I'm not here to talk about everyone’s obsession of pumpkin spice lattes and the early (dare I say too early) introduction of Christmas decorations in October. No, today we’re going to talk about how the change of seasons can bring a feeling of hope but only if you let it.
It's in our nature to be resistant of change. Though we might enjoy each season for its individuality, and though we might appreciate a change once it's taken place, there's an anxiety that comes with that build up to the actual change. Knowing change is coming tends to spark a bit of nervous energy within us, making us feel like we need to prepare ourselves or brace for impact.
And even though summer seems like a distant memory at this point, we still have lots of changes to come as winter nears. So while we might be excited about things like sweater weather and Halloween parties, we can't help but hesitate to embrace the new season.
So how can we learn to let go of the fear and anxiety around change in order to embrace the new season and become hopeful for all it can provide?
Have you stopped and taken the time to truly soak in the beauty of nature during this time of year? The changing leaves with brilliant pops of yellow, orange and red. Seeing the glistening snow on top of the mountains. The massive swarms of birds flying across the sky during their migration. If we take time every day to stop and appreciate the natural beauty of this season we will form a gratitude for all this season has to offer. One of my favorite things to do is to look out my window in the morning and see the beautiful sunrise colored sky with the snow-capped mountains in the background- it’s stunning and immediately places my mindset in a gratitude state.
The arrival of winter no doubt will bring lots of snow making travel difficult and potentially impossible. We have had plenty of snow days for the kiddos which definitely throws a wrench in our plans. But instead of letting the anxiety of all the difficulties snow can bring- that’s totally out of our control so wasting our energy worrying about it doesn’t serve us- instead, can we think about all the benefits the snow provides us? Sledding, cross country skiing, downhill skiing & snowboarding, snowshoeing, moisture for spring, the list goes on.
If you feel your anxiety start to rise when you think about the stress of the holidays, my advice is to stop in that moment and look at the holidays for all the good they provide. Going back to a gratitude mindset is going to help us shift from fear & anxiety to a place of peace and gratefulness. You can go from “how are we going to afford Christmas gifts this year?” to “I’m so thankful we have the ability to spend time as a family and make memories together at Christmas”.
The next time you feel yourself wanting to resist change, try these mindset tricks so you can find yourself in a place of gratitude. I can almost guarantee if you can do this, you’ll be amazed at how much you look forward to the change of the seasons.
Not diagnosis specific? You got it.
Works with other groups? With joy!
These are some of the most common questions we get about the Patient Advocacy Program. And they make sense. For this blog, I wanted to give some real life examples of how it all works together for Wyoming families who need support in various ways while they care for a child born prematurely, with a chronic illness or medically complex condition.
I received an email from a nurse case manager at a hospital in Denver. A family was preparing to discharge with their child, but couldn’t until they found a nurse on duty to help care for their child’s medical needs. In Wyoming, this can be a very challenging hurdle to overcome. The nurse case manager and I shared ideas of who to try and after many calls and emails, we were finally able to connect them to the Department of Health who were determined to make it work. The family was able to discharge back to Wyoming knowing that they had the medical support they would need for their precious child.
A dad emailed me in need of help with rent and groceries because they had the added expense of traveling out of state for several days of medical appointments for his child. The gas, doctor bills, and missed work days left them short when it came to other needs in the budget, but missing the appointments was not an option! We worked on several options not only for the upcoming month’s rent, but knowing this was going to be an ongoing struggle, we worked on options for the future that would always involve these appointments. We found several local food pantries that could help supplement the grocery bill. To help with rent, he applied for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. We reconnected with the Department of Health program called Children’s Special Health to make sure he understood how they could help with some of the medical costs, care coordination and more.
A school nurse called me on behalf of a mother who was hit hard 2 days before with a difficult diagnosis for her child. I was able to connect with mom and be a listening ear as she processed her grief over the news. When she was ready, I was able to connect her to a disease-specific organization to help walk her through the days, months and possibly years ahead with almost everything they would need.
A social worker at a hospital in Denver called to see if there were any CNA course options for a mom who wanted to be able to care for her child at home herself when they got to come home. I was able to send several options along with possible scholarships and tuition cuts so that she could make her decision.
For several months, I was in contact with a mom walking through very complex medical conditions in one of her children, along with needing help with her older kids that needed some care, as well. We found counseling options, because it is HARD to manage everything in life on our own, travel expense assistance, grocery assistance, therapy support and connections to other families that have children with disabilities to be able to have that understanding and knowledge all through a local program that could help her wade through the State waiver program. We even found a wagon that accommodates her child’s specific needs. There is nothing too big or too small when it comes to caring for the whole family.
I’ve helped find diapers, toiletries and clothes for families when they were emergency life flighted out of state, medical contacts for eye care, childcare, the list goes on! If you have any questions about what the Patient Advocacy Program is and if it could be a help for your family - please feel free to call me at (307) 333-1273 or email me at email@example.com. I’d be happy to hear your story and work with you to connect you to the resources that can help your family during your medical journey.