Calming my mother’s inner critic, and teaching her how to reframe

My immediate family: One of the photographs shot in celebration of my mother’s 90th birthday

Fall is officially here, and so it is time to end The Rose Remedy’s Resilience Reset Challenge that ran all summer.

I hope that the information from both me and experts in the field was helpful in making you feel more resilient.

 I did receive much positive feedback  about the Challenge. Thanks to everyone who sent me an e-mail, and please feel free to comment at the end of my blogs at any time.

Of course, the Challenge was not exhaustive and did not deal with a few topics. For me, the most valuable are calming the inner critic and learning how to reframe  thoughts to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.

To help connect you with them, I’d like to share a personal story.

Last Friday, my mother celebrated her 90th birthday!! As part of our present to her, my entire family of 24  – representing four generations !! – gathered in a park last Sunday to have professional portraits photographed.

My mom was lovingly surrounded by her three daughters and three sons-in-law; six  grandchildren with four spouses and a girlfriend; and six great-grandchildren.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, with none of the rain that had been forecast. My four adorable grandchildren were well-behaved: no crying!  We even had help to keep the clan calm: A stranger with a dog graciously stood by the photographer at one point so that my dog-crazed 19-month-old grandson would stay still and pose for some pictures!

After the photo session, we all returned to my house for a champagne brunch and the opening of presents.

Sounds perfect, right?

Unfortunately, my mom, tired from all the activity and  feeling short of breath, suffered a fall after we got home. With help, she was able to get up and suffered no major injury, just some bruising, swelling and pain in her left collarbone area.

Yet, that fall left her fretting.  She kept saying how stupid she felt for falling, letting that overtake the celebration around her.

It was time to calm her inner critic and help her reframe to focus on the positives of the day!

When she said how stupid she felt, I reminded her that we are all humans and accidents will happen.

I also helped her change how she looked at the fall, noting several lucky things: Nothing serious had happened. She did not have to leave her party to go to a hospital. And she had a daughter – me – who is a trained and experienced physiotherapist,  with both the knowledge and advanced technologies – laser and LED light therapy – to help deal with her pain. After everyone left, I gave her a treatment, which brought down the pain and allowed her to move more easily.

There were a few other lessons to learn: that she should not walk by herself when she feels tired and should become more aware to stop and focus on slow, gentle exhalations when she finds herself short of breath. As a physiotherapist, I note that these are lessons everyone should follow, especially with the autumn bringing  Fall Prevention Month.

But most of all, with some taming of her inner voice and some ways to reframe the unfortunate fall, in the end, my mother was able to take her place of honour at the head of the dining-room table, and enjoy the brunch, in particular interacting with her great-grandchildren seated nearby and opening all those presents just for her!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply