If you’re anything like the one thousand Americans surveyed by BirchBox in the study below, You need to listen to episode #226 of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach Podcast.
This study found that:
Sadly, I can confidently say that from my experience coaching breast cancer survivors, point number two is often exacerbated when women are caring for themselves after a diagnosis.
They put so much pressure on themselves to keep things normal and not be a burden to anyone else. Of course, they’re kidding themselves because no one goes through breast cancer while everything in life stays normal.
We have to change the way we think about taking time to care for ourselves if we want to create lives that are better than before breast cancer.
My hope is that this week’s episode will support you in taking time to do nothing and loving it.
Read the full transcript here:
Laura Lummer 00:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hello, and welcome to episode 226 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I am your host, Laura Lummer. And I am so happy to be back. If you are a regular listener, you may have noticed last week, there was no show. And if you're on my email list, you know, I sent out an email saying that I was going through this flu and respiratory infection and I had been so sick since returning back from my trip to Iceland. And I sent out an email just saying I just don't have it in me. Over the course of the past week and a half, almost two weeks, I had to cancel and reschedule a lot of things because I just didn't have the energy to do it. And the most important thing in my life, the most important goal I have is supporting my body's ability to heal, whether that is from breast cancer, or that is from a flu or an infection or just day to day fatigue and stress. And Uber aware of what I need and how much energy I have. And when it came round last week, there were some coaching calls with some clients. And there were some of my group coaching calls. And I had to look at my schedule, and decide what I had the energy to do. And I wasn't feeling creative. As you know, when you're not feeling well, you're not feeling very creative. And so I sent out an email and made a really tough decision because I love the podcast, and I love doing the podcast. And this podcast is an important part of my business. And it's important part of me staying in touch with you. But I had to sit down and realize that one, it just wasn't in me, I did not have the energy. And I had to make some decisions on which things I would prioritize what I would give my energy to, and I had to just be okay, with letting go of the things I didn't have the energy for. And I'm going to talk about that a little more in a minute. What I think was really fascinating is that when I sent out this email, letting the people on my email list know that there wasn't going to be a podcast this week. I can think back. So this is 226 episodes into the podcast. And I think that you know, there are often shows that I do, where I get emails and messages from people when it resonates with them, or letting them know what the podcasts letting me know what the podcast meant to them. And I can think of two shows that just got an incredible response. One of them was the show that I did when I announced that I had received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. And the other one was last week, I was so surprised at the number of messages and emails that I received. Some of them wishing me well and supporting my health, which I appreciate so much. Thank you for that. But many of them were messages from women who are saying, Thank you. Thank you for letting me know it's okay to do something like that. Thank you for letting me know that you have a successful business and you can still make yourself a priority. Thank you for showing me that I don't have to be superwoman. Thank you for setting the example of self care. When I was so touched by that I was touched by all of them. I'm always touched when I receive emails and messages about the podcast. But I was so moved by that because sometimes, you know, when I'm coaching people I know on a one to one basis or even in my groups, of course, I know which women are struggling with self care. And I know that it's an overall theme, right that self care is something we just don't prioritize. And something I think that we think of as a luxury. Oftentimes, you know, I think of self care, it's got to be a massage or a bubble bath or, you know, a weekend away or something like that. And we're not talking about self care. I'm just saying, being aware of what you need on a daily basis. Being aware of what your body needs to nourish itself. You Yo foodwise noticing, do I need more food, less food, different food today more hydration today. And sometimes do I just need some quiet, some peace and quiet. A lot of times in my schedule, I just scheduled time from nothing. Let me not nothing. Like seriously, sometimes I just sit, I just sit, he'll sit on my patio, it was too cold outside like it has been lately, sometimes I just sit in my room with a big blanket on my just sit it on, I'm just in quiet. And that's it, it is a beautiful thing. It is so incredibly important for us to allow times for our bodies to be at rest, and for our brains to be at rest. And I want to talk a little bit about what happens when we allow that space for our brain and for our body to be at rest. And I also want to touch on why it is we tell ourselves that we've always got to be doing something, you know that we've always got to be showing up for someone else. Or we worry about what someone else will think about us. If we don't show up in the way we think we're supposed to show up. And so much of the time that pressure that we put on ourselves, is just simply from ourselves. It's not even real. And I gotta tell you, so many people are so involved in their own lives. Honestly, I think sometimes well, there are my regular followers, there are the people who look forward and listen to the podcast every Friday. But there are some people who maybe they pull in and out and listen to the podcast now. And then who won't even notice it. There wasn't a podcast last week, you may have heard me say that and thought, Oh, I didn't even notice. It's an interesting statement, my younger sister says to me, she says, You know, sometimes we have to remind ourselves, we're just not as important as we think we are. Now when she says that a lot of times people around her was like, Oh my God, you're so important. Don't say that about yourself. But what she means is that we tell ourselves, that what we do, what we say where we show up, is going to have some life changing impact, you know, on the other people that will be there. And so we put this pressure on ourselves, to show up in a way that maybe we're not even ready for, or feeling up to, because we believe it's going to have some major impact on someone else's life. And sometimes we just have to rein ourselves in a little bit and say, You know what, it's just not that important. Other people's lives will go on, they will find a way to continue. If you don't show up one day, you know, if you take that time to take care of yourself. So it's an interesting thing to think about? Do we tell ourselves that what we show up to deliver is way more important to other people's lives? than maybe it actually is? And if we recognize that, could we take some pressure off ourselves, you know, work with people a lot of times, and I'll ask them the question, what happens if you don't do that? What happens if you don't drive to all those places? What happens if you don't volunteer to all those places? What happens if you're not the one who's always stepping up? What will happen? And it's interesting to think, to see what some people think. Because the truth is, when a client realizes, you know what, I just don't have the energy for this anymore. And they decide I'm going to let this go. I'm going to give myself enough grace to let this go. I don't beat myself up for it. 100% of the time, they say to me, Wow, that was so much easier than I thought, You know what? Someone else picked up the ball and ran with it. You know what it worked out? You know what, I thought everything would fall apart, and it just didn't.
Laura Lummer 09:15
So sometimes we have to kind of take a step back and look at the perspective that we have of our own lives. And how that perspective is potentially creating a lot of stress for us. So as you continue to listen to this podcast, I want you to think about something. I want you to think about what you decided at the beginning of the year that you wanted to accomplish for yourself this year. What did you decide you want it to do for yourself? Was it to be a better parent to be a better partner to support your health and a better way to eat a healthier diet to exercise more Maybe to have more downtime. And whatever it was that you wanted to create, I want you to ask yourself, How do you need to take care of yourself in order to make that happen? How much time do you need for yourself in order to make that happen, because we have to create space, right? I've talked about that before, if we want to create something in our life, we've got to have the time and the space for it. And if we want to be a person who is calm, a person who shows up in a way where we can be on 100%, for other people, you know, we can give of ourselves in the way we want to, for others. And we can be for ourselves what we want to be for ourselves, and we can show up in all those ways, we have to make the time for that. We have to make the time when people say I don't have any time for self care, because I have children. Well, you have to have time for self care if you have children. Otherwise, you're gonna be a complete, stressed case, I've raised four kids, I know there were many times in my life where I didn't make time for myself. And what that does is it leaves you frazzled, and it leaves you showing up as a Screaming Banshee on the verge of tears, if not in tears all the time. So stopping and taking time for yourself, is a gift to your children. It is a gift to your partner, it is a gift to your spouse, it is a gift to the people that you work with. I often have this discussion with my daughter, who will be talking to me sometimes, and I can see she's very stressed. And she's under a lot of pressure. And maybe it's a high pressure time at work. And I say to her, don't you have any vacation days, and she'll always have plenty of vacation time saved up and I say, Hmm, you need to take a day for yourself, you need to take a day to stop and relax, you need to take a day to just do nothing. That's how important it is. Because if you want to show up for the people that work and for the people that you serve, and your customers, you've got to take care of yourself first, or you don't show up in the best possible way. So why do we think that self care is selfish? Why do we think that we should always come last, when 100% of the time, we should always come first, we should always make sure we're taking care of our needs. Because then we show up as the person we want to be. And because we set the example for the people we love to take care of themselves, and not to run themselves ragged, and not to put themselves last. You know, we think that when we show up for people, before we ever show up for ourselves, that we earn some kind of bonus point, some extra Swarovski crystal is going to be waiting for us in heaven. And it's just not true. People see that people see that we run ourselves ragged. And oftentimes people might even you're showing up for them in a way you think, Oh, this is great, I'm showing up, I'm going to be there, I'm going to be there for them, I'm going to be the rock for them. And they see that you're frazzled. And I'm like, Man, I don't ever want to put myself through what she's putting herself through. I don't want to do that to myself. He knows we kind of show by not taking care of ourselves to other people, like, Hey, don't do this to yourself, because it's not good. And so this podcast is really about creating a life that's better than before breast cancer. And when I coach people to create lives that are better than before breast cancer, it means we got to change some of the stuff we did in the past. And we have to start with the way we take care of ourself with the way we express ourselves with the way we're aware of our needs, with the time we're willing to make for ourselves with race. Without Crusher without self judgment, we have to work on that self judgment, and the beating ourselves up on the telling ourselves, we're not worthy, we're not good enough, we're not doing enough. And we have to create space for what we need to support our wellness and support our happiness. So let's talk a little bit about what actually happens for a body when we allow it to rest. And I don't just mean sleep. You know, sleep is important. We all know sleep is important and more and more studies are showing that sleep is even more important than we have thought for years and then it's literally this the foundation of good health in so many ways. I'm just talking about rest. The time where you just allow yourself to be at peace. Allow yourself to be in a quiet space. Our bodies are these amazing machines that are designed to heal themselves. And when we are Rest, we return to this state of homeostasis. When we're at rest, we Kriger those mechanisms, we allow our body to go into that state of repair, and healing itself. When we take away the Funston activation, constant activity, the constant pushing ourselves, but constant need to fill the calendar with some kind of activity, and we just allow ourselves to rest. That's when we allow our body to restore, we give ourselves a break. And even just taking breaks of a few minutes can actually increase our productivity, when we come back from that break. It promotes our mental health, it promotes our well being, and it gives our brain time to be more creative. You know, when I'm thinking of something to talk about on a podcast, or if I have an idea of a new course that I want to create, or some kind of a webinar or a masterclass that I want to do, I take quiet time for that. And most of the time, I'll just walk out on the beach, and I'll just sit. And when I sit, that creativity comes to me these ideas come to me. So it gives us space for a brain. And it actually improves our mood. And as I said before, it can strengthen relationships, because it allows us to show up in a restored state. When we're constantly pressuring ourselves, we're putting our body in this chronic state of stress. And when we do that, we suppress our immune system. And we increase our risk of disease. That is something we want to avoid 100% As much as we can, right. And so it's up to us to do that. It's not only through good exercise, it's not only through good nutrition and good hydration, but rest, good rest and good sleep also helps to restore our body, reduce our stress, and improve our brain's ability to function in so many ways. And God knows if we've been through chemotherapy and hormone treatments and menopause, our brain can use all the support it can get as well. So let's talk for a second about what downtime actually is. Because downtime is it just sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. Downtime isn't scrolling through social media on your phone downtime isn't listening to a podcast while you're taking a walk, like downtime isn't the actual do nothing time. It's taking a walk and just allowing yourself to be present. It's sitting on the patio and just looking outside at the trees just observing. Because other things like watching Netflix and scrolling on social media, they may be time where you just kind of checked out, they may be time you're just chilling. But your brain is still engaged in other things. Right. So I'm talking about real rest time real downtime, that's affording a space for your body to be at rest and for your brain to be at rest to so that you can fully recuperate and allow your body's healing mechanisms to work for you. Even if it's just for short periods of time, it doesn't have to be for a long period of time, it can be five or 10 minutes a day, or it can even be planned downtime. I'm very careful about planning nothing time on Sundays. Sunday's is a time where I like to start it off with a spin class. And then I like to go to the beach. And then after that on a Sunday, it's just open, I rarely plug things in or make plans is going to be something pretty special to take up my Sunday. Because I like to have a day that I can literally just do nothing. If I choose to. I can choose to just walk I can choose to just sit or I can read or I can cook, do some of the things that I enjoy. But it's a time where I just say I'm gonna take some downtime, some rest and recovery time and just take care of myself in my body. It's a beautiful way that I choose to support myself. So I encourage you to think about that. When you think about taking downtime for yourself. Do you still feel like you've got to be productive? I hear this from clients often where I say, Well, what would happen if you just didn't do anything? Or they'll tell me that they took a day off for themselves and they say I wasted a day. What a waste of time. And I think that it's really important that we stop and recognize the value in downtime, that it is absolutely not a waste, that it's a very precious and important time. And that taking care of ourselves in that way. And recognizing when we need to stop pushing, when we need to unplug and when we need to just step back and allow ourselves to recuperate is something That's actually a gift we give to ourselves and a treasure we give to ourselves. And that when we think about that time, it's very important that we sit and say, I took that time for self healing. I took that time for self care. When I look back on the last week and a half, almost two weeks of things that, like council that and how much time I laid in bed, I'm very grateful that I have the ability to do that for myself, I'm very grateful that I could make that decision and say, I have to lay here and do nothing I need to heal, I'm sick. You know, I need this time for myself. And I don't want you to wait and four times that you're sick, to make sure and do that for yourself. That's why I'm a big advocate of planning. Anybody who works with me knows. And if you've taken any of my programs, you know that they start off with creating time for yourself that they start off with looking at your time, which is such a valuable asset, and creating downtime, that I use a calendar and and calendar is a valuable part of my life, just to make sure that I'm not filling in every waking moment of my life with something to do with that I'm making sure to take the time that I need to be supporting myself. And I encourage you to do the same. I think about my program, 90 days of wellness, which is an excellent program and a great way to kick off your year, if you're looking for something that it's based on heart centered wellness, it's based on how do I take care of myself, feed my body Sleep Well rest well from a place of self love, from recognizing what my needs actually are. And saying, I'm not going into this program to lose 20 pounds to lift 120 pounds on a bench press. But to understand what it means to take care of myself and my health and my wellness, from a heart centered place from a place of self love, not from a place of discipline and deprivation. And I think that when you start to adopt that belief system, so when you shift your perspective to health not being something you have to do, instead becoming something you want to do for yourself, because you love yourself, a lot of these things start to fall into place. And I know that the women who sent me those messages that said thank you for showing me I could do this for myself, you're feeling that right? You feeling that need for something for yourself. And it's so important to recognize it. And it's so important to give it and assign it the value that it deserves. So as you hear this podcast on a Friday, and the weekend is coming up, I hope that you'll take the opportunity to look at that weekend and to look at the week that will come up after it and to look for time and space within those days for yourself to say where will I block off everything, so that I can just do nothing. That's what I need to do. So that I don't push myself through every day. Holding some expectation that I'm the Energizer Bunny, but that I realized the beauty and the value in self care and in downtime. All right, and thank you so much for your inspiring messages and for your loving messages. And for all the care and the all the patience and all the space that you've sent to me. I really really appreciate it and I will talk with you again next week. Until then be so good to yourself and expect other people to be good to you as well. Take care