Start Caring for Yourself Today

We live in a culture that admires and celebrates hard work. This is a good thing to the extent it inspires us and keeps us motivated. But I believe our culture has now gone far beyond that. We seem to have great respect for “busyness” and even exhaustion.

I’m not sure where this gets us

The efficiency that technology has brought us has also kept us tethered to our devices for texts, news alerts, games, and shopping. The idea that technology can save us time and that we will use that time for rest and leisure is laughable in today’s culture. We use our devices to do things faster which then allows us to squeeze even more tasks into a day.

Many of us don’t see much of nature in a given day. When is the last time you sat on the grass and looked at the sky? We don’t eat very nourishing foods. And we don’t give our bodies some physical exercise or movement. And many of us don’t sleep the recommended seven to eight hours a night.

It's okay to say "no" sometimes

A cancer diagnosis can often give us a feeling that it is OK to say “no” to certain requests. That it is OK to be unable to do something or unavailable for an event. We should exercise this new-found willingness to decline tasks or events and use that time to nourish ourselves physically or emotionally.

Reassess how you spend your time

Do you watch hours of TV that leave you feeling unfilled? Do you serve on a committee or board that you really don’t want to be on anymore? Do you volunteer for some cause and you feel you would let others down if you stopped? Do you spend time on the phone helping a friend who maybe needs more help than you can offer?

A cancer diagnosis is a yellow flag. It’s a warning. It’s a time to think about what really matters and to arrange our lives accordingly. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Don't feel like you have to explain

If you are a bladder cancer patient, creating more time and space in your life for your own wellbeing is likely appealing. And you need it more than you did before the diagnosis. Do not apologize or feel the need to explain taking care of yourself. Do not feel uncomfortable to refuse unhealthy food that in the past you might have eaten. Conversely, do not feel you must explain periodic indulgences in foods that you thoroughly enjoy even if they’re not the healthiest.

If you are a caregiver to the patient, choose now to create space in your life for self-care. If you don’t feel you need such space now, you will over time as dealing with cancer continues to be a part of your life.

Make time today

What activities do you enjoy that you simply haven’t had time for in recent years? What did you enjoy doing as a kid? Maybe it’s painting or riding a bike. Maybe it’s jogging or going to the beach for a day. Maybe it’s making a homemade soup that you’ve been too busy to make. Or sending handwritten notes to dear friends or siblings.

Whatever it is, make time for it. Now. Today.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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