As a person affected by cancer in one way or another, your life as you have known it has changed. You did not get a vote about the change, but you do get a vote about how you are going to navigate your life. Today’s word is DELEGATE.
Don’t let your life become overwhelming, DELEGATE as much you can to someone else. DELEGATE household chores to your children, partner, or house partners. DELEGATE things that you don’t like doing or don’t want to do. For instance, if you hate ironing, DELEGATE it to another family member or pay someone else to do it for you. Most of the things that require your time and energy can be hired out and DELEGATED to someone else who needs to make a living doing the things that you hate to do. Rather than think about yourself as lazy or unmotivated realize that DELEGATING difficult or an unpleasant chore to others for hire is a way to keep the system moving. Get as much stuff off of your to to-do list as possible because you need all of your energy to recover and let the body return to optimum health.
What is that message in your head when you ask someone else to do something for you? Where did that message come from? If you allowed yourself to be gentle with your need to DELEGATE some of that stuff on your plate what is the worst that could happen? Would it be guilt, or your fear someone else won’t do it right or the way you want it done? Transitioning your attitude to be willing to DELEGATE as a management style may not be a smooth transition, but it can be helpful in lowering your levels of stress and chaos once you learn to DELEGATE.
Chose three things to DELEGATE this week. Look at the things in your life that are irritating you, stealing your energy, or are just too hard for you to do right now. Three may seem like a lot but through this process, you will choose the number one priority to DELEGATE. Reflect over the past few days or weeks about your thoughts. How many times have you wished someone else would do the laundry but you didn’t ask or delegate? You probably didn’t ask or delegate because you minimized the task. Perhaps you said something like, “How hard is it to throw a load of laundry in the machine and transfer it to the dryer? Come on, it is no big deal, just do it.” But then when the dryer finished, you just wanted to crawl into those warm clothes and go to sleep rather than fold them. Your body needs rest. Your cells need to be strong and capable of fighting off those mutant cells that want to build tumors. Give yourself permission to rest.
Thus, back to your list of three. Choose one from the list as a practice DELEGATE task. Create a plan on how you are going to DELEGATE and to whom. Write specific instructions on how you want this task to be done and make arrangements for a finish task time. DELEGATE it and see how it goes. Then move on to the other two items on your list. As you become a pro at DELEGATION, the goal is to have time and energy for the top five things on your list that matter most for your healing; rest, sleep, healthy eating, yoga and time to enjoy your favorite people in your life.
Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.