Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Learning to Relax, Recharge and Reflect through Remission

*This post is in partnership with Cost Plus World Market.

It's pretty tough to find someone who hasn't been touched by cancer somehow. I know that personally, my family has dealt with a multitude of different kinds in different members with varying degrees of difficulty. Most notably, both my aunt and grandmother on my mother's side have battled breast cancer and won! To have two survivors is not just an inspiration to us but gives others hope when we share their stories. This post gave me the opportunity to learn more about my family and also brings to light the importance of self care after a cancer diagnosis. After going through cancer treatment, and then to be in remission, it's so important to take time to care for your needs whether physical or emotional. Both my aunt and grandmother are survivors but they are also thrivers, which I find to be amazingly inspirational. Through their personal journeys, I've realized that there are great ways to relax, recharge and reflect after a cancer diagnosis, which is very much needed after treatments that can be very traumatic.

Something that has helped countless people in channeling their feelings, is the power of journaling. A notebook and a pen can help in healing if given the chance. My grandmother has always been one to write thoughtful things to me, as long as I can remember. She battled breast cancer in the 1980's when I was a very small child so my experiences with her have always been when she was in remission. I think that in writing we can often express things, put them on paper, to release them from our minds and the weight of those things can be lifted. Easier said than done, I know, but there is something to it. Studies have shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and helps bring better sleep.

You know that I am all about the wellness and self care rituals that keep us sane from day to day but after the stress of something as serious as cancer, in surviving there is the utmost importance placed on taking that time for yourself, even if you are not going through remission yourself but have been on the journey with a loved one. Cancer is no joke and the experience is most likely one that shakes your friends and family to the core. There is the mindfulness aspect to self care (mediation, journaling etc) but there's also the tangible things as well. Lighting some candles, spraying your pillow after a hot bath or taking quiet time to yourself over a hot cup of herbal tea can go a long way in feeling the love. Spa gifts to yourself count too, since everyone loves to relax a little, so pampering is always in style. In the relaxation, you can find the moments to contemplate your experiences to find better understanding and appreciation for the blessings that you've been given. In my conversations with family, that is one of the most common themes, is the feeling of being blessed. Even if it's hard to find the positives, we should always try to do so!

When my Aunt was first diagnosed with cancer, it was around the same time as Guiliana Rancic. Guiliana had partnered with LOFT to create a line of jewelry where the proceeds would benefit breast cancer charities. For some reason, it was important to my aunt to find a statement necklace that helped her to share her story. She says that people have stopped her to chat about her necklace only to continue talking and realize that they're both breast cancer survivors. Giving herself this small gift, a reminder of her fight, also gives her the opportunity to share her story. I find that to be pretty darn amazing, right? Something that seems so small or insignificant can be so much more. Finding these connections in remission can be a huge part of the healing process so find those special little gifts to yourself that reminds you how awesome you are and who knows what more it can bring to you.

Meditation isn't easy, especially if you have a lot on your mind. Something that I was talking to my Aunt about was being more thoughtful, or mindful if you will. She's taken workshops, that's how important it is to her. In remission, the need to be positive is important because there's always the worry that the cancer will come back. When worry creeps in, so do feelings of sadness. Meditation can help to center you and bring you back to basics, clearing the mind of these worries. Meditation can also help to relieve stress, decreases depression and anxiety while also helping your brain look within. It may sound hokey but it's not, I promise you.

Ultimately, we can help those in our lives going through treatment and in remission by being their support and encouraging them to take time for themselves to heal and to be happy. What I've learned through my family is that these are tippy top priorities. I'm so happy to have partnered with Cost Plus World Market on this post. They aren't just an amazing place to shop but they have initiatives that really show that they care about their customers and their families. Through 06/04/2017 you can enter to win $2500 for you and an amazing woman in your life through Cost Plus World Market's Amazing Women Sweepstakes. Also in May, you buy your favorite jewelry and 10% of the sales (up to $10,000) will be donated to the American Cancer Society through Dazzle and Donate! See? Those are two initiatives that are super fun but have substance so thumbs up to them! And if that wasn't enough, in honor of my Aunt Sandy and my Grandmother Barbara, I am making a donation to the American Cancer Society in their name. It's the least I can do to honor two amazing women in my life!

I love stopping into my Framingham, MA store but you can find your closest location here. Also to snag any of the awesome offerings that I have in my post, be sure to click through below and learn to relax, recharge and reflect in remission or just in your life. Being mindful, present. appreciative and aware are keys to happiness, if you ask me.

Do you have any special ways that you've celebrate life through remission or helped a family member do so? I'd love to hear your story!

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