Sometimes, You Just Need to Distract Yourself and Take a Break
Believe it or not, there are at least 50 ways to take a break from breast cancer. Last month, Second To Nature shared examples of self-care while undergoing breast cancer treatment. Self-care can range from a healthy diet and exercise to a balance of good sleep and trying to lower stress. One element of self-care could also include distractions from the turmoil of your cancer journey.
Why Should I Take a Break?
According to cancer.net, “engaging in… activity gives (cancer patients) a sense of accomplishment and provides a distraction from daily worries.” When you take a break from breast cancer, you’re unburdening yourself from the stresses that go with it. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a study in 2010 about the benefits of participating in activities. The study found that “enjoyable leisure activities … are associated with psychosocial and physical measures relevant for health and well-being.”
How Can I Take a Break?
Taking a break from breast cancer could include participating in community activities, volunteering, doing outdoor activities, or trying indoor ideas. You can also take time alone to recharge and focus your mind. It’s important to spend family time, too, both indoors and outside. When you care for others, you can distract yourself from difficulties, too.
“Me-time,” or time alone, is the most basic form of self-care. If you like the outdoors, take time alone to walk by yourself, or go hiking. You can spend time alone inside by finishing a crossword, word search, or sudoku puzzle. Consider these options for spending time alone also:
- Watch and participate in an online or video-recorded aerobics routine
- Lift weights at the gym
- Try yoga or Pilates
- Enjoy a pamper-fest. Have a massage, have your hair and nails done, and treat yourself to new clothes or shoes
- Do some creative writing, whether it be poetry, fan fiction, or even a novel
- Keep a personal, hand-written, or typed journal
- Create your own blog
- Start a collection of stamps, coins, memorabilia, seashells, comic books, toys, or more.
- Make a budget, or try investing
- Learn something new, maybe a language, a musical instrument, or another skill. Take advantage of Pinterest and YouTube, or enroll in online classes.
For indoor ideas, you can spend family time researching your genealogy. Make it fun, and work together to create a family tree. You could also bring a pet home! Maybe you’d like to binge-watch TV shows for family time, by streaming, or on DVDs and Blu-ray. You can also:
- Hold an at-home movie marathon
- Put together a jigsaw puzzle
- Throw a “just because” party
- Take a “staycation”
Outdoor activities for family time include traveling around your state, the country, or the world together. There’s also:
- Exploring where you live by making up and doing a local scavenger hunt.
- Going camping, even if it’s only in your backyard.
- Having a family cookout or barbeque.
Help plan community activities like street fairs, festivals, and celebrations. Other community activities include:
- Joining or forming a wine-tasting, book, or social club.
- Hosting or attending a community-wide board or card game night.
- Taking part in entertainment-based community activities such as choir, band, or theater groups.
Care for Others
A simple way to show how you care for others is by cooking and baking for your family, friends, and neighbors. Other acts of kindness and care for others could be:
- Donating your time by volunteering at a local hospital or nursing home.
- Being a Big Brother or Sister, either with the named organization or just to someone who needs one.
- Helping out at an animal shelter, or doing volunteer pet sitting.
- Finding a pen pal. Write letters to prisoners, nursing home residents, and men and women in the military.
Fresh air and being outside is good for overall health. Outdoor activities that are good for taking a break from breast cancer might include:
- Playing low-impact sports, such as swimming, golf, biking, rowing, or kayaking.
- Checking out museums and art galleries.
- Doing some gardening, landscaping, or other at-home outdoor activities.
- Going fishing, trapping, or hunting.
- Packing a picnic meal and eating it at a nearby park.
- Taking up stargazing or metal detecting.
Sometimes, the weather won’t permit doing outdoor activities. Maybe, doing stuff outside isn’t your thing. If you’re not much for doing outdoor activities, here are some indoor ideas:
- Spend time alone playing virtual reality or computer games.
- Watch online documentaries by yourself or with your family.
- Enjoy making a variety of crafts.
- Have fun with adult coloring books and colored pencils, markers, or crayons.
- Paint landscapes or other images on canvas.
- Try your hand at knitting, crocheting, or sewing.
- Learn and implement relaxation exercises.
- Take time alone to listen to podcasts and audio books.
- Record your own podcast, or start a YouTube channel.
- Read printed or digital books.
- Use family time to sort and organize photos.
- Scrapbook memories and milestone events.
- Reorganize and sift through closets and cupboards.
- Plan home renovations or redecorating efforts.
Call Second To Nature at (540) 366-2711 for information about our custom breast prosthesis and mastectomy education services. Like us on Facebook, and follow our page for updates. We’d also be glad to discuss with you about the 50 ways to take a break from breast cancer.