To me calm is a pretty tall order sometimes. I am a naturally anxious person but since losing my son and being diagnosed with cancer sometimes it is near impossible. Through it all there are some things that I have learned help me take my mind off of things and I would love to share them with you. I know how it feels to be a ball of nerves and you feel like there is nothing you can do but sit in a pool of worry. Even if you have never been diagnosed with something awful, etc. I know anxiety can be very real so feel free to read 🙂
I have worried about some of the silliest things. Especially since being diagnosed with cancer. Every bump, bruise or weird happening with my body I just know I have some kind of cancer. I have had lung, breast and many others in my mind of course. Here are some examples of my “medical findings” One night I was just going about my business brushing my teeth when bam I had blood in my spit. Automatically I knew I had lung cancer. So for about a week I walked around thinking I had this horrible disease. I finally looked it up on the internet and the only thing that didn’t come up was lung cancer. Well, lo and behold I actually had a canker sore in my mouth and that was the source of the bleeding. A week of my life I can’t get back because of a canker sore. Another silly story is when I was convinced I had breast cancer. I had started working out when my chest became so sore. Instead of thinking the obvious I immediately convinced myself I had breast cancer. After agonizing for about a week husband finally said “Do you think just maybe it might be because you are working out and you have been sleeping with Avery on the couch a lot?” At the same time Avery was getting quite a few teeth and the only way I could get her to sleep was having her lay on my chest. Then I would fall asleep and we would lay like that for a while. I know both of these stories sound silly; but to someone who has had a life threatening diagnosis it is not. I put it to people like this “I never thought I would get diagnosed with cancer in the first place; so why wouldn’t I be scared about every bump or bruise?” Then when you add in these frightening lab tests and scans you might as well put a nervous nelly name tag on me. I am so thrilled and lucky to say that I only have my big scan and lab day twice a year now 😀 It was wonderful news to receive when I was told I “graduated” to every six months. It was a great feeling until the other day. All of a sudden the thought of my scan started creeping in. Even though I have until March when I go again it’s already starting. Honestly it gets harder and harder to go to every appointment. I had myself convinced that I was going to quit seeing my oncologist because I couldn’t take the appointments anymore. I know stupid idea. Well, husband convinced me to keep going. Some of it was that I did not feel comfortable with my new oncologist because mine left and I really was sick of dealing with the billing department at the clinic I was going to. Let’s just say over the span of four years they over billed us (a lot) and then still called us harassing us for money. So I switched to a different clinic and I love my new oncologist and the clinic I go to! It does make the appointments easier.
When I was pregnant with both my children I wanted to wrap myself in bubble wrap but after losing my son I wanted to put myself on bed rest with my daughter. I did learn life was much easier to deal with if I actually lived it and enjoyed it. It is hard to enjoy your pregnancy after a loss but you have to try. It isn’t fair to you or your baby to not enjoy it. Once you get into the groove of getting ready for that new bundle of awesomeness it does get better 🙂
You are probably wondering when I am going to start chatting about the calm side of this post. Well you are in luck 😉 Some of these tips may not work for you but you are welcome to try any of them. If there is something that you do that works really well for you let me know I am always up for trying new things!
- Try new things! I started exercising and I love it! You don’t have to enter a marathon but a walk (especially in nature) does wonders.
- Music, I can’t say enough about it. I pop in those ear buds or turn on my iHome and the stress and worry melts away. Dancing silly with your kids or pets is a must!
- Pets! If you have a fur ball that you call your own go grab a snuggle. Even though my fur ball can be a meanie at times he has always been there for me.
- Indulge in a little t.v. This may be a bad habit but I would rather do this then be nervous all day. If I get into a really good show whether it be serious or funny I feel better.
- Read, Read, Read!! Don’t read medical journals or anything. (Unless they make you feel better) Get into a good book and stay in that world for a little while.
- Pick up the phone! Call your bestie, parents, neighbor, sibling or whoever will answer. You need people to help keep your mind from going or keep going to that negative place. If it’s family or a besite they are pretty much legally obligated to talk to you so never feel bad for calling them 😉
- I know I said this before but exercising helps me so much. Whether it be a walk, hike or big workout there has never been a time where I still felt icky or worse after a workout. I promise you will feel better! Better yet grab one of those people who are legally obligated to talk to you and drag em with ya.
- Get out of the house! I know how it is you really don’t want to be around people when you are anxious but even going for a drive can help.
- Do some housework. Once I dive into this mess that I call a home the anxiety floats away in my dust pan or cleaning cloths.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. If you feel that it is totally out of control and you really can’t handle the anxiety call your Doctor and set up an appointment. Seeing a counselor can do wonders and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. My way of thinking is if someone wants to walk a mile in my shoes and think they won’t feel any worry be my guest. There are many avenues you can travel to get the help that you need.
I know I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this. My brain can really do a number on me so if I can find ways to help me through I know you can too.