Best Friend Handbook: New Year, New Stress Relief Tools!

Best Friend Handbook: New Year, New Stress Relief Tools!

My friend Katherine Stuart writes a wonderful blog,”Best Friend Handbook,everything from fashion and beauty tips to nutrition and recipes – including recipes for success in life – which she feels are ramped up by practicing gratitude every single day.

This week, Katherine offers helpful hints for managing stress in the new year in the Age of Corona.

As many of you know, I have spent the better part of the last 3 years in some form of treatment for breast cancer. It is why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. The latest round of chemotherapy, though not nearly as devastating as my first (different drugs), began to take its toll. My energy was sapped and sadly, the ball that I had to drop was writing this blog. But on December 21, I had my last round of chemo, hopefully forever (I will know if I am remission when I have a Pet/CT scan around Easter).

This is a long winded way of saying: “I am back”. Cancer has been a wild ride, and one of the few positives is that I have learned a thing or two about how to manage stress and whether or not a stress relief tool is actually effective. Here are a few that have worked for me including a new one in honor of the new year.

Living with the Unknown

The past year has been like some sicko’s version of a dark comedy. I still remember laughing with people in February, dismissively poking fun at the “Corona beer virus”. Little did any of us know what was in store. Living with cancer, I was probably better prepared than most since it turns out that cancer and a global pandemic share a lot in common.

Both are:

• scary as hell
• unpredictable
• potentially life-threatening
• unknown

As someone who has a hard time sitting still, I like to take action and solve a problem. This is impossible to do with the unknown. Instead, I have had to find tools to help me learn how to live with uncertainly.

Stress Relief Tools

Many of the stress relief tools that have helped me mitigate my cancer anxiety, deal with the many yucky side-effects of treatment and navigate the inevitable hiccups of life — none of which stop happening just because you have cancer or are living through a global pandemic, are things that I’ve already shared with you in past blogs. But since I find myself forgetting even the most basic thing these days, I wanted to recap my favorite old stress reducing tips.

gratitude journal
• self-hypnosis or meditation downloads
• EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
rebounding on a mini-trampoline

I start everyday by writing 3 things in my gratitude journal and end it listening to a self-hypnosis download. I also jump on my rebounder most mornings because I have found that even 5 minutes can literally flip my energy from negative to positive. I use EFT on an as-needed basis which is also the case with my new year, new stress relief tool – Free Form Writing…

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