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How to become an advocate for your wellness

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Do shifts in your pace of life seem to throw you off balance? Without warning, schedules can suddenly feel too busy. Your usual commute can look extra crowded. Friends may seem more distracted.
 
To manage changes in routine, remember to advocate for yourself. That means pay attention to the balance of tasks and rest in your day. For example, build in extra time for travel to avoid frustrations with hectic traffic. Set priorities for events and relationships that nurture wellness in your mind, body and spirit.
 
You may need to say “no thanks” to an invitation or modify an activity to make it more comfortable for you. It may feel awkward at first, but it’s simply a way to put your health first as you live with a disease like cancer. You also set yourself up as a model for your loved ones to demonstrate that it’s OK to set boundaries.

Simplify life by doing one thing at a time

Here are ways to try uni-tasking, instead of multitasking, to restore a sense of wellness.

  • Set aside work and focus on eating at mealtime
  • Put your phone on the backseat while you drive
  • Allow yourself to take a short, enjoyable break between tasks

Try a digital detox to reduce stress

A Screen Sabbath can help you take a deep dive into uni-tasking. It gives you a chance to take a complete break from all your digital devices, including phone, TV and computer.
 
To get started, set aside one hour a day to power off your devices. You also may try airplane mode or find a spot out of view to put your phone.
 
Make a note of how you feel during your digital break. Are you restless or nervous? Maybe you feel relief and a refreshed sense of wellness.
 
Try this experiment several days in a row. That’s the best way to find out if your responses change as you get used to the quiet.
 
Fair warning: A break from your screens may be habit-forming. It may even become a part of your everyday routine. Your eyes, concentration and spirit will thank you!
 
Learn how integrative therapies like mind-body counseling can help you maintain your well-being as you live with, through and beyond a diagnosis of cancer.

Bethany Swope, LMFT, is a licensed therapist who provides mind-body counseling support to patients and their family members at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. She focuses on the whole person, recognizing that a person’s emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being can impact their overall health.

Are you a new or existing patient?