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San's Anxiety List
I’d been doing fine in remission, both mentally and physically, until the damn Covid situation set me right back.
I had loads planned for 2020: a fantastic ‘go to’ survival kit to plough forward. It made me feel I could live life fully and have fun, my anxiety down to zero. But with lockdown, what on earth was I to do now?
I won’t lie, it’s not been easy and some days I just want my duvet. It’s made worse when people say we’re all dealing with the same feelings during Covid.
Actually, we are not. Yes, no one is living their full life, but for those of us in the Mission Remission group, living life fully means so much more.So here’s how I’m living life now:
1. I make a list of gratitude and pin it up everywhere as a constant reminder
2. I get outside for some exercise.
I try to do cardio 5-6 times a week and a full body weight workout 3-4 times a week. Before Covid I’d be going down the gym, but now I make do with home weights and the pavement! I exercised like this all through treatment despite arguments with chemo nurses.
3. I make a list of goals and focus on them whether doable or not during Covid.
I try to range them from tiny dreams to goals that are ridiculously huge. This pushes me to defy the odds and gives me something to look forward to.
I’ve had to practice at getting the level right.
Some days, I am happy to achieve simple small things like my work or a domestic ‘to do’ list and get great satisfaction from that. Other days, I aim higher for a longer run, or I book in a new client from miles away so I have to terrify myself with a long drive and training a classroom full of new students!
Confidence is everything. Mine plummeted after treatment so little goals and wins builds you up and bounces you back. Achieve something new no matter how small and you feel amazing.
4. I push the boundaries of my negative thinking.
Things don’t always have to end badly; it’s not a foregone conclusion. I try to prove my fears wrong and tell myself that I can beat the odds and opinions. I have a wonderful counsellor who has given me many strategies around this. They’ve told me that A doesn’t always = B. In other words, there are endless opportunities and outcomes to every situation. You don’t have to paint the doom and gloom ones!
Very recently, I had an outsider’s experience of watching someone overreact to a situation. They’d begun to perceive a very unlikely health outcome as inevitable, blowing their actual risk out of proportion. It sounds awful, but remembering this moment has had the incredible effect of helping me put my own experiences into perspective.
5. I’d totally encourage anyone to try hypnotherapy, but you have to be very open minded.
I found it quite terrifying to begin with, but it got me down into my subconscious, away from the stuff we all allow to pile on top of us, and allowed me to remember THE TRUE ME.
Counselling and hypnotherapy has helped me remember many, many people never get their tomorrows. It’s helped me not feel picked on for having a bad lot in life. Acceptance that cancer has happened allows me to find it’s small slot in my life so I can move forward.
6. Choose your audience carefully!
Some people thrive on the bad stuff and others brush it off as trivial. Neither is helpful. Surround yourself with people who can truly acknowledge that it happened and support you when and if needed but not blow it up or drag it out or say it was nothing and all is back to normal.
Choose people who know what you need without even asking and who remind you who you are and who you have always been.
I wish everyone the best of luck creating their own plans for the future. I’m happy to buddy up if anyone wants to, so please comment below and we can chat more!
San is 53 years old, very very happily married with kids, mini kids, cats, family and masses of wonderful friends in the UK and USA. She’s had MS for 33 years and when she faced cancer had surgery, chemo, radiation, and heart medication.
San refuses to fit the norm and is proud to stand up for herself and fight for her true path (even if she forgets who she is at times and needs a good reminder to drop back into Planet San!) It’s made her question everything, which actually resulted in a fabulous team working relationship with her medical team.
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