January 05, 2023
Recovering Well is a series of articles all about recovering health and wellness. They use my knowledge as a Naturopath, and draw from my own experience of recovering my wellness and well-being after having cancer treatments.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 I got very focussed and proactive. I decided in addition to supporting my health while undergoing medical treatments, my core focus would be my recovery.
By the “end” of my most intensive life saving treatments I had gone through a lot to be alive, and I was significantly depleted.
What the medical professionals will often say is “you will feel tired”. What they don’t say, perhaps can’t say, is what “tired” means. For me tired meant bursting into tears at random times, especially in the evening. I didn’t feel tired (I now realise I was so depleted that I didn’t recognise when I was tired) but I would start crying for no reason in particular and this was time to go to bed. For me “tired” also meant low mood, and since I had been diagnosed with a life threatening illness “tired” meant all the regrets of things I hadn’t achieved. “Tired” also meant guilt - guilt that I hadn’t been able to spend time with my children during the COVID lockdowns as I would have liked to because I was recovering from surgery and each chemotherapy round. At the end of it all “tired” meant depleted, on every level.
At the start of my post-treatment recovery journey my oncologist insisted that I would feel better, that I wouldn’t always feel like this. But it would take time. She was right. But my recovery was not a passive process, I worked hard and was very focussed on my recovery. My goal was to be as well as I could as quickly as I could. I wanted to live my life well, and in some ways I guess makeup for all the regrets I had in my darkest times (I am over that now).
To the casual observer I am recovered. I function in daily life, I enjoy holidays and time with my family. I am making plans and moving forward. It’s true that I am no longer actively recovering from intense cancer treatments, thank goodness. However my experience has left me with a renewed appreciation for the preciousness of life. I wish to be well, to have an amazing quality of life, vitality, energy and wellbeing. I am mindful that I MUST take care of myself. I MUST support myself with practices that are healthy for me. It’s an ongoing process to be well.
To recover after all my treatments I used my knowledge as a Naturopath, and all the personal development that I had done over the years - as well as continually learning more - to my advantage to support myself. I used all the resources I had available to me. My goal was (and is) to be as healthy, happy and well as I possibly can. My focus is on quality of life, and I continue to support myself with healthy practices.
As a Naturopath I am lucky enough to be able to share all I have learnt with others who are in the situation I was in, depleted and needing to recover their vitality and themselves so they can live their life well. I have also decided to share this process, although it must be understood that anything in the articles I share are not individual recommendations. I don’t know you in detail, and while I hope the information I share is helpful to you in recovering your own wellness, any individual recommendations can only come through the consultation process with a suitably qualified and experienced health practitioner.
I have organised the recovering well process into an annual plan, with 10 main parts.
The main areas I will focus on for recovery of health wellness are:
Over the year I will break down these areas into weekly articles, sharing what I know and drawing on my own recovering experience - both then and now.
Supporting your wellness is an ongoing process, but a rewarding one. As I recovered more vitality I was able to do more, both in terms of taking care of myself and in terms of “living my life”. The challenge becomes living your life while still taking care of myself. Just like I do now. Only it’s not a chore but a practice.
I see recovery as having 4 aspects to it.
Wellness arises from the process of practices we do. There may be blindsiding challenges along the way. Ultimately though recovering from these challenges and taking care of ourselves matters because life is precious. And we deserve energy and vitality, the quality of life to enjoy the next adventure in our lives (and a healthy enough mindset to see our experiences as an adventure).
October 06, 2023
I have found with the people that I help that using minerals gives us a strong foundation to work with.
On a personal level I am extremely grateful for the support of minerals!!
September 01, 2023
August 25, 2023
When you start to think in a downward spiral, or become distracted or focussing on negative “unwanted” thoughts - of the past, the present or the future you simply tell your brain “Useful Thoughts Only”
The trick is catching yourself in the act, but I suspect you may have a few (or even many) opportunities each day to practice this technique. The great thing is, even if you realise after quite a while that you have been riding the unhelpful thought train, you can stop at any time and tell yourself - USEFUL THOUGHTS ONLY.