After a cancer diagnosis, 10 tips for summer self-care.
For many of us summer is in full swing. There are tons of things going on and plenty to keep us busy. There is a tendency to pack a whole lot, often too much, into summer months. And during the second half of summer, things can get more hectic once the back-to-school frenzy and August urgency sets in.
Hence, the temptation to over-do stuff, especially outdoor stuff, is always there. I don’t know about you, but I am finding that since cancer, how I “do summer” has changed too.
What do I mean?
Well, basically, I am finding that I’ve had to “let up and/or let go” just a bit, okay a lot, and this becomes more apparent at various times of the year and one of these times is the summer months.
I can’t do all I used to do before cancer. I just can’t. Example? Weeds.
Need I say more?
So, I’ve been thinking about a few things for me, and perhaps for you as well, to keep in mind for summer months. I would love your input on these “simple” summer strategies, so I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments.
Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water of course. For some great ideas on how to make your water taste a bit more interesting, check out this post via Everyday Health with ideas for jazzing up your water by turning ice cubes into more than just floating chunks of ice. I am going to try some of these!
Take precaution when out in the sun. Some of these drugs we’re on, can make us extra sun sensitive too. So use caution when out in the sun for extended periods, in fact, when out in the sun at all. Wear the cap/hat and sunscreen.
I don’t know about you, but I worry more about lymphedema flare-ups during the summer months because I “normally” tend to swell in the summer as many of us do. How do you tell the difference between normal edema-type swelling and lymphedema? I always wonder about this and even more so during summer months.
If you’re at risk for LE, take precautions when gardening by wearing gloves and avoiding cuts, scrapes and insect bites as much as possible.
Enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies more readily available during summer months. Summer is a great time to check out your local farmers market.
Unplug for a bit and maybe leave your phone indoors now and then too. Yikes! I need to work on this one. Take advantage of the nicer weather and get outside whenever you can. Try to be more active doing things you enjoy (at least sort of enjoy) doing.
BUT, don’t over do it! Exercise safely. This means whatever it means for you and your particular situation.This is definitely something for all of us to keep in mind.
Say no and stay home whenever you darn please. Enough said.
Stress less and try not to worry about things out of your control. For example, if you are parenting young children through cancer treatment or cancer fallout, try not to stress out about not signing them up for (or if you did sign up, not getting them to) all those summer activities just because you used to do so or because it seems all their friends are signing up and/or attending. Remember time spent with you trumps everything else.
Slow down. Sit in the sun with a good book (while wearing your sunscreen of course). Do nothing at all for a few minutes (or longer) every day and make time for you. We don’t call them the lazy days of summer for no reason.
Sure, most of these are about using common sense, but who doesn’t need a friendly reminder, right?
Remember if you feel the need, making summertime changes and adaptations is perfectly okay.
So go ahead, slow down and enjoy the rest of summer, or whatever season it is where you live.
What summertime changes/adaptations have you made since cancer?
What’s a simple strategy you have for handling summer busyness or stress?
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