May 25, 2010

Ways to Feel Better

Posted in Cleaning, Family, Food, Friendships, Health, Home, Weather, Women tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Liliana

Nena, Nicky and Kaya

Nena, Nicky and Kaya (puppy)

All of us have dark, irritable days when nothing goes right and everything seems to be our own fault. How to make oneself feel better and lift one’s mood? Often it is the simple, everyday, sensible things that help the most.

Here are a few practical and effective suggestions:

  • Let the sunshine in – open the windows and let in the sunlight and the fresh air. Taking a few deep breaths always makes me feel better and reminds me of the beauty of the world.
  • Play with your pet – animals are non judgmental. They love you for being you and cheer you up with their presence.
  • Exercise regularly – talk a walk or go for a swim. Do something you love. Just getting out of bed or that dark chair will lift your mood.
  • Clean your house – order gives us a sense of control and accomplishment.
  • Repaint your room – change your environment. Beautiful colors transform your vision of the world.
  • Listen to music – whether listening to a classical piece or singing a popular song, music allows us to examine and explain our emotions.
  • Don’t over schedule – this is very hard for me to follow, but I thought I would say it anyway.
  • Take care of your health – visit your doctor and dentist regularly. Control the things that you can control.
  • Eat a healthy diet – good, nutritious food makes you healthy in body and mind. You will feel more optimistic and energetic.
  • Eat chocolate – in moderation. Chocolate boosts one’s moods.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – they might make you feel better for a very short while, but you’ll be sorry later.
  • Maintain a daily routine – don’t be rigid, but it helps to have a daily plan. My husband, Jeff, has taught me this.
  • Talk about things – there is nothing more depressing than resentful, sullen silence. It feels liberating to discuss issues and try to find a joint solution.
  • Connect with others – get together with your friends. One long, freezing winter my girlfriends and I got together every Tuesday night. We all remember it as a wonderful season.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – when all else fails (and when it does not) rest and sleep and recharge. You will feel better.

Take good care of yourself. Be your own best friend.

February 7, 2010

Walking

Posted in Breast Cancer, Health, Hobbies tagged , at 8:51 am by Liliana

Walking

Walking

I am not a very athletic or outdoorsy person, and going to the gym or working out on complicated exercise machines is, for me, pure torture. But I love being in the sunlight and fresh air. And I love to walk.

Walking gives me a sense of tranquility and peace. The pace I set for myself is just right for the tempo of my thoughts. Walking with my dog Silver was most pleasant of all, and I will miss our excursions greatly now that she is gone. Placing one foot in front of another gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Five years ago, during my chemo treatments for breast cancer, the most difficult part was my lack of energy to move around. I sat on the couch and looked outside at the world passing by. Once I started healing, I knew that walking would set me free. At first, I was so weak that I could hardly make it around our block. Sometimes my knees would give away and I would fall. But I would get up and try again. My neighbors commented on my walking, and cheered me on. Walking became synonymous with getting well. After my surgeries, I walked with the draining tubes in my pockets. My doctors laughed when I told them.

For Mother’s Day and other special occasions, my family knows how to make me happy. We’ll drive to one of the lovely metro parks in our area and go for a long hike. We’ll talk or just walk in meditative silence. In the shade of the trees by the river, we’ll sit and eat sandwiches and fruit, and drink hot coffee from a thermos. Then, rested and refreshed we’ll continue on.