Thursday, 5 April 2012

Step 1: Looking After You

Looking fabulous on the outside, means feeling good on the inside too. This blog aims to inspire women who’ve had breast cancer to look good and feel great! 
This is the first in a series of posts, offering post-mastectomy fashion ideas to help you dress for success, as well as suggesting practical tips for improving your wellbeing and enhancing confidence and self esteem.
Look After You! Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet with everyday distractions, we sometimes forget to make time for the little things that make us feel and look good! Here's some easy things you could start doing now.....
      Wear what makes you happy! What you wear influences how you feel so become more aware of which clothes and colours make you feel good. Make a habit of wearing a colour you feel good in or something you really like, whether it’s a scarf, a favourite piece of clothing or jewellery.  Anything that gives you a boost!  In future posts we’ll look at style tips for different body shapes and what other ladies have said works for them post mastectomy. 
      Eat Well - We are what we eat!  Are there better ways you could be nourishing your body, like cutting down on junk food, alcohol or caffeine?  Drink more water!  Eight glasses a day will give your body an enormous health boost.  Here’s some suggestions for healthy eating during and after treatment by the Breast Cancer Care Organisation.

     “Me Time” - Find time for exercise and doing something you enjoy. With spring finally here, a regular walk in the park or a bit of gardening can do wonders.  Swimming is an excellent all rounder. Ask a friend to join you to keep you motivated.  Here’s what Macmillan Cancer Support say about the health benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment. Follow any medical advice you’ve been given and wear a good supporting post-mastectomy bra if you’re planning more vigorous exercise.

      Have Fun!  Woody Allen once said, ‘Most of the time I have no fun.  The rest of the time I have no fun at all.’ If this sounds like you, make some changes. Do things that give you a real sense of joy and happiness – maybe spending quality time with loved ones, seeing friends you really enjoy being with. Make time for hobbies and interests and planning things you’ll enjoy and can look forward to.

Feeling Great!
      Feelings greatly impact on your levels of energy, motivation and self confidence. The good news is you can learn to choose how you feel and use this to improve your wellbeing!

Try these simple strategies and see what a difference they make to how you feel:

1.  Identify 3 simple things you will start doing today to improve your physical, mental or emotional wellbeing. Use the suggestions above to help kick start your plan of action.

2.  It may sound trite but counting your blessings is a good habit to get into. At the end of each day, maybe just before you go to bed, reflect on the good things in your daily life, how ever small. If you can find time to jot your thoughts down, even better! Here's some things you may want to reflect on to get you started:

      - What are the things about today that made you feel happy?
- What are you proud of doing today?
- Who are the people and things in your day that you love and why?
- What aspects about today may not be quite right but you plan to change?
- What new things have you learned today?

Keeping a journal of your thoughts helps build self confidence and a greater awareness of what makes you happy and things you have achieved. It can have great therapeutic benefits too. - Comfort Through Journaling

Every small change you make to positively improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing can have long term health benefits.  So, forget about not being in the mood, too tired or having no energy – start taking those important steps and start looking after YOU!

Post us your comments! We'd love to hear how you're getting on trying our suggestions and it would be great to share your ideas with other ladies too!

Look out for our next post - Step Two: How to Be Happy. Find out how to achieve that elusive 'glass half full' feeling and how learning to be optimistic can be seriously good for your health!

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