How To Build Awareness: A Cancer Patient Self-Care Tool


Awareness Self Care Tool.jpeg

“Awareness is empowering.” Rita Wilson

Good self-care requires that we build our intuitive ability to become more aware. Developing a keen sense of awareness makes us more vibrant and alive. At the beginning of your cancer journey, it may be helpful to take an inventory of your life before cancer and life now with the C word in your life.

Awareness From A Self-Care Perspective
It is common for most of us go through life on remote control or default, not paying attention to the small things in our lives. We often dismiss information as not important because we are moving at such rapid daily paces that we don’t notice that the headache has been hanging around for over a month or that we are feeling more tired than usual. However, from a self-care perspective, Awareness is the key to beginning to direct our lives toward a meaningful daily life.  So, prior to cancer how hectic, busy, and chaotic was your life?

  • What was your day in and day out activity?
  • How did you spend your time?
  • How did you spend your free time?
  • What do you regret about that now?
  • What do you wish you would have done differently?

Doing this inventory is the beginning of bringing to your attention that life was controlling you and you were not directing your life. Notice that I am using the word direct and directing.

How To Do The Best You Can
One lesson that you learned from having cancer, even if you have not put words to it, is that control is an illusion. We really have no control over anything, and everything we think we have control over is an illusion. As I said, In a Moment’s Notice, life changes in micro-seconds and the life we knew no longer exists. This lesson is one of the most important lessons that we can take away from our cancer diagnosis.

There are no guarantees and we have no control over the outcome. We have to do the best we can and let go of the outcome.

This is where AWARENESS becomes so important.

  1. It is important to pay attention to the small things in our day to day life.
  2. It is important to pay attention to what we are experiencing emotionally and use that information to tweak the direction our life is taking.

Develop Skills That Help Us Pay Attention
Building awareness means we need to develop skills that help us pay attention. One awareness exercise is as simple as sitting in your chair, gently closing your eyes, and when you open them name ten items within your vision. You are teaching yourself to be visually aware of your surroundings, noticing colors, sounds, and movement in your environment. This makes you more alert. The more alert you are the more you can concentrate on becoming aware. If we train ourselves to notice things around us, then we learn that we can observe more of the subtle signals in our life. Synchronicity and signals bring us messages that help us pay attention. Paying attention allows us to be more vibrant in our daily life because we see, hear, feel, and take better care of ourselves when we are aware. Better awareness means better self-care.

Train Yourself To Notice, With These Three Questions.

  1. Who did I smile at today and who smiled at me?
  2. What part of my day made me feel positive?
  3. What made me sad today?

Suggested Cancer Self-Care Healing BookS

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. 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.

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