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Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The However, allowing fear to control your life will not only fail to change anything about your situation, it will also decrease the quality of life for your whole family. With that in mind, here are some specific ways to manage your fear: Acknowledge your fears. Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?” Be specific. Writing your fears down helps you define and face them. Take control, where possible. If you are afraid that your child will get sick, take steps to keep the whole family healthy. Eat nutritious foods, exercise, wash your hands frequently and avoid people who are sick. Ask your child’s cardiologist about exposure to others; you might be surprised by how much your child and family can do. If you have fears about your child’s medical condition, talk to your child’s doctor. Sometimes an honest conversation can reassure parents, or at least help them determine what is a true concern and what is not. Let go of the things you cannot change. There are some things you will not be able to control. As much as you can, release your fears about those things. Getting trapped in the “what if …?” cycle does nothing but rob you of quality time with your child. Schedule time during the day (no more than 15 minutes) to let your mind go and allow yourself to think about everything that you’re afraid of. When those fears come up during the rest of the day, remind yourself that you have a time scheduled to deal with them. Decide that you will not worry or think about them until that designated time. This will help increase your well-being throughout the rest of the day. Another technique is to write one fear down on a piece of paper. Fold it and place it inside a sealed jar or box. Depending on your belief system, you can mentally hand the fear over to a higher power to handle, or simply decide to release it from your mind. Stay in the present moment. The best way to manage fear and stress is to become present. When you find yourself thinking about tomorrow, focus on right here, right now instead. Become aware of your surroundings — who you are with, what you are doing, sounds, smells, etc. You can’t be in the future and present at the same time. Bringing yourself back to the present will help lessen your fear. The instant the “what if …?” thoughts start, take some deep breaths and come back to the here and now. The truth is, we don’t know what the future holds for any of us, so don’t waste the time you have right now living in fear. Find Quiet Time. Finding some quiet time — if only five minutes — every day is vital. Take time to let go and quiet your mind. Breathe deeply. This will allow you to stay calmer all day. Join a support network. Support networks are important. Often, a group meeting will be the first opportunity that parents have to hear about other kids with the same condition as their child, adults living successfully with CHD and other parents and caregivers who are managing well. Meeting those people can help reduce your fear and give you hope that your child can have a bright future. Support groups also allow you to talk with others who understand what you’re going through. Sometimes just sharing your fears with someone who has walked your path can be very helpful. When you learn that others have the same fears, it can reassure you and make you feel less alone. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 17


Mended Little HeartGuide
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