April was Stress Awareness Month and Tom Dyer was asked to contribute to a series of blogs for Cancer Pal.
Being affected by cancer can be very stressful. Depending on your treatment options you may feel no longer in control of your life.
This loss of control can be overwhelming, and stress inducing.
I have a special interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I have written before about this on this site regarding acceptance. You can read that piece here.
Today, I want you to notice what is happening around you. This, in other words is mindfulness. This is a key pillar of ACT.
Mindfulness ensures that we stay where we are in the moment. Not somewhere that doesn’t exist yet or has been slowly creeping up on us causing stress; a stress that we may not even be fully aware of!
Take this month as a time to start allowing things to just be. Let the world turn around you but with an increased awareness of its colours, smells and sounds.
It is proven that taking time to notice what is going on around you can create benefits to both mental and physical health. It is also something you control.
In the absence of taking back your life while treatment appointments and side effects take over, carve out some time that you are in control of. It’s unlikely that you can change the bulk of what is happening to you, but you can create time that is mindful to you.
In line with your energy levels, take up colouring, listen to your favourite music or simply lie down paying particular focus to your breathe. It doesn’t have to be for long and you may find benefit in using some online videos to help you get into the right frame of mind.
Use Stress Awareness month to recognise the stresses you’re under and make a conscious effort to start looking after the whole of yourself, and not just the cancer.
Tom is a former employee of Tenovus Cancer Care, delivering their ACTivate Your Life – Affected By Cancer service throughout Wales. During the pandemic Tom has become a broadcaster and freelancer with a focus on positive mental health and personal growth assisting in the maintenance of www.ACT-Hub-Wales.co.uk and his own Facebook live show on his HelloTomDyer Page.
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