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The Importance of Self-Care and Cancer

breast cancer breast cancer talk cancer diagnosis exercise fitness health healthy living nutrition read self-care sleep survivor wellness yoga Feb 09, 2021

What exactly is Self-Care and why it's so important, especially if you are going through cancer.

The World Health Organization defines self-care as "the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.

In simple words, it means just taking care of yourself so you can be healthy, you can do your job well, you can help and care for others. and be able to accomplish your daily tasks that you set out to do. It does not mean being selfish or self-indulgence. Like everything else in life, it comes down to balance.

Self-care allows us to better cope with daily stressors, feelings of loneliness, depression, be healthy emotionally, mentally and physically.

I like to use the analogy if the airplane is going down and the oxygen mask is down, you place it over your face first so you can help your children, loved ones and those around you.

Being diagnosed with (breast) cancer changes you forever in many ways including emotionally, mentally, and physically so being able to practice self-care is paramount to your healing and recovery. For some that diagnosis feels like our entire world is caving in, others will be in denial, and some take those words to empower them to take back control of their health and well-being.

Doing self-care IS taking back control of your life! Implementing self-care helps you to establish healthy boundaries for yourself and those around you, establishing a good support network, regulate your feelings, manage your stress and make healthier options in regards to exercise and nutrition.

Always remember when you are going through cancer not only is your body under-construction" but your mind is as well. Try to take at least 10-15 minutes a day to channel your feelings and emotions, journal those feelings and share with others so they can help you. It allows your loved ones to know how to help you and be supportive of your needs.

Exercise and proper nutrition are crucial to your self-care always, especially going through treatment and recovery. You need to fuel your body properly so it can heal better and allow your mind to make clearer and better decisions in other parts of your life.

When you practice self-care regularly you will benefit from reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem.

Too often ,as women, moms, and wives, we lose ourselves running around taking care of others, forgetting about our own health and well being, until we get cancer and then we realize we need to make changes to our life.

Don't let a cancer diagnosis be the only reason you start self-care. Start now!

10 WAYS YOU CAN START SELF-CARE IMMEDIATELY

1. Start with practicing gratitude. This One-Minute Gratitude Journal makes it super easy.

2. Find an exercise regimen best suited for you (yoga, walking, Zumba, tai chi, HIIT

3. Journal daily (your feelings, emotions, things you want out of life)

4. Meal prep your food so you aren't left making unhealthy decisions

5. Read a book, listen to your favorite  podcast, audible book in a quiet area. The book Life's Golden Ticket is my all time FAVORITE book as it is a book about second chances

6. Listen to some music (and dance like no one is watching)

7. Turn your phone and mobile devices off and close your eyes for 30 minutes

8. Find new recipes (Pinterest is my favorite for that)

9. Do not rush your recovery. Allow this time to reflect and reprioritize things in your life

10. Get to bed at a reasonable time so you can get 7-8 hours of sleep

 

So I ask you, do you currently practice any self-care regimens? If so, which ones. If not, now is the time to start.

Find a friend or loved one to help hold you accountable for prioritizing your health and well-being so you can all benefit from a long and healthy life together.

 

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