Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

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Wed, Apr 29 7:00am

Day 1: Creating your Resiliency Roadmap

By Dr. Dona Locke, HABIT AZ Director, @DrDonaLocke

Road to Resilience

Welcome to day 1 of our three-week-long personalized resiliency roadmap building!  Take a look at my last post to get the introduction!  I look forward to your reactions and comments along the way.

For today, my goal is to have you reflect on, recognize, and document your personal signs of stress.

Signs of stress

There are many, many symptoms of stress and we each experience our own individual combination of symptoms that are a reflection of being under stress. Physical, emotional, cognitive (thinking), and behavioral changes can all be signs of stress. Some of us may be very good at recognizing these signs and symptoms and acting on them to manage stress. Some of us may take longer to recognize changes in these areas as symptoms of stress. So, for today, I'd like you to reflect on the list and category of symptoms below and identify which you experience when you are under stress. I encourage you to discuss and share these reflections with family and loved ones. It will not only help YOU recognize stress in yourself, but it may help others recognize when you are under pressure and reach out a helping hand. You may not experience symptoms from all of these categories (or maybe you do). Personally, I tend to experience muscle tension (especially in my neck and jaw), irritability, snap at others, and overwork when I'm feeling stressed. I rarely experience cognitive symptoms. How about you, what do you experience in your body, emotions, thoughts, and actions when you are under stress?

Try printing the form below and recording your responses. Would family members add other signs?  Recognizing that you are feeling stress is the first step in launching your resiliency road map! We'll continue on with recognizing stress on Friday, and then begin some stress management tools the after that. See you soon!

Stress SIgns

 

@DrDonaLocke. The list of symptoms is very interesting. I’m aware that I can get short tempered but I never thought about not remembering things as a sign of stress. It seems that some signs are very insidious because they are always there

COMMENT

Thanks @DrDonaLocke ! Fatigue, guilt, and generally feeling "burnt out" for me when I get stressed. Definitely high on the guilt lately as I try to do my best to balance work and homeschool!

COMMENT

For me, I definitely experience muscle tension and overwhelming fatigue. I tend to get irritable, impatient,And sad and do everything I can to control allowing them to show. My ability to concentrate is definitely my big cognitive sign and behavioral issues include pacing and occasionally snapping at others.

COMMENT
@joancampy

For me, I definitely experience muscle tension and overwhelming fatigue. I tend to get irritable, impatient,And sad and do everything I can to control allowing them to show. My ability to concentrate is definitely my big cognitive sign and behavioral issues include pacing and occasionally snapping at others.

Jump to this post

I forgot dry mouth

COMMENT

OK… I didn't realize that muscle tension was a sign. I thought I was starting to have some kind of delayed reaction to my knee replacement. I think I need more exercise to solve this. Also, under physical signs it says sleep disturbance. I'm having bad dreams and my husband is too. Sometimes we even wake each other up with the disturbance. Of course, worry, sadness and mood swings… for sure. Doesn't everyone have these? Also, I would not have guessed I was having any cognitive issues before i read this. But now I know… difficulty concentrating. I used to LOVE reading. When this virus first hit and I realized we'd have to stay in, I thought "Great. I'll catch up on reading." Sadly, I can't focus well enough to read a book. I start. I stop. I go to the frig. I start another project. I try to read again. Then, repeat. Which brings me to the last category… self care. When I tried to read and then went to the frig… that didn't turn out happy. Also, I'm having terrible problems with pollen so I'm staying in the house and not walking. Self care is taking a beating. My saving grace is that I have re-discovered my love of sewing and I've been making face masks. I've made them for family, friends, the local hospice, home health care workers. This has given me joy.

COMMENT
@becsbuddy

@DrDonaLocke. The list of symptoms is very interesting. I’m aware that I can get short tempered but I never thought about not remembering things as a sign of stress. It seems that some signs are very insidious because they are always there

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This is why this topic is the first step! So many symptoms of stress are not obvious to us at first! Some, like memory problems or back pain, could be there all the time for other reasons, but stress makes them worse and we don’t always realize it!

COMMENT
@drmelaniechandler

Thanks @DrDonaLocke ! Fatigue, guilt, and generally feeling "burnt out" for me when I get stressed. Definitely high on the guilt lately as I try to do my best to balance work and homeschool!

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Thanks so much @drmelaniechandler! I appreciate that you tolerate and support “cranky pants” me because you also know that is one of my symptoms of stress!

COMMENT
@joancampy

I forgot dry mouth

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Thank you so much @joancampy! Many of us fall back on the “control everything” plan (me too!). Preparedness can help some but we can also go overboard. I aim to help support some balance as we work through this roadmap together.

COMMENT
@debbraw

OK… I didn't realize that muscle tension was a sign. I thought I was starting to have some kind of delayed reaction to my knee replacement. I think I need more exercise to solve this. Also, under physical signs it says sleep disturbance. I'm having bad dreams and my husband is too. Sometimes we even wake each other up with the disturbance. Of course, worry, sadness and mood swings… for sure. Doesn't everyone have these? Also, I would not have guessed I was having any cognitive issues before i read this. But now I know… difficulty concentrating. I used to LOVE reading. When this virus first hit and I realized we'd have to stay in, I thought "Great. I'll catch up on reading." Sadly, I can't focus well enough to read a book. I start. I stop. I go to the frig. I start another project. I try to read again. Then, repeat. Which brings me to the last category… self care. When I tried to read and then went to the frig… that didn't turn out happy. Also, I'm having terrible problems with pollen so I'm staying in the house and not walking. Self care is taking a beating. My saving grace is that I have re-discovered my love of sewing and I've been making face masks. I've made them for family, friends, the local hospice, home health care workers. This has given me joy.

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Hi @debbraw . Thank you so much for your introspection. I’m glad this has helped you recognize how broad the signs of stress can be! Our personal stress patterns seem a lot like fingerprints to me—lots of pieces that may be common but the whole constellation can be quite unique from person to person. And I’m glad you’ve rediscovered a hobby that has brought you joy!

COMMENT

Sleep disturbance is a major condition I'm experiencing at this time of stress and anxiety. It affects my entire day keeping me from doing the things I always enjoyed doing. I do not want to rely on medicated sleep aides. Do you have any suggestions that would help me have a good night's sleep?

COMMENT

I can't speak for MCI, but I have had Lyme Disease for two years. Insomnia is one of the symptoms. I have a very understanding PC. He put me on daily Ambein. It works Great!
During this time we are in I have gotten a couple of books on dealing with Lyme for my own research. Even some the the Holistic doctors recomend using Ambien and Lunesta!
Rest and a Good Nights Sheep are paramont in dealing with the side effects of Lyme.
Was told a long time ago the two most important things our body needs is water and sleep!
Richard(Sundance)

COMMENT
@0616

Sleep disturbance is a major condition I'm experiencing at this time of stress and anxiety. It affects my entire day keeping me from doing the things I always enjoyed doing. I do not want to rely on medicated sleep aides. Do you have any suggestions that would help me have a good night's sleep?

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Hi @0616. I'm sorry to hear you are not sleeping well. You may find this discussion group interesting:
– Sleeping Well During Anxious Times https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sleeping-well-during-anxious-times/

In addition I previously wrote an article that is my top 10 list of tips for quality sleep and you could find that here. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed-post/top-10-tip-for-healthy-sleep/

I also anticipate that next week in this series I'll be providing some more tools (apps mostly) and one of those is a sleep app called CBT-I. It is free to download and use.

COMMENT
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