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What are you doing for your mental health?

iserbrown Member Posts: 5,377
edited August 2018 in General discussion
This question was posed on the radio this morning. Some don't get enough sleep, some are at a stage where the roles reverse and they take on caring for parents as well as their own children and career et cetera 

Just posing the question for quiet reflection. 

Take care and take care of yourself 


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,020
    edited August 2018
    Good question, @iserbrown ... Whilst not having been thru as much as many on the forum (surgery, rads & tabs) I HAVE found that  the emotional toll is much greater than I ever anticipated - and I think others would agree with this.  The whole thing 'mucks with your brain' - and just leaves you a bit 'vulnerable' at times.  It is a feeling that family & friends don't always 'get' (especially the very real fear of recurrence) - or if they DO realise you are 'fragile' - they don't always know how to deal with it!

    SO - for my Mental Health ... I just try to keep myself busy for as much of the day as I can.  When you are concentrating on things - you don't tend to ponder your problems as much as if you are alone & not busy.

    Running my Uke Group  keeps me REALLY busy - as we have 2 practise session a week & perform at 4-6 Nursing Homes every 6 weeks, as well as requests to perform at other gigs (like Legacy, Probus & others.)  We perform at Fund Raisers as well (our Breast Cancer FR was cancelled back in April when the heavens opened & the fields flooded!  :( )   We currently have 3 more fund raisers on our books over the next 4-6 weeks, on top of our regular stuff!

    Also - I just LOVE getting out in my kayak & going kayak fishing too!   2-3 times a week would be wonderful, even once a week, to get my 'fix'!  Out in nature, you are just 100% concentrating on everything going on around you .... watching the Sea Eagles, watching the fish swimming around the shallows & leases, just trying to work out which lure to work where, to hook a fish ...... sometimes I even bring one home for a feed!! 

    I know that not everyone is able to get out & do physical things - but just getting together with buddies for a coffee & a chat, or a knitting/craft circle - going to the movies - just try & make sure that you are having SOME sort of social interaction at least once a week!   Even going to the Library to read the daily papers can be fun - just try to get into some sort of new routine - join the local craft centre & try new things!  ;)   There are SO many things out there just now that we can try, see if there is something that interests YOU & give it a go!  ;)  

    All the best to everyone doing it tough just now ..... hoping it gets better for you xxx
  • Vangirl
    Vangirl Member Posts: 350
    I go back to my breathing meditation when my mind is whirring too much for me to sleep. Sometimes it takes an hour or so of just lying there, bringing my mind back to the breath over and over, but usually it works eventually.
  • Sarnicad
    Sarnicad Member Posts: 318
    I’m trying to craft more crochet and knitting and just trying to breathe and slow down. I’m a huge stress head and can’t help but feel that may have added to where I currently am so really trying to work on that
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 79
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  • lgray3911
    lgray3911 Member Posts: 207
    Exercise is my go to! 
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    A bit of a crappy week, last week with other family members' problems and moods.  I could feel my stress and anxiety levels building, much as they had for so long pre-diagnosis (I've had anxiety this year but it's been about me and feels completely different).  On a couple of occasions when things got really bad, I actually visualised pushing the mass of stress out of me.  It didn't work completely but it did calm me down somewhat.  As I'm firmly convinced, with no scientific evidence whatsoever, that nearly 4 years of major stress and anxiety brought this cancer on, I WILL NOT allow it to happen again.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,377
    I firmly believe that stress brought my cancer on and reading your post @sister it would seem that is a common denominator for some of us.

    Deep breath, pat yourself down.  

    I started this thread as I thought the question was relevant to us all.  We find our tolerance levels vary and we can crack it over something minute. For some the parental role reverses and becomes a pressure that is difficult to bare; recognise that as we have been through, we sailed through but one of my sister-in-laws couldn't cope.  Sadly of our four parents we only have one left.

    Time out, whether it be a cuppa on the verandah, a walk around the garden at home or further afield, if time and energy permits, or a hobby that has sat in the background as we spend all our energy on others.

    My brother went through unresolved trauma and was encouraged to find his hobby and it has worked a treat as it is something he looks forward to, last Sunday of the month and prep work in between.

    Take care and find time for yourselves

    Sending a virtual hug, even though one of my Ex-med cancer buddies has said the one thing she can't cope with is the desire of people that she hardly knows wanting to give her a hug!
  • Artferret
    Artferret Member Posts: 259
    Exercise is my go to as well, plus my embroidery, gardening, walking our dog. If the thought gremlins get too much i envisage a dark room with an open box in front of a window and pile all the those thoughts in that box, close it, tape it shut and kick it it out the window. It works for me and the gremlins really only happen at night or on long drives.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,020
    hahahaha  I can SO relate to your story, @Brenda5 .... some years back, after leaving work, I actually reported to the police that my car had been stolen as I couldn't find it!   What I'd forgotten was that I'd arrived at work late & didn't get my 'usual spot' ..... and the car was actually parked in the next street - which I finally remembered!!  HOW EMBARRASSING!

    Re getting lost - Hubby & I have a 'secret whistle' if we are separated at airports, train stations or shopping centres .... I do the loud whistle & put my hand in the air .... if he hears it - he looks for the hand in the air .... It works a treat!  ;)  
  • Brummie
    Brummie Member Posts: 9

    Hi All,

    I am new to BCNA.  Diagnosed with BC on 20/8 I then had a  wide local excision on 7/9,  then a mastectomy on the 21/9. During the pre diagnosis period and thereafter, I have cried, laughed, spent quality time with my friends or key family members just talking it all through. Jus sitting and reflecting, reading, and exercising as per OT/Physio instructions has enabled me to help myself albeit small.   I have watched a lot of sex in the city too, particular Samantha's journey through BC - where she provides a whole new take on BC which makes me laugh and cry all at once. Meditation is helpful, chanting and praying has provided me with hope. 

  • Harvey1903
    Harvey1903 Member Posts: 189
    Hi @sister @iserbrown. Same - I've also had 5 years of stress, and do also believe it's been part of my diagnosis.  Wasn't anything I could control but was my life at the time. I went to doctor's to get help with anxiety and depression but they kept sending me off to mindfulness sessions, at the time I thought -OK better than drugs.  Finally saw one who gave me antidepressants and Valium.  Instant relief.  

    Probably because I was now so relaxed (problems almost gone as well) that the cancer thought my time to shine. 

    Needless to say I'm now reflecting on what happened, what and how to now move forward.  In a good spot at almost 60, retired, two grandkids, lovely home.   In a country that has given me free treatment, and bonus, reconstruction.  Time to do something for me now. But what?  So the next two treatments for better or worse will be a time of reflection and plan hopefully on the next stage of life. J
  • Harvey1903
    Harvey1903 Member Posts: 189
    @Kmakm. Hi. Probably should've gone to the recovery emotions thread.  Julie
  • Marakesh
    Marakesh Member Posts: 78
    I’ve relied heavily on my family and friends to help me cope with the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been feeling.  They do help me stay level . It is so therapeutic surrounding myself with laughter and those that I love. There’s been some very sad days and good people around me help me to see that there is light and hope.

    I’ve also accepted that I need a bit more time than I initially allowed myself before returning to work in a demanding role . I’m trying to be kind to me right now. I tell myself recovery IS my job right now . 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,020
    @Brummie     All the best for your recovery ... if you have any questions on ANY aspect ... whack up a question in the relevant ‘area’ and you will get good advice and support from those who’ve been thru it themselves.  Xx

    yes @Marakesh ... looking after yourself during your recovery IS the main job now, eh?