10 Tips for cancer patients & the autoimmune community to stay positive and continue self-care during the Coronavirus
It's crazy times out there and we're all feeling especially anxious about it. This is especially true for people in the "at risk" category.
My brother is living with lupus, so I know how difficult it can be for cancer patients and the autoimmune community who are already following the precautions most of us have just started implementing. Your treatments are being compromised, even postponed and without a clear end to this virus in sight, it can be hard to keep a positive mindset.
You have every right to feel like the world is against you right now. And when it feels like that, everything seems difficult, even getting out of bed. But, maybe I can help, even just a little bit.
In the spirit of bringing sunshine and positivity to your life, I've put together this list of 10 tips for staying positive and continuing self-care during this crisis.
Talk to loved ones on the phone frequently & FaceTime if possible
Aren't we so lucky to have modern technology available to us? I've personally used FaceTime, Zoom and just plain phone calls more than ever in the past week. I've caught up with relatives and friends that I wouldn't have if this crisis wasn't going on. Have you thought to check in, even with a text? Try calling someone you love or a friend you haven't talked to in a while. I'm almost positive it will brighten your day, and probably theirs as well.
Meditation is the best gift you can give yourself. You're telling your body you value it and your mind that it is important when you meditate. Take a moment to breathe and be in this very moment. When our minds are racing to the worst case scenarios, this can be our most powerful tool to remain grounded and calm. Try a meditation today to see if it will ground your energy and get your vibe up. Click here to read a post where I go into detail about how to get started meditating.
Expressing gratitude can be extremely helpful to keep your mindset in check. I started doing this over a year ago and the change is deep. I'm happier than I've ever been and find myself living in abundance, seeing things from a different perspective. It makes thinking positively easier.
This idea of expressing gratitude can be done in a few different ways:
- Start a gratitude journal & record 5-10 things per day that you're grateful for, big or small.
- Keep track of your daily wins or milestones as you achieve them in a journal or notepad.
- Pray and give thanks.
- Out loud or silently after meditation or a walk
- Exchange things you're thankful for with your partner or a loved one.
Try it out & let me know how it goes. You might find this post helpful when getting started too.
Do an art project
This is pretty straightforward, but I know some people get really scared of "art." Don't be intimidated- the secret of art is that there is no right or wrong- anything can be and is art. Ok, so now that you've got your confidence here's some easy art project ideas you can do:
- Paint something if you got the supplies. You don't even need brushes, use your fingers. And you don't need a professional canvas either- paint that old jewelry box, or picture frame. Anything goes here!
- Draw a funny picture, maybe a self portrait or just put some colors on the page. Use some markers or colored pencils to sketch whatever comes to mind.
- Put that adult coloring book you got for Christmas two years ago to use and finally crack it open. But remember, you only have to color within the lines if you want to.
- Make some slime or playdough. Playing with these can be weirdly cathartic.
- Try a good ol' fashioned macaroni necklace. Once you've strung it together, you can even paint it to make it extra special. Pasta projects are limitless- you can even use it to decorate a frame!
Give a compliment to yourself & someone else.
You're amazing, Change Maker. You're strong and confident. Caring and compassionate. You are a survivor and you're gonna get through this. Start the day by giving yourself a compliment and see if you can't keep it going throughout the day by giving someone else a compliment too. You can send compliments via text & they mean just as much as when you say them in person!
Create your Affirmations & Mantras
I know it can be hard to come up with mantras, but just think about what you want and put it in the present tense. Then repeat it to yourself either out loud or in your mind. Here's some ideas to get you started:
- I never, ever give up.
- I am strong and nothing can make me falter.
- I have faced difficult situations before and I always came out of them stronger.
- I allow myself to be happy no matter what.
- I will not give in to sadness, I choose to be happy and positive.
- I will not let my thoughts control the way I feel.
- I am strong and nothing can break me.
Can you think of some others to add for yourself?
Yoga or light exercise
Ok, you don't need me to tell you that exercise creates endorphins which are like happy juice for the brain, but I'm just gonna remind you. Exercise also helps with blood circulation and digestion. Try doing a little bit of yoga or going for a walk around your neighborhood. Of course you should probably wear a mask if you're leaving your house, be sure to check with your doctor. And if you can't leave the house there's lots of at home work outs you can do.
Have you ever noticed that smiling is contagious? Sometimes forcing yourself to smile through the hard times can actually make you feel a little less terrible. I challenge you to put a smile on today- even if it's just for a brief moment. Maybe try it now. I bet it brings a happy thought to mind.
Create a new routine or daily schedule
Now that our daily lives have changed, it could be helpful to make a new routine or daily schedule. Since I started working from home 2 years ago, I've implemented a time blocking schedule to get everything done and be productive. I schedule everything- even work outs and meal times. It's especially helpful for you to keep good sleep habits to stay healthy & eat food that’s good for your immune system. Try putting those on your schedule too.
Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a nice book or magazine
There's just something nice about sitting down with cup of your favorite tea or coffee and cozying up with a good read. Let yourself take a time out from the world and get lost in something non-coronavirus related. Now is a great time to catch up on all those books you've been meaning to read.
Well, what do you think? Are these good suggestions? Did they help you out? Let me know in the comments! It would be the highlight of my day to know I brought some positivity to you.
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