We all go through seasons when we need extra replenishing, and this is one of those seasons for me and many people I know. Whether it’s physical, emotional or another kind of replenishing, we human beings need regular replenishment.
Sometimes something so simple as a glass of cool water can make a huge difference. Maybe we need food, and a simple snack of veggies and protein can do a world of good. For most of my live, I’ve never been a napper, but many people find naps refreshing. In this current season of living with cancer, I nap frequently, waking up with a second wind. Rest matters, even if we don’t fully sleep.
The kids and I sometimes watch one of their favourite shows after dinner, and this can be a sleepy time of day for me. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I can’t keep my eyes open. They watch me like hawks and call out to wake me as soon as they think I may be dozing off. Some of the time I’m just resting my eyes, but often they wake me up and rewind the show so I don’t miss anything important. How awesome are they! I’m so grateful for them.
Exercise is one of the best ways to recharge, and can really help reduce stress and cancer fatigue. As they say, it’s always wise to check with one’s care team first, and of course always listen to one’s body.
The hot days can be extra challenging, especially for those of us who don’t have air conditioning. On the difficult days I use fans and a cool, damp cloth on my forehead and/or the back of my neck can be a game changer.
It’s important to invest time in things that nourish us. This can be challenging as our various abilities shift from time to time. Several years ago, for example, I took up acrylic painting and really enjoyed it. When I started on a different med, though, my hands hurt and painting was no longer an enjoyable pastime. The treatment was definitely worth this side effect, since it was keeping me alive. It is important to be ready to make adjustments and shift to new things that fuel us.
For those who love a lot of people living with a deadly disease, it is not unexpected that we will lose people we care about. This weight of grief can be a heavy load to carry. I found a grief counsellor through Hospice Care Ottawa who listened a lot and gave good suggestions for self care. One of the best self care suggestions makes sense for everyone, not just those carrying an extra heavy weight of grief…
Make a list of things that we can do to care for ourself, and break it down by time required. A category for a few minutes, another category for up to an hour or a couple of hours, one for all day or even longer… Self reflection and experimentation is required to make the most of this opportunity. Post the list somewhere convenient for easy reference!
To get you thinking, here are just a few of the things I find nourishing right now…
Few minutes: glass of ice water, look for birds out the window, enjoy a snack, sit under the carport, listen to a song on the radio, dance, do a few exercises (stretching is so good!), cross a small job off the “to do” list, play a word game on the phone, message a friend, list things I’m thankful for …
Up to an hour or more: visit with a friend, read, reflect, journal, phone a friend, walk outside, do exercises, sit in the garden, do a medium job on the “to do” list, nap, watch a show, listen to a podcast …
What brings me most joy, peace and hope continues to be reading the Bible and praying (ever since I was 17 years old). This is how I am replenished many times each day, with thanksgiving.
What replenishes you? I encourage you to make a list and set aside portions of your days to do these things regularly. We all need regular replenishing.
Generous friends brought delicious dinner (polenta, peppers, egg and basil) and also a cute little dog for a visit this evening. Very grateful for good friends!