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Article

Using Humor to Deal with Caregiving Stressors

By Allen Klein, July 20

Can you remember five letters? If you can, then you are well on your way to finding more humor, laughter and mirth in your daily Maalox moments. Those letters...   are you ready? -    are . . . L  -  A  -  U  -  G  -  H  - Each of the letters stands for one thing you can do immediately to keep your humor up when you are down. The acronym is: L  =    Let Go A  =    Attitude U  =    You (o.k.,I cheated a little bit here.) G  =    Go Do It H  =    Humor eyes & ears Let Go: If you are upset, angry or frustrated with anything, you cannot laugh about it. So the first way to get more laughter in your life is to start to let go. And the quickest way that I know of letting go of anything is through play. Play changes your energy. For example: Think about some small stress you are having. Then, say out loud the thing that causes that stress. Now repeat what you just said but this time, after it, say: "Ho, ho. Ha, ha. Or, hee, hee." O.K., what happened? You are probably laughing, or at least smiling, about that stressor. Another thing you can do to let go of your stress is to get a balloon. Then think about some small stress you are having and blow that stress into a balloon. Get it as big as you can, then let go of the balloon and the stress you just blew into it. Attitude: The world is the way it is. What makes it otherwise, is your attitude. Change your attitude and you change your world. My mom, who just turned 94-years-old, has a great attitude. When an entire stack of dished fell and broke, she declared, "Well now I have less to wash!" You: You need to do it. Everyone's sense of humor is different so you need to find out what makes you laugh and seek that out - rent your favorite comedy, call a humor buddy, giggle with your grandkids. Go Do It: In my Healing Power of Humor book, I have fourteen techniques of how the reader can increase their sense of humor. One of my favorites is to have a prop or toy around - perhaps a red-sponge-rubber clown nose. Next time you get upset, put one of these on and look in the mirror. I bet you will be hard-pressed to stay angry. Humor Eyes and Ears: There is humor all around. Open your humor eyes and ears and find some. For example, A sign I once saw on the wall of a Laundromat read, "When the machine stops remove all your clothing." Which I did! The original blog was posted here. Allen Klein is best-selling author of 25 books including, “The Healing Power of Humor”, “The Courage to Laugh”. “The Art of Living Joyfully” and his latest one, “You Can’t Ruin My Day”.  He is an award-winning professional speaker and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. He has also received a Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and a Toastmaster’s Communication and Leadership Award. You can learn more at www.allenklein.com.

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The Cost of Caregiving

August 2

eCareDiary will speak to Christopher MacLellan, Founder of the Whole Care Network and the South Florida Caregiving Coalition as well as the author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving?”, about his research project on working caregivers and the financial impact on their jobs and lives.

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