About megmounce

Registered Massage Therapist, Fitness Instructor, Wife, Mother, Breast Cancer Thriver.

Coping Strategies

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!

Dealing with my Grief

Since my daughter was born, and especially since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I have missed my mom a lot. So much that it was weighing on me a lot. I shed a lot of tears in the last three years about my mom’s death.

In October 2019, I went to a beautiful retreat for young women with breast cancer. It was so lovely! However, I left with my heart ripped open. Every aspect of my mom’s death exploded out of me. I felt sad for her. I was upset that she died so young and didn’t get to experience all the things a mother should. I felt her fear of leaving her children before they went through huge life milestones.

I sought counselling and it was suggested I try writing a letter to my mom. It took me a long time to start writing. I had thoughts about what I wanted to say. I knew I wanted to tell her everything that I would tell her today were she alive, or perhaps things I would say if I knew she was going to die tomorrow.

Once I started writing the words came quickly and so did the tears. It was easy to tell her how amazing she had been, how I was sad that she must have been scared knowing her cancer was everywhere, how upset I was that I got to beat breast cancer and she didn’t.

When they letter was complete, I shared it with my husband. Then I left it spread out on my office desk for two weeks. I don’t know what I believe about what happens after death. Maybe she could read the letter? I’m not sure.

A few weeks ago I took the letter to our family cabin property where we spread my mom’s ashes. I burned the letter and let it be there too.

It felt complete. I don’t know how else to describe it.

I still miss my mom and will forever, but I don’t feel weighed down by sorrow and sadness anymore.

Perhaps if you have heavy grief about losing someone you love, or even losing yourself, this exercise would work for you too.

Thank you for reading!