And this, my friends, is why I aim every day to stress less:
My boys have summer journals, and they’re writing every few days to keep their skills sharp for the 2nd and 4th grades. I’ve been writing along with them, because I want to show them I’m not afraid of a little summer work, and well, because, writing makes me happy, and it helps me process all of life’s twists and turns. And that’s sort of what I wrote about today in my black and white composition book — getting through the ups and downs, and cutting down on stress.
My essay turned out to be a list, and here are 12 of my ideas for finding peace. Might want to try a few if you’re searching for a little calm.
- Do you have a front porch? Sit on it, especially if there’s a nice evening breeze blowing by.
- Read old letters of recommendation (make sure they’re good ones!).
- Steal a hug from someone you love. Hold on for minutes, not seconds.
- Make a wish list, and don’t worry about the price of anything.
- Find a few quotes that move you, and write them down.
- Read a story about someone less fortunate than you, and count your blessings.
- Remember your own less-fortunate moments, and appreciate where you are now.
- Visualize memorable days, like the days your babies were born.
- Look at old photos.
- Look at old yearbooks.
- Burn a yummy candle.
- Consider everything that happens (good and bad) an adventure that you’ll look back on as a memory — maybe a funny one, maybe not, but a memory nonetheless.
- Reader Lauren says: Looking at yearbooks is always fun! I personally love taking a walk around a nearby pond or driving around aimlessly.
- Reader Tracey says: turn on the music loud and dance with your kids.
Gosh, it’s hard to stop at just 12.
Would love to hear your ideas — if you share, I’ll add them to my list.
It might not seem very happy that there must be a World Cancer Day, but if we use the day for good, well, then, it can be a happy February 4. Set the dismal stats aside (without intervention, an estimated 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015, uugh!), and instead, do something that ensures the disease will one day fade into the shadows. Some ideas: stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption (yea, that too), eat right and exercise well, get your recommended screenings (like mammograms and skin check-ups) and ditch the stress.
Another idea: honor those in your life who have done battle with cancer, because you know what? They are the ones who pave the way for the progress we do see in the fight against such a crappy disease.
Today, I thank all the women who went before me and volunteered their bodies to test the wonder drug Herceptin, which happened to become available just when I needed it. It might just reduce my chance of recurrence by something like 50 percent, and that, well, that makes me very happy.
Happy World Cancer Day!
Sherri Jo says, “Until I had breast cancer, I never fully realized what wonderful family and friends I have and how much I am loved. The outpouring of love and support I received was truly amazing. Every few days there was a card in my mailbox, flowers at my door, or something wonderful to cheer me on. People found such unique and creative ways to show their support for me and it made such a difference in my ability to cope with all the stress. One of my most favorite memories came from friends at my sailing club. On a particular race day when they knew I would be present, all of the sailors flew a pink ribbon on the back of their boat in my honor! What a site – to see 30 plus sailboats flying pink – just for me! I felt loved and celebrated and certain that I would survive the fight against breast cancer. Never underestimate what a simple show of support can do to lift a person’s spirits.
My husband instigated the whole event so he got a few extra starts in his halo. I am a lucky woman to have such wonderful people in my life.”
Want to show me what you think breast cancer looks like? Please send me a photo that captures the essence of breast cancer, and I will display it here. Email to email@example.com, make sure your shot is at least 450 pixels wide and tell me something about the photo. No blurry pics, please.