October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, they are likely to be undergoing a treatment that can be taxing on the body—both inside and out.
Here are five tips to make life easier during this challenging time:
Only wear what you love. Don’t underestimate how looking good can make you feel good. Dress with pride when going to doctor’s appointments. You’re taken seriously, remembered, and treated with greater respect when you show up looking like you respect yourself.
Bring a brand new colour into your wardrobe. Life has been turned upside down, so shake up your wardrobe by bringing in some colours that you love and maybe haven’t worn yet. Try this new autumn seasons colours - magenta pink, turquoise, teal, burnt orange, purple, or leaf green. Choose colours that feel energizing, hopeful and uplifting to you. The people around you will also enjoy the positive energy these colours bring.
Special jewellery pieces can be talismans for good health. Pick up a piece of jewellery you love wearing and keep it close to you or wear it. Some may like to wear a necklace passed down to them by a grandmother or other relative. Others may like to wear something that symbolizes new beginnings - like a butterfly brooch. Let the good feelings you get from your symbolic piece bring you warm feelings and comfort you on an as-needed basis.
Control what you can. Often a health crisis can come right out of the blue and make your life feel suddenly out of control. Now is the time to focus on what you can control. You can control what’s around you. Eliminate any unwanted clutter from your life. Edit out everything that’s not useful or beautiful to you—old photos, chipped dishes, broken appliances. Surround yourself only with the things that bring you pleasure. Move toward the people and things that make you happy.
Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down 5-10 things you are grateful for. Knowing you’re going to be writing each night will keep you focused during the day on positive thought, pleasant surprises and simple pleasures. This has been proven time and again as a great happiness tool for anybody, but it’s especially useful when you could be focused on all the things you don’t like. I find this tool really useful when I feel fed up even though my stresses are nothing in comparison to dealing with cancer, but it does work.