This week on Sage Aging
Being a caregiver is a really stressful job. Regardless of the type of caregiver you are, whether you handle hands-on caregiving and taking care of the day to day needs of your loved one, or you’re a long-distance caregiver managing care from afar, the sheer responsibility of providing for the well-being of another can be suffocating and it’s easy for resentment, anger, and other negative emotions to set in. Does that sound familiar to you? Well, you’re in luck because, in Episode 30 of Sage Aging, we will discover Emotional Detox. I’ll hit the highlights here, but you’ll want to take the time to listen to the whole episode. As always, keep scrolling to the bottom if you would rather read the transcript.
Emotions are a very powerful thing and they shape the way we experience the world. As children, we were taught to manage our emotions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is value in being able to conduct ourselves appropriately in every situation, but at some point, we must learn to process our emotions (rather than just stuff them away) in order to clear the way for peace and tranquility. When you become a caregiver, you experience a unique kind of stress (it’s hard to understand that if you haven’t been there) that can uncover emotions that you didn’t even know existed. It may manageable at first, but what do we do when our emotions begin to take over and we are drowning in the stress? You know what I mean. When you feel the constant need to nag and rant or the slightest little thing sends you running, in tears, to your bedroom. If you’ve experienced this, and what caregiver hasn’t, you could definitely benefit from an emotional detox.
Everyone is familiar with physical detox, a process by which you rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. As with a physical detox, removing impurities in the mind can serve to bring your life back into balance. The goal of an emotional detox is not to totally get rid of your negative emotions, but to clear clogged emotions that no longer serve you. To quote this week’s guest, Sherianna Boyle, ‘All emotions are good as long as they are processed.’ In this episode, Sherianna explains this in a little more detail.
My Top Takeaways
- Self-Care is necessary – If you have listened to my podcast at all, you know how I feel about self-care. It tends to sit at the bottom of the priorities list, but it should be at the top! Make the effort to move it up the list, even if just one spot at a time.
- ‘Feeling the feels’ is important – it’s natural to want to just push tough emotions to the back of our mind’s closet like that old pair of jeans that you are saving ‘just in case,’ but know you will never wear again. In the moment, it’s the easy way out, but once the closet gets full we’re in trouble!
- Emotional Detox isn’t just for me – when I take the time to clean out my closet it benefits every single person I interact with. Can you imagine, as a caregiver, how powerful that could be?
Sherianna Boyle is an international Emotional Detox Coach, author of eight books, including her most recent Emotional Detox and Emotional Detox for Anxiety. She has a master’s in education and a certificate of advanced graduate study in the School of Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. An adjunct psychology professor, Sherianna is no stranger to teaching and has been featured in over 85 articles and as a presenter for many organizations. For Sherianna’s complete bio and connection points, check the links section below.
Links and Resources We Mentioned
Thanks for listening!
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Emotional Detox – Episode 30
Host: Liz Craven, Guest: Sherianna Boyle
Liz Craven 00:00
Thank you for listening to the Sage Aging podcast. This episode is brought to you by Polk ElderCare Guide, your guide to all things senior care and resources available in both English and Spanish. You can find the guide at Polkeldercare.com
Liz Craven 00:26
Welcome to the Sage Aging podcast. I’m your host Liz Craven. The mission of Sage Aging is to help you connect to information and resources that will empower you to master the aging and caregiving journey. Weekly, I’ll bring you great conversations with industry professionals and others to shed some light on topics of aging and to empower you to take charge of your journey. So grab a cup of coffee, or maybe a cool glass of lemonade, and sit back and relax as we chat. Are you ready? Hit subscribe now and let’s get started.
Liz Craven 01:02
Hello and welcome. This is Episode 30 of the Sage Aging podcast. Being a caregiver is a really stressful job. Regardless of the type of caregiver you are, whether you handle hands on caregiving and taking care of the day to day needs of your loved one, or your long distance caregiver managing care from afar. The sheer responsibility of providing for the well being of another can be suffocating. Many of us who’ve spent time as a caregiver will tell you that it was an honor and a privilege to be able to care for someone we love. And while that’s true, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t overwhelming. And let’s be honest. Not everyone believes that it’s an honor and a privilege. family dynamics can be really sticky before a loved one needs care. And the problems and baggage that we carry as a result of those problems. Don’t just slip away with age, that baggage we carry tends to just get heavier as we navigate our way through the caregiving journey. And it’s easy for resentment, anger and other negative emotions to set in. Does that sound familiar to you? Well, first, let me tell you that all of that is normal. And if you’re feeling that way, it doesn’t make you a bad person. And it doesn’t make you a bad caregiver. If you listened to Episode 29, last week, we talked about being a great advocate for your loved one. And included in the foundation we set was practicing self care. Well today we’re going to discuss quite possibly one of the most powerful self care practices you can do emotional detox. My guest today is Sherianna Boyle. Sherianna is an international emotional detox coach, author of eight books soon to be nine, including her most recent emotional detox and emotional detox for anxiety. She has a master’s in education and a certificate of advanced graduate study in the School of psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and adjunct psychology professor Sherianna is no stranger to teaching and has been featured in over 85 articles. And as a presenter for many organizations. She’s the co-founder for cleanselife.com, which I’m sure we’ll hear more about in a bit. For Sherianna’s complete bio and connection points, be sure to take a look at the show notes for this episode or the blog post for Episode 30 at SageAging.us. Welcome to the show, Sherianna. Thanks so much for joining me.
Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Liz Craven 03:49
Glad to have you here. I’ll tell you what, I think we could all use a little emotional detox at this point in time. Our world is just a little bit upside down, don’t you think?
Yes, definitely. I sometimes feel like we’re in a collective emotional detox right now. And we might not know it, but we are.
Liz Craven 04:09
That is so true. And you know, it’s only compounded for caregivers. And honestly, for caregivers self care tends to be the item that’s at the very bottom of the priority list. Because balancing caregiving, with life and raising kids and work and all of the other things in our world, it can be pretty difficult. So you know, it’s probably the most important thing on the list should be self care because truly, how can you care for someone else? If you’re rundown and beat down yourself, you need to be at your best to provide care. And I’m sure you’ve heard that mantra, self-care is not selfish. That’s something that we preach a lot. Yeah, but talk to us about emotional health and how that affects our physical well-being?
Yeah. So just just to follow up on what you just said first before I go into emotional health is very often what I what I find with caregivers, the biggest thing that they say is they have no time, right. And so they tell themselves, they don’t have time for self-care because they’re just overextended. And so that is that is something that we would look at, and then emotional and emotional detox standpoint of view. So as far as emotional health, well, I can just explain it from the emotional detox perspective. So in the emotional detox perspective, emotions are actually incredibly healing and good for you. And many of us have been raised or taught, or maybe experienced emotions is causing us pain or distress. And if you’re worried about a loved one, how much time you have with them? Am I spending enough time with them? Am I doing enough, or maybe you’re, you feel bad, you were just a little sharp, short with them, or you’re doing you feel like it’s a chore, all that kinds of stuff. So what happens when we, we run these kinds of thoughts, I call them reactions. And when you’re reacting, then you’re not feeling. So when you’re not feeling, then what can happen is it can take its toll on not just your mental health, but also your physical health, you can start to feel rundown, you can start to feel tension, chronic tension can develop over time, and the neck and the shoulders, and maybe back pain and things like that, they just don’t appear out of nowhere. Usually, that tension has been built up. Over time we hold it, we hold it, we hold it. So when we have those kinds of I call reactions and the emotional detox world, then what we do is we suppress what we’re feeling, we don’t allow ourselves to feel it. And it’s like holding your breath underwater, right? It’s like, I’m just gonna dive underwater, I’m gonna hold my breath, and I’ll come up when it’s when it’s all over, and then I’ll get relief. And that just as you know, it just doesn’t work. That way, we can’t hold our breath for five years, until we’re able to get more support, or whatever it is that you’re looking for. Okay, I’ll do this until more supports along and then, and then I’ll be able to have my life back. But the problem is, is that you’ve got this wear and tear happening. In the process, you’ve got this tension building. And if we don’t address that, if we don’t allow those emotions to be processed and experienced, we’re contributing to the manifestation of what can show up later. And many ways it can be physical, or it can be sometimes in relationships, sometimes our relationships get fractured, or they people feel like I’ve we’ve just connected or we just lost our connection. Because let’s face it, if you’re spending all this time on caregiving, and let’s say you have a partner, or you have children, or you have friends that can sometimes interfere with that, and that can cause more stress. So there’s many ways that this manifests over time. And so it is about I feel the emotions are a great resource. or helping you to get through this time period of your life when you suppress them. They’re going to, they’re going to wreak havoc. But if you allow yourself to process them, they can make you feel more present, right, which is really what we all want to be able to be it’s not about how much you do. It’s about the quality, what is the quality that I am there for my caregiver, rather than how much I know that changes with every situation. But when you are there, quality versus quantity kind of thing. The emotions can help you kind of be more present more calm. And also if you are there for long periods of time, they can help you to regain to recover from those situations.
Liz Craven 09:33
I really love how you refer to emotions as a resource. Because I don’t know if we all view them that way all the time. Emotions are so very powerful. And sometimes I think we just stuffed them away because we fear the power that they possess. So how can we harness that power and use it to feel all the fields and create more happy in our lives?
So, I had to ask myself the same question, you know, when I was writing when I was writing Emotional Detox, and then I wrote Emotional Detox for Anxiety after that. And really what I had to do was kind of reframe the way we see emotions, because it’s all well and good to tell someone, oh, your emotions are a resource, go ahead and feel them. And they’d be like, go take a hike, right? If I feel these emotions, right, I am going down, I got so much bottled up in me, that I that is the last thing I need to do. And I totally understand that that’s, nor should you to be honest with you. Because I feel that what’s been missing is a platform is a foundation, and a call that platform that foundation and emotional detox. And when I say that I’m talking about a mindset. So as far as the emotional detox perspective, it’s based on all emotions are good, so long as you process them, all emotions are good, so long as you process them. So that means even an emotion of fear and anxiety and sadness, and all of that they’re good. When you process them, when you don’t process your emotions when you don’t take time. That’s when we go to suffering. So it’s the resistance of emotional processing, that causes the pain and the suffering.
Liz Craven 11:29
I hear you talking about emotions, and we’re going against all of the societal messages that we’ve been receiving over time. When somebody is upset, what do we do we hug them and we say, Don’t cry. Or don’t worry about it. This too shall pass. And we basically are encouraging them to keep stuffing that stuff away. Yeah, and not bring it out front.
Okay, well, I’ll give you an example of how this can be incredibly powerful. So I spoke last week, virtually, I was at a conference center, but I was being streamed out and had about 100 people that I’m streaming to it was a professionals. So I had educators, I had nurses, I had social workers, I had therapists, that was my my audience. First thing I did with my audience is I had them sit and watch me go through an emotional detox. So when I talk about emotional detox, I’m talking about seven steps, which I put in the an acronym of cleanse, based on the foundation, the mindset that I built upon which there’s many principles, and one of them is all emotions are good, so long as you process them, okay, so there’s a foundation that you need to learn. That’s important. Otherwise, it’s just a tool floating in the air, we have to anchor the tools on a on a belief system, and then the cleanse is the seven steps. So I said to the audience, you’re going to just watch me, and I’m going to go through the seven steps right here, right in front of you, your job is to watch. Now, as you can imagine, educators are pretty stressed right now, right? their worlds are upside down. They don’t know if they’re going right or left online, offline. They’re trying to do their jobs and a whole new way. And everything keeps changing. They’re they’re very stressed population. All they did was observe me. That’s it for five minutes. At the end, I’m looking at the chat. People are going I feel so amazing. I feel so great. Oh, my God, I’m going and I’m pointing out to them and saying, Listen, all you did was observed me, and you didn’t do it with me. So the reason I bring that up here is that your loved ones will benefit tremendously. From you processing your emotions, they will feel it. It will that
Liz Craven 14:04
makes so much sense. Oh my gosh. because let me tell you tension when you are providing care. And you know, there are a lot of different types of caregivers, some are providing care from afar. And that tension will manifest in your conversations with your loved one and and all of the things that you’re trying to do in your own world, but the hands on caregivers, I can see where this would be so very powerful, not just for the caregiver in their own practice of self care, but in making sure that the household has a more balanced mood, if that makes sense.
Yeah, I think I could serve both I think I can serve the ones from long distance as well. I think that we are spiritual beings first. We are energetic beings. And we when we tap into each other, we can feel it. I mean, what makes it so that You know those moments where you’re thinking about someone thinking about someone, all of a sudden you see him, or all of a sudden they call you or text you. You’re like, that’s so strange. I was just, I’ve been thinking about you. Well, that’s, they’re picking up on that. That’s a very real thing. So, yeah, you could do it long distance as well. Because Because you have the advantage of your loved one reflecting on you. Right, and picking up on your energy. And even if they’re not, let’s say they’re in suffering from all timers or something like that, or like, well, they don’t even know who the hell I am. So I don’t know how they’re reflecting on me. Right. But But the thing is, is you can still tap into them, because we are so connected through that, that heart center, we are, we’re far beyond the brain, the mind, our connections. And so yes, you can have an impact. I was I had an The other day I was a, it was kind of going into that loop about one of my daughters, I have three daughters. And one of them, I’ve just been trying to give her a little kick in the butt. I’m like, come on, girl, it’s time to get a job, right? And finally said, You know, I need to knock it off here. Right? I need to stop thinking about what she’s not doing, or what’s not going well, or what I don’t like, right, which can happen in the caregiving. I don’t like this. I don’t like the way this person’s doing this or the way they handled this situation. We can obsess on that from far away. Yes. Right? Or we turn it around like I did a couple days ago when I said, Okay, enough, is enough. Okay. And I went through an emotional detox. And I said, clearly, I’m having a reaction. How does it make me feel? To know she’s not working? What are what are the feelings that are looking to come up and processed in me? Right? frustrated, annoyed, irritated, those kinds of emotions are looking to be processed in me, just happens to be showing up in this situation. So I took myself through, I said, Okay, you are processing this no more. Right? The ranting, means there’s emotions to be processed. That’s why you’re ranting in your head. So that’s
Liz Craven 17:29
A great red flag to look for.
Absolutely. That’s a sign. So took myself through the process and like, Okay, I’m connecting to this now. I swear to God, within an hour, I looked down at my phone, and it says, Hey, Sherry, does your daughter still walk dogs? And can she walk a dog and our pair? Whoa, nice, an hour later. And so people don’t know this. But the second half of the emotional detox process is all about manifesting. So the first, the first several steps, that’s why I keep using that word manifesting. Mm hmm. first few steps are really getting clear on what exactly you’re processing. Because we have to know what we’re processing. It’s not just about going through the motions, you have to have the awareness of what you’re connecting. Once you get start processing your emotions. Now your energy in your body is getting stronger. There’s more movement. Now we have to direct you and redirect you towards what is it that you want, you want more support, you want peace, you want ease, you want to be able to connect? I’ve minutes alone, right? Five minutes alone, right, fine, whatever that is right there. Who knows. But you got to start to shift your awareness. Otherwise, you’re going to keep bouncing your head against the wall and things are good, you’re going to be alone doing this alone for a long time. And that just as we know, builds a whole lot of resentment and anger, and frustration. Mm hmm. Right. Unless, unless you’re gently right. So so that’s the cleanse is is twofold. cleanse it, by all means, right? So a lot of people go to like a yoga class or meditation. And they feel better because they’ve released it. But what they’re missing is the other half. Now what you don’t go back into your life and do the same old, same old? Mm hmm. Now you have to learn, okay, what am I focusing on? What do I want? What? And not in a ranting way? Because if you’re ranting, you’re still need more processing.
Liz Craven 19:46
Right? It feels like it’s basically a reprogramming of how we think and how we feel and how we use the emotions that we have.
Yeah, they’re extremely powerful.
Liz Craven 20:01
Oh, so powerful.
You want to make things happen in your life failure emotions, I mean, it’s really, really powerful stuff. And if anything, we’ve been taught to suppress them. And then and because of that we’ve been suppressed. And we see our life as limit. We have limits, we have roadblocks, but that’s not true. There, there are lots of options, and we are limit less. And you really can move through this journey with honor and integrity in a way that serves yourself and look back and serve others and the planet and look back and feel get a lot of energy from it, if you choose to, or you can move through this journey and be drained by it and, and go downhill and that affects other people and it spills over, we really just have those two choices. So one choice is to I can react, and I can get triggered by what’s happening. triggered means like, if I get a charge, I get bothered by it. And we know we’re triggered, if we’re in thinking a lot ruminating, ranting, maybe talking about how tired we are. Or we can choose to feel our feelings. And by doing so you raise energy in your body, and you start to feel better. And so those are the choices that you have either feel, or don’t feel. And if you don’t feel you’re going to put wear and tear into the situation.
Liz Craven 21:35
I really want our listeners to take this in as it relates to their own self care first, because that’s the point, I want them to be mindful of the fact that self care is so important. But having said that, I’m wondering how this tool can be used as it relates to them working through it with their loved one, and taking their loved one through that same type of detox, because much of the frustration comes because you have someone who is frustrated about where they are in life, they can’t do the things that they used to do, they feel guilt, because they’re a burden, or they believe themselves to be a burden to the person who’s caring for them. They want to be able to revisit that time when they could be self reliant. So there are a lot of emotions running around there, that they just feel so powerless about that they don’t have any control over that. Probably somebody who has some cognitive impairment, this might be a little more difficult for but there are a lot of care recipients who would benefit from emotional detox as well. Have you had any experience working with families that way?
Yes, Yes, I have. And I think that the best thing that the person can do, if you want to help the person process their emotions, is listening. I think when we truly listen, now, here’s the thing, it’s really challenging to listen fully without interrupting without running a story in your head without feeling guilty yourself, right? without trying to make them feel better, or fix the situation. Those are all reactions, if you hear what they’re saying. So as I feel like I’m a burden, or I don’t want to be a burden, right? So that’s what they’re saying, I don’t want to be a burden. Here’s the challenge. If you don’t process what you feel, you’re going to either want to fix it. You’re going to freeze and maybe numb yourself so you don’t feel it, right. Because some people do that they keep themselves so busy, they’re numb. They don’t have time to feel right. And so, to help our loved ones, the best thing we can do is just listen, because the listening is like you know that good old validation is very validated. We don’t interrupt them. We don’t try to change their mind. We don’t say oh no, you’re not a burden. Well, first of all, that’s a flat out lie, right? Because sometimes it is but it feels that way, right? We want to just listen so you feel like you’re a burden. Some of you you feel sometimes like you’re you’ve missed the things you used to do. Is that right? Is that correct? Am I am I hearing you correctly that you miss the things you used to do? Yes, I miss the things you used to do you want to tell me more about that mom? Well, I miss seeing my friend or that I you know I miss going for a cup of coffee so you miss so and so and going for a cup of coffee mom paid it back. Yes, yes do you feel and that helps them to feel validated, to feel honored and it allows emotional Processing you can feel instead of, oh, you’re fine. And you know, maybe we can do this and we can go out and Okay, everybody, you need to go visit her because she’s really lonely. And you better go because she told me, now you’re in reactivity. Now everybody’s all worked up, and just listen and validate and honor what they feel. But if we’re in reactivity, and we’re not processing what we feel, we’re going to either rescue, or we’re going to avoid, or when I’m going to hear them, right, we’re gonna, we’re going to change the subject, right? Oh, Mom, have you watered your plants lately? Look at these plants. Right? That’s what that looks like, that’s avoidance. It brings up emotions in us very, very naturally. And so we have to take time to feel. So we’re able to really truly listen and have that compassion. And I love that word. Is there anything else? And what you’re saying to your loved one is, you know what, I’m not afraid of what you feel. I it doesn’t scare me.
Liz Craven 26:07
Oh, that’s powerful. Because I would say any caregiver would say that that is something that they struggle with being afraid of what the care recipient feels, there’s a lot of fear there. And to be able to embrace that and say, give it to me, tell me, tell me what you’re thinking, and to be able to not react the way that you know, you’re talking about reactivity, and to be able to take it all in and process it without reacting in a negative way. Boy, what a powerful tool that is.
Yeah, yeah, it’s really, you know, it really shifts the feel of it really, that space of honoring. And when you are able to listen in that way, you’ll leave feeling very grounded and connected. And you could feel that already, as we’re just talking about it. There’s something very meaningful. And I think that’s what a lot of people are really, you know, we really, we need meaningful connections and experiences, it really can fill us up when we have those meaningful moments where we take a moment to truly listen, and then repeat back what we what we hear to them, right you miss and, and if your person is really my mother in law, so hard at hearing, I can just imagine the conversation I would have to screen right so and, and that can happen, but you know, find another way. So write write a little note or something, write it down on a piece of paper. Just listen, I just truly, truly listen. And this is again, without needing to fix or rescue or feel like it’s your fault, or something, right? You’re contributing to that by not doing or something. So all of that is a sign that you have emotions that are looking to be healed. And really, the two of you are on a journey of really uncovering that.
Liz Craven 28:08
And the caregiving journey is incredible. I mean, I I don’t even know if I can do a good job of putting it into words, I was a caregiver for my mother. We were a caregiver for my father in law, and also not a live in caregiver for my mother in law, but for her as well and the caregiving journey, it can be the most amazing thing that you ever do in your life, the most heart wrenching and heartbreaking as well. But I would never trade that journey with my mother for anything. Because it was a timeframe that we were able to really get in tune with one another. There were no words left unsaid. There were no emotions left unexpressed between us through her cancer journey. It was amazing. And I miss her and I wish she were here. And I wish that we never had to have that journey. But it was a gift truly. And it was an honor and a privilege for me to be able to be her caregiver. But it’s difficult when you’re in the midst of all of that, to find those moments and to really embrace them and own it. Because the reactions that we have on a day to day basis to this, that and the other you know, how many times did I have to fuss at her? Because she wouldn’t eat and how stubborn was she? Oh my goodness, you know, and those things can tend to take over.
Sure. And when you feel when you process your emotions, what ends up happening is you do you feel you feel more connected, you feel more compassionate, you really value those little moments that you have Together, and also it can help them do better. Right. And the softer we are, the more loving we are, again, it’s not about rescuing, it’s not about necessarily enabling, but really just being present. And you might see them start to do a little bit better. Right? You’d be surprised that when we’re stressed, and we’re around them, they feel that, you know, they, they can they pick up on that energy. And all of a sudden, you’re like, oh, they’re regressing. They’re not doing as well today, they’re not eating as well. They’re not walking, they’re not getting up and taking a walk or, right, but we do affect each other. And when we’re rattled. You can see that I mean, my husband’s taking care of his mother now. And he’s doing a beautiful job, really very loving, very present and very calm. And we’re seeing a lot of progress with her. We’re really amazed. Yeah, that she’s doing as well. And she’s got real serious mental health issues on top of it. But there’s something about when you have that calmness, and it affects the whole family and me being calm affects him. So he can be that way. Right? So if I’m processing, he’s gonna say, okay, she’s, she’s safe, she’s not rattled. Now he feels more safe, right? Because processing your emotions makes you feel safe and secure when they’re processed. And then that affects how he cares for his mother.
Liz Craven 31:39
And depression, too. Let’s just put that right out there. Depression is very prevalent among people who are caregivers and who are care recipients. Absolutely. It’s
Very high. And I think the lack of connection and fear and anxiety to Coronavirus certainly doesn’t help now does it and not at all. And, and so we have to, we recognize how important connection is I mean, it’s really the root of so much. I’ve done studies on this, where connection is really the root of a lot of addiction. So when people turn to drugs and alcohol, they’ve done studies on smoking, where they’ve looked at how many paths one person takes, as opposed to another person pops up the cigarette. And they found that the biggest trigger for taking the next path was the emotion of sadness. So yeah, so it’s very real. It’s very, it’s a real thing, whether it’s people are going through and I think emotional processing, and we just were never taught it was you know, we’re never taught we’re taught what they are, you know how to identify an emotion, how to identify it. But no one was taught how to feel them.
Liz Craven 32:54
No, no, I agree. We were taught the opposite. It’s been our whole lives. I mean, and I think about this, and having raised my children already and thinking of the messages sometimes that I must have sent when they were upset or needing to process through something. I think we did an okay job. But I do remember saying, Oh, don’t cry, thinking now. Oh, no. Did I teach them to step their emotions down? Because that’s not really a good thing. And I you know, hindsight is 2020. And I think that we all can grow as we as we age and as we have more life experience. But this is a great tool. And I think that no matter what age you are, I think no matter what stage in life, you are being able to learn how to not I don’t want to say control. But how to let your emotions be and find the happy through them is a good thing. Absolutely.
First of all, we just have to recognize them and honor them for the gifts that they are. I think that’s the first step is really that’s why I said the foundation is emotion is the emotional detox, the steps are the cleanse. Because the foundation reminds us over and over that my emotions are good, they’re good for me, we have to shift that. And they’re not something to to shove away, or prevent or control or even to manage. That’s all stuff that we’ve all been taught. I used to teach it. I taught forever how to manage emotions, motional regulation, all that stuff. So I get it. I’ve taught a lot of people those skills. And I’m not saying that was bad or that now we’ve damaged people. Right? It was just not the whole picture. Because sometimes you do need to cope. You’re not going to be able to just stop everything and processing emotion like if you’re in the grocery line, or driving a car, right. So In those situations, you have coping skills, you have ways that you manage or get through that long line. And yet what I always say, and when I say an emotional detox and emotional detox for anxiety is coping skills were never meant to be long term, they have an expiration date, we cope. And then we have to process at some point, we just can’t keep coping. It’s not supposed to be that way for keep coping, then we’re always going to be in that space of struggle. So eventually, yes, cope, do what you need to do. But recognize, boy, that was a stretch of coping. I’m home now I can feel the tension in my body, I can feel the acceleration of my thoughts. I’m going to choose to listen to that. Because I know that’s a sign that I have emotions that I was pushing away while I was coping, and dealing with that situation. So let me give myself five to 10 minutes to process what is coming up. So I don’t carry this into the next situation. And the next situation and the next situation. And that’s the way it looks.
Liz Craven 36:22
Right. So can you walk us through those seven steps describe what those steps are for us?
Sure. So I came up with them. Because I won’t get too much into it. It’s in the core book, emotional detox. But when I was writing emotional detox, I’d actually written the whole I’ve done the research, I pitched the book, the book got picked up by Simon and Schuster. So I was like, hooray, you know, we’re all good to go. And then I have to finish writing the book. But what I didn’t expect was that I was going to get hit with the biggest, about four weeks later, emotional trauma of my life. And not only would I get hit, but my whole family would get hit. So I was in crisis, my family was in crisis. My children were in crisis. And we were in crisis for about a year. So it wasn’t just a quick thing. It was a year of crisis management kind of thing. So the reason I give you that is because I learned a lot from that experience. And, and so when, when I went to write the book, I realized that part of being in crisis is trauma. You can’t remember anything, your memory gets shot, I remember going to a store. First of all, you’re sad, right? You’re crying all the time. I’m in the grocery in the parking lot, and I’m crying before I go buy groceries, I’m just sitting in my car crying. And I wipe the tears away and go into the grocery store. And I’m I’m like, What the hell am I doing here? Why am I here? What am I looking for? And that’s what it looks like when somebody’s overloaded, right? I mean, because I’m still working like a lot of folks, caregiving worse, I still got to pay the bills, I still got to help my children. So that’s when I learned whatever system I come up with, has to have an acronym cleanse. Because people can’t remember things when they’re overloaded, right. So that’s why it starts with the C and ends with the A, and you do the steps in order and they’re designed to build upon each other. So they’re not, they’re not designed to mix and match and change around their system. So the C is called clear reactivity. And in step one, I give you very, very basic steps that you can do to center your yourself in your body. Very small, easy centering exercises. All you need is your body. That’s it. Okay, body and breathing kind of thing. Step two, once you’re center, it’s called look inward. That’s a statement that I came up with. And you basically say the statement out loud, and then you take a couple breaths after that, okay? We’re acknowledging emotions at this point. Then step three, it’s called emit. Now before I wrote emotional detox, I wrote a book on mantras. It’s called mantras made easy. I had researched the heck out of mantras. I had done a million mantras. I was all mantra. I knew mantras would be in this cleanse. I knew because I know they are thousands of years old. They are a practice for healing and transformation, ancient, ancient healing tools.
Liz Craven 39:50
Now for those that don’t understand what a mantra is, Can you define that?
Yes, a mantra is a sound a syllable, a word or a phrase And the difference between a mantra and an affirmation is they are repeated over and over again, a true mantra practice, you repeat it 90 times in a row. That’s a true one to practice. A lot of people don’t do that I did it. I had three mantras going, I would walk, and I would do my mantras. So it can be a sound or syllable or word repeated. It could be just like Love, love, that can be a mantra love, or peace, peace. The key is peace, you repeat, peace, peace, and I had, I would walk my dog. And I would have mala beads. The beads help you keep count, so you don’t have to think in your head. And we have a hunt. Yeah, they have 180 beads. So I would do I’m sorry, I messed that up. It’s 180 times for 90 days. That’s a true mantra practice. Now, if you’re driving in a car, like say you have a commute to your loved one, you know, sometimes you can recite mantras in the car before you get there. And that will help you kind of get that energy rolling. That’s a good thing to do. So anyway, I knew that third step would have would be a mantra. So I was like, Well, what the heck mantra is going to be. And I ended up just kind of, I felt very much on a whim. But I picked a mantra. And then I did the research. I was like, Oh my god, I couldn’t have made a better Peck. And there have been books written on this mantra. It’s such a wonderful mantra. So then the step four, is activate. So that’s the A and the cleanse. So now we’ve done the mantra, and I don’t do have you do it. Hundred 80 times. It’s not what the cleanse does, just like maybe three or four times. Okay? And then now we’re in that activate. And that is now this is where we start to say, Okay, what are you going to focus on, because if we get to your caregiver, and you’re focusing on everything that’s wrong, or how they don’t look good, or something that they say that bothered you, or, you know, if you focus on worrying about losing them or something, right, we have to shift you. So that A is about activating and getting to really focus on through visualization, what you’re creating now, right? So peace, like imagine something peaceful in your mind, very, very brief. And then the the N is nourish. In the book, there’s all sorts of communication tools for that, because I do believe communication can be very nourishing if we know how to do it. and nourish is really just that feeling of peace. Right? You see it, you feel it. And then the the assets surrender. And that is the statement that I give people to say out loud, and then the E is ease. And that’s another statement that you’re going to say out loud to yourself. That is I go from surrender, meaning I allow this in my life, and then ease and I am not so there’s no longer separation between myself and that of which I’m creating. I am that. So that’s the process and emotional detox from xiety. It’s really laid out for people, so they can go step 123. You know, and then next you know if you have me back I think I told you was next fall. I have a book coming out. I wrote 135 emotional detoxes self-guided.
Liz Craven 43:28
Oh, we’ll definitely have you back!
Everyone’s like can’t it be now? And I’m like I you know, I tried, I tried, I said, Please can get this out now, but it won’t be till next fall. But it will be 135 Self Guided Emotional Detoxes for Every Area of Your Life.
Liz Craven 43:47
Oh, that’s great. Yes, great. Gosh, Sherianna, this is good stuff. This is really powerful. And I so hope that the listeners are going to take this in. And I hope that they get your book. And you know, this is not a show about promoting tons of products and trying to sell you things. But this is powerful. And I think it’s something that could manifest in so many good ways for so many people, because I’ll say it again that caregiving is a hard job. It’s stressful, and until you’ve walked through that, it’s very difficult to understand the type of stress that it is.
Liz Craven 44:31
Well, thank you for being here today. And thank you for sharing and we definitely are going to have to revisit I can’t wait for your new book to come out, but in the meantime, where can listeners connect with you and where can they purchase copies of your books?
So the books are all at Sheriannaboyle.com. Sheriannaboyle.com is my main website. And then I have a secondary website which is called cleanselife.com and that website has basically self-care practices. I have meditations there that include the cleanse, I have yoga practices that include the cleanse. So I take people through the cleanse while we’re doing yoga. So it’s like one stop shopping. I even have fitness practices where we do the cleanse so you can keep your body strong, like, like, a little bit of cardio, a little bit of weights. So there’s something for everybody there. So if you’re, if you’re feeling like I just don’t have time to read a book, or I really would love to have that one stop shopping that’s cleanse life.com is where we have those resources for people.
Liz Craven 45:44
Terrific, and I’ll make sure that all of the links to get to Sherianna and her books are in the show notes and also in the blog post for Episode 30, which you’ll find at Sageaging.us. I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. And if you’re enjoying the sage aging podcast, I sure would appreciate it. If you would subscribe, follow or leave us a review. And more importantly, share it with a friend. Share the gift of the information that you’re getting with somebody else. If you have topics you’d like me to cover, or if you have suggestions of guests that you’d like me to invite to the show. drop me a line at info at Sage aging.us. Sherianna, thank you so much for joining me. Thank you.
Thank you for having me. I Appreciate it.
Liz Craven 46:34
And thanks all of you for listening. We’ll talk really soon
As I’ve been preparing to launch this podcast I’ve enjoyed revisiting stages of my own life and reflecting on how this topic became such a passion for me. While I’ve built my career on helping older adults and their families connect to needed education and resources, my connection to the aging and care process goes much deeper.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my own multi-generational family living together in one home. I was 4 or 5 when my grandmother moved into our home to help care for my sisters and I while our parents worked. Soon after, her father and grandfather moved in as well. We had 5 generations living under one roof! That was a beautifully chaotic adventure and knowing what I know now, I have so much respect for what my parents and grandmother did.
Fast forward to age 24. Newly married and pregnant with our first child, I spent several months with my in-laws to help care for my husband’s grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. Fast forward again to about 2009 – Wes and I have two teenagers about to head to college and his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years later, my mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years after that Wes’ stepdad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his father is suffering from severe dementia. You can see where this is going right? For the better part of the last 10 years we have been the caregivers. We see it as an honor and privilege to have been able to do that for our parents.
The key to navigating our later years is being proactive about gathering information before we get there and staying engaged once we do. To be sage is to be wise. There is wisdom in taking the time to ask questions, seek solutions and know your options before the need arises.
Each week we will discuss relevant topics of aging with experts who can help us to understand and be better prepared for aging. We’ll also introduce you to some Sage Agers who are totally owning their journeys through life. No topic will be off limits and we will deliver open and honest conversation meant to educate and empower our listeners. Each episode will also be available in video and blog formats.
Whether you are proactively seeking to broaden your own knowledge, a caregiver for a loved one or a professional working in the aging care industry, this podcast is for you. We hope you will join us as we explore and celebrate Sage Aging.