing without judgment? You can just notice. Both and thinking will allow you to live in this ambiguous place. This place of love for the person that you once knew. And for the person who is currently here in front of you. As we’re caregiving, there are losses and the both, and thinking helps us to appreciate what we have and have lost. At the same time as be able to appreciate what we have now. 

[00:11:54] So I think that these two tools reframing. Being able [00:12:00] to gain perspective, stepping back and focusing in on different pieces of what we’re looking at. Looking for the good. And the opportunity to learn, to hold both and thinking. To feel when we are in a place where we’re requiring it to be only one thing. And that doesn’t work with where we really are. 

[00:12:27] These tools can help you as a caregiver to relieve stress, to process emotions and to be kinder to yourself during this caregiving season. I hope that you found this information helpful and that you’ll be able to apply it in your situation. Because I know as a caregiver, there are times that our thinking impacts how we’re handling all the stresses that are involved. And I think these tools will help your thinking set you up to [00:13:00] be as successful as possible. Thank you for joining me today. 

[00:13:03] A Seasonal Caring Podcast has been created for the encouragement of family caregivers. If you have financial, legal or medical questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring. 

[00:13:16] This episode of A Season of Caring Podcast has been brought to you by No Regrets Hope for Your Caregiving Season. My story of walking my parents all the way home. It’s filled with heartwarming stories and practical tips to encourage you in your journey. You can purchase your signed copy and a special bundle created just for you by me at www.Noregrets-book.com. 

[00:13:43] If you’ve already read No Regrets, I would be honored if you would leave an honest review at any major retailer or Goodreads. 

*This transcript is a literal recount of the live recording, please forgive the grammatical errors



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Meet Your Host

Rayna Neises, ACC

An ICF Certified Coach, Author of No Regrets:  Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Podcaster, Positive Approach® to Care (PAC)Independent Certified Trainer & Speaker, offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, that they might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Rayna Neises

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