Amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been focusing on my self-care, coping strategies. I have worked hard since being diagnosed with breast cancer at finding things that not only bring me joy at the time but make me feel good after. I especially started focusing on my coping strategies after my third breast cancer related surgery.
I thought I would share some of things that work for me:
1. I get up early and have quiet time alone before the rest of my family wakes.
I usually try to get up before 6:00am. I write in a journal how I am feeling that morning and a list of tasks I would like to accomplish that day. I often stand outside and watch the day get brighter. I love this time of day!
2. I walk outside every day, alone or with my family. Often more than once a day.
I love being outside and I love being active. So this checks two of my boxes!
3. I eat more dark chocolate that normal and I don’t feel guilty!
I have a sweet tooth. The more sugary things I eat the more I want to eat them. I have moved to 80% dark chocolate and it helps keep my sugar cravings manageable!
4. I workout intensely.
I do this to relieve frustrations and also take my mind off what is happening in the world.
I love strength training and generally would lift heavy 4-5 days per week. Now I am working out at home with lighter dumbbells, two kettlebells and a TRX. I’m glad to have all the gear, but nothing is quite heavy enough. Lately I have been doing more metabolic conditioning type workouts. They get my heartrate up and my head clear. Quick and dirty and don
5. I do yoga a few nights a week.
I’m no yogi, but I enjoy the calmness. DownDog app is excellent if you want to try yoga at home.
6. I repeat the following mantra in my head before I fall asleep each night.
Even on the days when I maybe don’t believe the words, I still say these words:
“Meaghan, you are smart.
You are strong.
You are a good mother.
You are a good friend.
You are a good wife.
You are a good person.
It’s ok to rest.
You deserve to rest.”
I hope you know that it’s ok to find days or a stretch of time difficult. I hope you can find movement or rest, conversation or quiet, mental escape or mental calmness, that works for you.
Everyone is different. I’d love to hear your self-care and coping strategies!