Healing your body when you are trying to overcome any major illness can be a full-time job in itself and one you never asked for. Juicing, meditation, a doctor’s visit, yoga, a handful of supplements, family duties, cooking, and possibly even squeezing in a few hours of work can lead to a major case of overwhelm.
What To Do With A Case Of “The Overwhelms”
How on earth is one supposed to manage it all without completely losing it or making yourself sicker than you already are? One option is to ignore the requisite self-care and go on with life as usual. This may work for some, but usually not for very long. Another option is to try to do it all at once, but there’s more than a good chance of getting overwhelmed from all of your healing tasks along with your family and career obligations.
When I was healing up from surgery for breast cancer, I was extremely fortunate that I had a good network of friends who helped me a little with cooking and cleaning so that my husband could go out and work and keep the household afloat. Once I was healed, however, and everyone went back to their normal lives I did go through a case of overwhelming “HOW DO I DO ALL OF THIS?”. I did eventually find a way between overwhelm and completely ignoring my illness. I found a way that honors the healing process without having it consume or define your life. Here are some of those lessons.
1. Begin slowly. While you might be tempted to try all of the healing methods you are interested in at once, I don’t advise that. For one thing, you won’t know which one is working the best! Instead, start with the thing that you know in your heart will help you the most. Build up to a few more things. Start with juicing or meditation and see how you do with them. Then you can add yoga or Reiki or some form of bodywork later on. Baby steps for now.
2. Know that self-care is a project. It might not be where you want to be in your life at this moment, but put it on your list of things to do. Not just doctor’s appointments but everything – juicing, essential oils, yoga, reading – everything you consider important for your healing process. Make sure your healing plan is at the top of your list, because really – what’s more important right now? Self-care and self-love must be front and center of everything you do. If, in the past, you have taken care of everyone else first let your illness mark the end of that notion. You must come first. Now I’m not saying that your work and your children aren’t important. But if you are sick or too tired, you won’t be much help to them. There’s a reason they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first!
3. Plan ahead and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Now that your healing tasks are on your to-do list, feel great about that! But don’t be surprised if you still feel overwhelmed. Now you need to break down the tasks, plan them out and ask for help when you need it. For instance, if you want to make a green juice every morning but there isn’t time for that, on a Sunday afternoon you and your family could clean and cut and prepare all of the produce for the week. Put enough for a day in each of 7 separate bags. Each morning, grab a bag, juice the contents and get yourself out the door.
4. You can make healing fun. I was living in a hot climate when I went through breast cancer. The thought of wearing a wig was abhorrent so I bought some beautiful scarves and learned to make beautiful dangly earrings and that was my fun look. You could try a Thai massage. Maybe even practice yoga in the buff. Instead of going to the gym, stay at home and do some Bollywood dancing in your underwear. Be creative!
5. Make healing sacred. When you’re doing something you aren’t crazy about doing (like sitting through a session of chemotherapy or radiation or yet another scan…) make those moments sacred. Take a deep breath. Burn a candle or put on a relaxing sacred CD. As you’re going through those treatments, imagine it to be a golden light moving through your body and going directly to the source of your illness and completely eradicating it. Not only does this take the dread out of these tasks, you also incorporate the power of guided imagery, which can boost the effects of the treatment.
6. Be nice to yourself. Be aware that on any given week or day, you might not have time to do something you’d intended to do. You might be too tired to take that walk. You might completely forget that afternoon’s vitamins. No worries! Don’t beat yourself up about it. In fact, expect it to happen, because it will. Don’t worry about it. Just do it the next day. I will, however, offer a word of caution. It is really important to create boundaries around the things you consider to be the most important. Those are the ones that will set your healing back big time if you can’t do them. Do your best to make sure the important things happen and then don’t worry over the other ones.
I found these 6 things helped me so much and in fact I still do many of the things I considered to be the most healing. I have to thank the website of crazysexylife.com for the inspiration of writing this article and for reminding me of the things I did that helped me so much. I hope they help you too. May your healing journey be amazing.
I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.