By: Caylie Guinn, Little Red Door Health Educator – Americorp Public Ally
“Get in shape!” “Stick to my diet!” “Watch less TV!” “Go green!”
We’ve all had them: the infamous New Year’s Resolution. Those promises we make at the beginning of each year to live better and kick our bad-habits out the door. The same promises many of us forget by February. The New Year’s Resolution, while well-intended, is often left unfinished, only to be repeated the following year. It’s a cycle many of us are so familiar with that we may not even bother making resolutions anymore.
But what if we thought of resolutions differently? What if, instead of resolving to change something just for the new year, we had the chance at a new life?
Whether you are newly diagnosed, currently going through treatment, or a survivor, cancer brings about many challenges and difficulties. As with any journey, though, it is important to find a balance between the negative and the positive. The challenges of cancer can spark a new outlook on life, creating new perspectives on what’s truly important. And just like the coming of a new year, this new outlook may even foster a sense of opportunity. So this New Year, rather than stick with the same well-intended but short-lived resolutions, why not resolve to live a new life?
5 New Life Resolutions to Continue after New Year’s
1. Take care of your whole self.
Eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of rest are essential for everyone. And while it is important to take care of yourself physically, it is equally important to care for your emotional and social health. Spend time with those you love or call a friend just to chat. Join a support group or participate more actively in a current one. Try out that hobby you’ve always been interested in. Read. Travel. Meditate. Take the time to help yourself become more whole in all aspects.
2. Foster your emotional strength.
All aspects of cancer, from diagnosis to survivorship, come with their own uncertainties, which creates many emotions, including sadness, anger, confusion, and fear. Remember, though, that these negative feelings will pass and make way for other, more positive emotions. Accepting the uncertainty of life provides a foundation for emotional strength and courage. Reach out to those who can help foster this understanding and strength. Counseling, support groups, or loved ones can be a great tool to help build upon this strength.
3. Be curious and inquisitive.
No matter where you are in your battle with cancer, asking questions can help alleviate some of the fear and confusion. and treatment plans until you fully understand your options. Chat about the feelings you are experiencing and learn what others are feeling as well. Curiosity also opens new worlds of opportunity. Cultivate that spark of curiosity by learning more about things that interest you. Be an active learner in and about your new life
Gratitude works wonders on the soul. Focusing on gratitude and the positive aspects of life takes our attention away from the negative. By actively showing our gratitude, we open ourselves up to genuine contentment and generosity. Pray or talk about the positive things in your life. Send thank you cards to those who have helped you along the way. Make a list each night of the things you are thankful for, then read it each morning. Show gratitude every day, even in the smallest ways
5. Live in the moment and love the present.
Sometimes, especially during difficult times, we find ourselves reflecting on our past. However, while it is understandable to wish for your life prior to cancer, focusing too much on the past can take away from positive parts of the present. With your new life, try to focus on each moment as it happens, recognizing that good and bad are equally important for a full, rich life. Practice mindfulness and allow yourself to love the present.
If you need support in managing your New Life Resolutions, Little Red Door is here to help. Our free Door to Wellness activities are a wonderful way to manage your health and wellness, while meeting with others on their own cancer journey. At Little Red Door, we want to help make the most of your new life and the least of cancer.
Happy New Year!