One of the things that people who are going through breast cancer really have problems with is time management.
Take a normally busy life and turn it upside down with trips to the doctor, trips to the treatment center for chemotherapy or radiotherapy, preparing healthy food and/or juicing, trips to the health food store, working and those down days when you feel like you can’t manage ANY of it, and you have a potential recipe for disaster and melt-down.
Here are some time managing tips to help you through these incredibly busy days.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help – If you need help, you must ask for it. No one is necessarily going to understand what you’re going through and automatically be there for you.
Whether it’s a friend or a neighbor, a spouse or your children, a sibling or a parent, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If ever there was a time in your life when you should feel okay about asking for help, mounting a battle against cancer should be IT.
Yet, amazingly, plenty of people have problems with this. It’s not about being a control freak, it’s more about having a hard time admitting help is needed. Some are simply just accustomed to doing things all on their own. Right now, though, please just admit there are times when you will need help and don’t be afraid to ask for it. No one is going to think bad things about you – in fact, they’ll probably be relieved to know that there’s a way they can help you.
Organize For The Coming Day – It really helps to make a plan for the next day the evening before. Write down the 3 most important things you need to accomplish the next day. Put a big star next to the most important one. Once your day begins, start on that important task and see it through to the end.
Chop & Prepare Vegetables Ahead of Time – If you’re juicing, it can be very time consuming (but oh, so worth doing!). See my article on the Benefits of Juicing. Get someone else (your kids, your spouse, but someone reliable) to either do the vegetable washing, peeling and preparation or to help you do it) and prepare enough for the coming week. Put them all in those gallon sized zipper bags and store them in the refrigerator. You can also use them for salads, steaming, however you like to eat vegetables.
Limit Your Time With Energy Suckers – I know it’s tempting to check and see who said what on Facebook, but at least 30 minutes of precious time can be wasted that way every single day. Sure, check and see what your peeps are doing, but LIMIT YOUR TIME THERE. The computer can steal a lot of energy from you and it’s time you could be spending taking a revitalizing walk or doing some meditation or yoga.
If you notice that certain people are sucking your energy (like that neighbor who just wants to gossip about everyone on the block), make your excuses and politely get away from them.
Television is also another energy sucker – be very aware of how much time is spent here (especially with the evening news). Give yourself a TV-free day once a week and see how the silence resonates with you.
Be very aware of what steals your energy while going through breast cancer treatment because you need as much energy as you can muster to fight this battle.
Consolidate Your Errands – Make a vow to not leave the house for just one little thing. Wait until you have several things you need to do – like put fuel in the car, or buy the week’s fruit and vegetables, go to the office supply store, going to the post office. Or better yet, ask someone to do that for you and give yourself time to meditate or do your juicing or yoga… you get the picture.
Learn To Say No – If you say “yes” to every request that’s made on your time, you will be exhausted. Get super protective about your time, and say “no” to everything but the essential requests or the things that are important to YOU to do.
Outsource If You Can – This is a great time to hire a house cleaner if you can afford it. If you can’t, please don’t try to handle all of the house cleaning on your own. Delegate certain tasks that require a lot of your energy – like vacuuming or gardening – to whoever else you can.
Answer Email While Waiting For Doctor/Therapy Visits – If you have a laptop or smart phone, learn how to answer your email while you’re waiting for your turn with the doctor, or while getting your chemotherapy infusions, etc. This would normally be wasted time, and it also helps keep anxiety levels down if you’re focused on sending somebody else some love!
Start a Blog For Friends, Relatives – I know quite a few who have done this to keep far-away loved ones in the loop about how they’re feeling, how their treatments are progressing, etc. You won’t need to spend hours at it, just update it whenever you feel you need to, make sure your loved ones have the web address, and that way no one has to spend inordinate amounts of time on the phone updating everyone. Writing a blog can be quite cathartic too!
Got any more great tips that helped you through this? Feel free to add it to the comments section below.
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