Back in 2009, I was working at a bilingual school in Shanghai. I was working alongside a guy called Craig. He was always reading on his breaks or on the computer learning about various topics. One lunch time, he said ,“There’s no such thing as being bored. There is so much out there for you to learn about, how can you ever be bored? Unless you already know everything!” These words stuck with me ever since.
Which is why even if I have certain ways of doing something, or I have ideas, experiences and knowledge about some topics – I can ALWAYS LEARN MORE. So, I reach out the people, I listen to them and apply what I have learnt; sometimes it works for me and other times it doesn’t, I can still disagree or agree. Either way, I have still learnt something.
With scans being a regular part of my life and my friends, I asked the question:
‘What are your coping strategies for scanxiety?’
To keep it simple I will list the responses I was given; some I have used and some were new to me!
- Journal your thoughts and feelings, perhaps you can revisit the entry on the next scan and see what your triggers were and whether the anxiety served you well.
- Manifest a positive outcome – I am sure we have all imagined our oncologist giving us bad news, it’s normal but it’s only a thought, so why can’t we flip it and imagine good news, which is still a thought but much less stressful.
- Meditation is very popular (so many free apps out there).
- Breathing is magical – this is my favourite and can be done anywhere, so many techniques available, eg. breathe 3 secs in, hold 3 secs, breathe out 3 secs or 7, 4, 8 etc.
- Music – calming or uplifting or whatever boosts your mood!
- Natural remedies – essential oils, baths, ashwagandha tea/tablets aid anxiety ( I have also been taking an anti depressant since my diagnosis; no shame in it).
- Talk about it – sometimes just expressing your feelings verbally or via a message can help.
- Movement – a walk, some yoga, anything that yuu find relaxing.
- Keep your routine – don’t sit around overthinking, which leads to…..
- DISTRACTION – don’t go crazy and increase your stress levels but stay active, as above with your routine.
I am distracting myself by writing this post (which is part of my weekly routine) and I feel like it is helping me release some anxiety. One last thing, I found a short mediation today (I rang Damian to write it down) and I want to share what was said (not his exact words but how I interpreted his words, I can always send the link, if anyone wants it):
- Anxiety is delusional (it does not physically exist in our body) we only feel symptoms of it.
- Anxiety comes from worry and fear.
- Worry and fear comes from overthinking.
- Overthinking comes from untraining.
- We must ‘stop thinking’, start with 5 seconds then 10 seconds, 30, then a minute and he went so far to say with daily practice, we can get up to 10 – 20 minutes and so on!
Sounds easy right, I think I managed 15 secs. He also said if you start to over think, stop refocus and start again. I am going to try this though during the day and as a regular practice going forward for all anxiety!
Of course, we will already be doing some of the above and you need to do what works for you! I just wanted to share. Also, thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas ladies – you know who you are!
Love as always, Jojo xoxo