Self-Love: It’s a Journey Indeed
It’s hard enough to remember to love ourselves these days, whether you have breast cancer or not. But layering on surgery or chemotherapy can certainly take its toll on your self-esteem. Losing my breasts hit me pretty hard. It’s a loss. It’s a part of you that you never thought you’d have to say goodbye to. But what I’ve learned is that you need to really dig deep and love yourself first and foremost.
Before you can truly love your wife, husband, best friend or anyone else in your life you need to be good with YOU. No matter what you’re going through. I know, I know, it is easier said than done.
So, how was I able to go from “I’ll never be the same again, I’m a shell of a woman” to “I feel more empowered, stronger and feminine than ever before?” I’ll tell you this. It doesn't happen overnight. There is no magic wand, and if there was, I’d give one to each and every one of you! But I can share some simple things you can do each day to show yourself some love. This kind of selfcare and attention builds over time, so be patient. It’ll happen:
- Make your bed every morning: I know! You’re in a rush. You don’t feel good. But this is the fastest, simplest thing you can do each day to show yourself some love. You’ll smile every time you go into your room; I promise.
- Treat yourself: Buy yourself fresh flowers, get a manicure, spa pedicure, or massage. You’re worth it!
- Therapy: If you’re really feeling down and don’t have a therapist, go and get one! Talk therapy is amazing. It is probably the best gift you can give to yourself.
- Meditate: Even if you’ve never tried it before, schedule 5 or 10 minutes each day to quiet your mind. Light a candle, sit on a pillow and just zone out. It is like giving yourself a great, big hug.
- Start journaling: Getting your thoughts on paper is an amazing way to center yourself. Write down all of your positive attributes, and all of the things in your life that you’re grateful for. Sometimes you just need to see it in writing.
- Join a support group: I was never much of a group joiner, but it really helps to connect with other like-minded individuals. You can check with your local hospital, search on Meetup.com, or visit organizations like Cancer Support Community to search for a local group.
- Make plans with a friend: Even if you’re not feeling great, there’s nothing better than squaring away time to go for a walk, lunch or a movie.