Updated: Nov 4
The 4th of July means a lot of things to a lot of people. It signifies summertime, BBQ's, time with family and friends, fireworks, vacations, spending time at the beach and in the sun. One thing that being diagnosed has taught me is that every day is a gift and we can give ourselves permission to unwind, relax, and enjoy the summertime air. As you gear up for the 4th of July week, here are SurvivingBreastCancer.org's four 4th of July tips to incorporate this week:
1. Plant Based Diets
A lot of research has been published about how a plant based diet is part of a healthy life-style and one that may reduce cancer recurrence. If you are worried that the festive BBQs this week are going to be filled with heavy meats, chips, and carbs, here are some of my healthy fresh recipes I LOVE to bring as side dishes and are sure to be a huge hits:
2. Sunshine and Sunscreen
Enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to get some fresh air and soak up the vitamin D rays from the sun. Let the warm air infiltrate and warm your soul.
Breathe, relax, and be at peace with exactly where you are in this space and time. While their are a lot of benefits from the sun, be sure to use SPF 30 (or above) to protect your skin, especially if you have been exposed to chemotherapy or radiation.
I have to say I feel pretty invincible knowing that there is no way I am going to get a sun burn these days!
-UV protective Swimsuit (great options can be found here)
Breast cancer was enough, No room for skin cancer!
3. Taking time for yourself
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of 4th of July events. Allow yourself permission to say "no". Don't feel like you have to do it all. Pick and choose what will make you happy and know that it is ok to leave a BBQ early if you need to rest. Or let your friends and loved ones know that you cannot wait to see the fireworks, but in order to make it to 8:30-9:00pm, you need to take a nap.
Energy levels may still be low. Walking around and being social can be fatiguing. Your body continues to go through a lot so honor it and how you feel. It's OK to take some time for yourself so you can be your best around others later in the day!
4. Have Fun This Week
I understand that "cancer" consumes the mind. It is almost part of every conversation we have. When people ask "how are you doing?" it translates to "how are you feeling and how's your health?" However, this week, be you! Steer the conversation towards summer vacations, trips, new restaurants, food recipes, what the kids have been up to etc.
Smile and enjoy the life you are living. Be grateful for every day you are given. Listen to your favorite music, sing out loud to your favorite song. Take a walk in the park, play with your dog, smile and say hello to a stranger. Write in your journal, snuggle up with a new book, watch a comedy, jump in puddles like you were a child, and don't take yourself too seriously! We are on this marble for a short time in the scheme of things.
Let's celebrate every single day!
Happy 4th of July,
Laura and The SBCO Team!