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It's Therapeutic Thursday

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Today is Therapeutic Thursday at Aortic Hope.

😣 On any given day, having to make decisions would be a normal task. It could be stressful to make a decision however, for many of us with aortic disease, the task of making a decision has actually become daunting.

Decision fatigue is the idea that our ability to make decisions can get worse after making many decisions. This is called Decision Fatigue. According to Kaiser Permanente psychiatric social worker Leigh Miller, LCSW, "it's when your mind feels mentally and emotionally overwhelmed from making many decisions at one time or in a row."

In the article "Feeling stressed from making decisions? Here are 4 tips for dealing with decision fatigue", the article explains the following:

~Create simple routines

“Decisions take energy,” explains Miller. So, cut down on the number of decisions you need to make by simplifying your routine. That could mean eating the same breakfast during the week or choosing the clothes you’ll wear the night before. You could even create a daily uniform so you won’t have to decide what to wear in the moment. “By creating routines that then turn into habits, we reduce the number of decisions we need to make — and conserve our energy for bigger tasks and decisions,” says Miller.

~Make a list of priorities

Writing things down helps get thoughts off your mind and onto paper. Studies show that journaling can help reduce stress, relieve symptoms of depression, and increase resilience. And writing lists by hand is a good way to organize your thoughts and keep stress in check. Try writing down the top 3 tasks you want to complete or decisions you need to make. As you cross items off your list, it can help you stay positive and productive.

~Ask for advice

The pressure to make decisions on our own can be overwhelming — even emotionally exhausting. When faced with difficult decisions, it may help to reach out to a trusted friend or family member. You can talk through your choices together. Connecting with others can be a helpful way to cope and make decisions, especially during uncertain or stressful times.

~Find time for self-care

Our schedules are often packed with everyday responsibilities. But it’s important we also fit in moments for self-care. Try a brisk walk outside or take a midday nap to recharge for the rest of the day. “Deep breathing, stretching, and taking a moment to focus on how we’re feeling is a good way to slow down and give our brains a rest,” explains Miller. You’ll then be reenergized and ready to make decisions with a clearer mind.

👉 Remember, small changes to your routine can make a big impact. So, take time for a mindful moment and make tweaks to your everyday habits. It can help reduce stress and decision fatigue — and support your overall mental health.

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