In this episode of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach Podcast, we’ll talk about the common but untrue belief that healing, recovery, and downtime are unproductive parts of our lives.
We live in a society that glorifies constant busyness and productivity, but in doing so, we neglect our bodies' signals for rest and recovery. We tell ourselves that we should always be doing something; when we can't, we may feel guilty.
This mindset leads to unnecessary suffering and negative energy for our own bodies.
When a friend shows signs of pain or fatigue, we won't push them to keep going; instead, we would encourage them to rest and heal. We need to extend the same compassion to ourselves and recognize that downtime and healing are integral parts of life's continuum.
By accepting and embracing our need for rest and healing, we can better care for ourselves without feelings of guilt or inadequacy.
Taking quiet time allows us to replenish ourselves and foster a productive and thriving life.
Challenging the negative beliefs and stories we tell ourselves about rest and downtime is essential.
Remember, you deserve care and compassion, just as you would offer it to a dear friend. Embrace the healing power of rest and trust that it is essential to your journey toward a healthier, thriving life.
Referred to in this episode:
The difference between being productive in life and restful. (4:15)
We think of thriving people as people who get up go to work. (6:11)
It’s ok to rest. (8:12)
The shift to a time of retreat. (10:00)
Accepting downtime and recuperation. (12:07)
Adopt a self-study mentality. (13:52)
How do you look at your why? (16:31)
How to get my support. (18:54)
Read the full transcript below:
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.
Laura Lummer 00:33
Hello, hello, you are listening to Episode 254 of the breast cancer recovery coach Podcast. I'm Laura Lummer. I'm happy to be here with you today. And before we jump into the show, just a friendly reminder, if you're a regular listener, or if you're new to the show, and you hear something today that you find supports you helps you gives you some insight, I would love it, if you could take the time to leave a review for the podcast, you can leave a review simply wherever you listen to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast, scroll down to the bottom of your screen if it's on an iPhone, and you'll see rating and review is click five stars fit in your thoughts. And I appreciate it so much. And if you're using an Android or Google, I think that there's a Like button. I don't use that. But I'm pretty sure there's like button there. And you can just like and make sure and follow the show because now we have two episodes every week, our train Tuesday Talks where we talking about tactical things you can do to support the terrain of your body to get your body into its optimal healing state. And our regular Friday episodes where we really dig into thought work and what lives we create by ourselves by the thoughts we intentionally choose for ourselves. So make sure and subscribe to follow the podcast wherever you listen so that you never miss an episode. All right, my friends, let's jump into this one today. Oh, there is something that comes up a lot. And it's funny, I've just recently gotten more clarity on this for myself. I think it's an ongoing struggle that many of us have in life. And we definitely have this come up more in life, when we have some type of an injury or an illness. And I hear it often from my clients, it creates a lot of emotional pain, like recreate that pain and that struggle for ourselves because we fight this part of our life that I'm going to talk about. And recently for myself, I have come up against this same thing about looking at all parts of my life and the interconnectedness of it, and why some hearts are just harder to accept or embrace than others and why that is. So let me start off by giving you an example. I often work with people on dietary habits. I think one of the primary focuses that many survivors have that many women have that many humans have overall, is creating a healthy diet and working with the idea of what how does that feel like what is a healthy diet? How often do you eat that way? If you're calling it healthy? When you go out to dinner? Do you deviate when you go on vacation? Do you deviate? And it's an interesting thing, because I find one of the biggest struggles that comes up for people when they're trying to modify their healthy lifestyle. And I definitely have fallen into this thought pattern too, is that when we're at home and we're in our routine, we make these choices, this is our day to day living. But when we go out with friends, or when we go away for a weekend or longer when we travel, that that is fun. And fun means the wheels come off, we do whatever it is that we want, because that's what we call fun. And even though often that comes at a cost to us a cost to our own health, our energy levels, our digestive system, the way that we're feeling is difficult to find this balance of how do I carry over what I believe is a healthy lifestyle into this area of life that I think is there for fun. And so that I want to give a comparison to what we're going to talk about today because I think we can all pretty much relate to that. So today, something that's been on my mind a lot. It's something that I've coached several people on frequently over the last few weeks. So what has happened is that I recently have had a flare up of pain in my right hip where I know I have active cancer, but we've done all the diagnostics there's no there's no indication that there's a progression of disease, and there's no breaks, there's no fractures there. There's no obvious or worrisome reason for this pain and yet the pain is very real. And it is something that stops me from from participating in my day to day activities, the way I like to, it's something that has prevented me from going to my spin classes and going to yoga classes because I had to kind of stay off that leg in order to manage the pain most effectively. And here's where this aligns with the story of moving from regular daily life to fun life. I want to look at this as the difference from looking at being productive in life, to being not productive to being restful. Because I think that we often look at the state of rest of downtime, as something that's not productive. And so we resist it. Even when we have a diagnosis of breast cancer, we have an illness, or body is in pain. There's some indication some red flag emotionally, physically, spiritually, something saying, Hey, can you please stop for a minute? Can we slow down? Can I take some time for myself? But we fight that, and I think that we fight it because we tell ourselves, it's good to be productive. It's better to be productive, because we look around at society. And what do we see we think of thriving people, as people who get up, go to work, get their chores done, get the job done, get the meals made, get the house clean, right? It's Go, go, go, go go. So when we think about not going, where do our thoughts end up, lazy, slovenly, burdensome week, no needy, these types of things. And I know, this is a big struggle, when we're going through breast cancer, which is why you're so often, you know, I lost this much of my life, we think about stopping as if it's somehow now not a part of life, right is the first stepping away from life. And I think that in that belief, we create a lot of suffering for ourselves. Because when a body needs rest, like mine does now in the example that I gave you, when a body needs rest, that means the downtime is healing, right, we've are making a conscious decision to invest energy and time in allowing our body rest, maybe more sleep, maybe just less activity, maybe less physical activity, maybe less engagement with the outside world, whatever type of rest that body needs. And we're seeing if that deviates from the normal day to day schedule, of whatever that might be going to work, picking up kids running around meeting people for lunch, going to workouts, all of that, if the rest time deviates, then we're suddenly not productive. And we've got to get back to life. And I think it's important enough for us to stop and consider this that just like vacations and holidays and date nights and nights with the girls are all part of life, a continuum of this amazing life. That rest is also this continuum of a productive and thriving life. Because it actually is productive. What I'm doing now, over the past few weeks, what I have done by cutting back on my schedule, by actually canceling some social activities in favor of resting my body, what I've done has been very intentional. And it is a decision to invest time and energy into healing. It's recognizing that my body is saying, I need you to stop for a minute. I need some time. And me acknowledging that and making that conscious choice to say, It's okay. Because here's the problem, right? You may say, I can't do it, because I'm in pain. So I have to stay home, I have to do this, I have to do that. When we really want to acknowledge the intention behind everything we do to support our body. Because if we're saying we're forced into something, and again, whether this is illness or injury, whether you're recovering from a surgery, whether you're going through a chemotherapy treatment, whether you're just tired, right? Life can be tiresome sometimes, whether you just need a mental break from things. We tell ourselves, this isn't productive, and we fight against it. It shouldn't be like this, but I just want to offer the beauty and maybe stopping and saying, Okay, this is also a part of life. This is a part of life that entails me slowing down. This is a part of life that entails me making an intentional decision to support myself. And it's not that it's less fun. And it's not that it's less productive. It's just productive in a different way. It's serving a different purpose. with us. And when we make that shift, I believe that it is easier to care for ourselves. Because we're not feeling like, oh gosh, I can't do something, right? I'm incapable. I am dependent on something, I'm burdensome to somebody else. We're saying, this is a time of retreat. This is a time of healing, emotional healing, physical healing, spiritual healing, whatever it is that you need. And to, I think, relieve ourselves of the feeling of guilt that comes with that oftentimes, or the feeling of kind of shamefulness kind of beating ourselves up for not being strong enough, good enough, energetic enough. And where that tends to lead, is to have a negative energy towards our body. So here, we've got this body that's giving us red flags and saying, hey, something's going on here. We're fighting disease, we're fighting illness, we've got fatigue, there's inflammation, there's something happening here. And the body's giving us signs of that. And instead of saying, just like we were to a dear friend, or a child, or someone we love, oh, hey, body is sending me signs, I need to listen. And I need to give it what it needs. Instead, we're saying like, no, no, no, no, don't feel like that. Don't do that. It's not okay. I want to be doing this over here instead. And so then we're sending that negative energy back to a body that's already saying, hey, something's not right. And I need more support. So I like to oftentimes separate the way we view ourselves, like our consciousness and our physical body and say, look at your physical body as if it's outside of you as if it's a dear friend, because I think that we treat things better when they're outside of us, when we tend to judge and push ourselves so much harder. So if you were to take that body and put outside of yourself and say, Wow, that body is just someone I love so much so dearly. And it's my responsibility, even to care for this body. Like it depends on me to care for it. And it's showing you signs of pain, and fatigue, and anything else that might be going on? What would you do in that scenario? So these these questions, I think, are important for you to explore for yourself. Because if we can accept our downtime, and our healing time, and our recuperation time as just the continuum of life, which is always fluctuating right, up and down, stress, not stress, vacations work, you know, they're all different requirements of us through the different days and through the different seasons of our lives. And downtime. healing time, is just an integral part of that. So when we can embrace that and say, Oh, here's, this is what's coming. Now. This is what I need. Now. I can see this is what's happening now. Like, for me, in my situation, for instance, if I just said, No, I refuse this is ridiculous. I've been through this before on my other hip, and it was all fixed. And now I'm going through some, I'm not going to do it again. Well, who suffers, but me, right? I suffer because pain can be very exhausting. And obviously, pain can be an indication of something gone very wrong, and being damaging, and especially in my situation. So just acknowledging and in saying, Okay, this is a time to be gentle with myself. And also, I'm going to throw in here. There's a lot of stuff that we can do in life. Now, from a restful state. You know, there are all of these books that you meant to read, right? There are different things that you can do just to unplug. Wow, I've already one always wanted to try this breathing exercise I heard about, or I've been hearing about this type of meditation. Let me study it. Let me take an online course on Transcendental Meditation. Let me see what I can do to calm the body and we can take that quiet time, that time we're not out running around to do things, to even go a little deeper into self study, and learning about the different things that we can do to support ourselves and to support our healthiest terrain. And I think that adopting that mentality hopefully will help us shift from being so judgmental when we do this for ourselves. Meaning, even if you take an entire weekend, day off, or some people take a staycation they say, Oh, I did nothing. I was so unproductive. I was such a slob. I was such a bum I laid around on the couch doing nothing. And I think that that language is something important to investigate because what was the reason for that? I don't think that most human beings just sit around doing nothing for no reason. And when we can stop and really get in touch with ourselves and understand ourselves and see oh, you know what? I'm checking out here because I've been investing a lot of energy into whatever it is in your life you've been investing energy into It is getting really tiring. It's getting really exhausting. And I actually need rest. And then during that rest, what am I going to do to serve myself? Meaning like, what wonderful teas can I have on store? What great books did I want to catch up with? What do I do to not just give myself downtime, but to graciously generously give myself downtime, and not judge myself for it. So I hope that that makes sense to you. And I think that just the incorporating life as this whole and not thinking that it's only life, if you're doing all the things that you've been conditioned to believe you should be doing. You know, if you're 100%, on top of everything, taking care of everybody doing everything, life also involves stopping in sometimes I think that stopping is even more important. Because we really start to acknowledge our own needs, if we let ourselves if it's time to stop in our body, and we stopped just because our body says that said, I'm not going anymore. And we sit there judging and being frustrated, and calling everybody and talking about how frustrated we are because we can't do anything, then we're just exacerbating this really negative energy. But if we can let it go and say, Yeah, I'm just in a season right now, I'm at a point in my life right now, where I just need some downtime, and I need to take care of myself, then I think that everybody can understand that. And we can be so much more loving and compassionate towards ourselves when we do that. So what's the work here? How do you do this? The work here is look at the thoughts behind? Why if you tell yourself that you've got to be productive 24/7? Why if you tell yourself that time off, or rest, or being unable to do the things you normally do? Why is that a bad thing? I investigate that first. This is definitely some work that I had to do with myself. And look at the beliefs behind that. Why is that a bad thing? And why do you tell yourself if you're taking time to rest? If you build more downtime in for yourself? How do you view that? Do you judge that? What do you tell yourself about that downtime? And then look at those stories? Because that's all they are stories? Where did they come from? Are they actually true? If you decide, wow, my body is exhausted. And for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to look at my schedule and do the absolute minimum. And in that space I create for myself, I'm going to do the absolute most I can to pamper myself and care for myself and nourish myself. What are your thoughts about that? Do you deserve that? Do you give yourself permission for that? Can you and if not why? When we start to investigate these thoughts, we start to get to the real truth when we stay at the surface of saying, Oh, I'm busy or I'm not busy, oh, I'm productive or I'm lazy, then we're missing the underlying beliefs that support or undermine the actions we take to take care of ourselves in the best possible way. So I hope that that gives you a little, a little bone to gnaw on. And as this lovely season of summer comes up in which so many people take time to just relax and reconnect to the earth and be outside and be in nature and enjoy themselves. Think about that. How much time can you take for yourself? And can that just be a part of a whole life? Can we take that holistic approach to life and not think that we're either in or out but that all parts of life are equally valuable, equally meaningful and equally necessary? All right, my friends. If you would like to work more on that you know you can get my support by joining the better than before breast cancer life coaching membership. You can find all that information on my website the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash life coaching I'll talk to you again soon take care