Mindfulness for Angelman Syndrome Caregivers

Mindfulness for Angelman Syndrome Caregivers
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It can be quite stressful and exhausting to care for a person with Angelman syndrome, a disease characterized by a range of intellectual and physical disabilities, including limited speech capabilities, seizures and difficulties with movement.

A practice called mindfulness may help you cope with your day-to-day caregiving responsibilities.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings. Rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future, mindfulness means tuning in to what you are sensing at the moment.

The Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches offers a stress-reduction program. This is based on intensive mindfulness training. It teaches that you can’t always change your circumstances, but you can choose your response to them. By being in touch with present thoughts, sensations, and emotions, you can gain a different perspective on what you’re going through.

Practicing mindfulness each day can help you perform your duties without becoming overwhelmed or overly stressed. It can help keep you grounded and at peace, while allowing you to be of service to those in your care.

Examples of structured mindfulness

Examples of structured mindfulness include body scan, sitting, and walking meditations.

In body scan meditation, you lie on your back and focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, being aware of any sensations, emotions, or thoughts.

Sitting meditation is similar, but done while seated comfortably. You focus on your breath moving in and out of your body, concentrating on what you feel and think.

In walking meditation, you begin to walk slowly, focusing on the experience, and becoming aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance.

How do I incorporate mindfulness into my daily life?

Ways to bring mindfulness into everyday life include paying attention to your environment, and taking the time to experience your surroundings with all of your senses. Another way is to bring your attention to everything you do. Mindfulness means, essentially, “living in the moment.”

Acceptance of yourself and the person you are caring for is very important. Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend. When you have negative thoughts, sit down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and being aware of your breathing, for even a minute, can help to clear your thinking.

Keeping a journal of your feelings and experiences may also help, by bringing focus to all that you are doing and accomplishing.

 

Last updated: August 10, 2020

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Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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