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Stress to Serenity: Tips from a Breast Cancer Survivor to Navigate Life's Twists and Turns

Life not going your way? Actionable tips and techniques for managing stress and cultivating a sense of calm no matter what life demands are.


Hey there, wonderful souls! Grab a cozy spot and let's chat about something we've all danced with – stress. As a breast cancer survivor, I've been through my fair share of stress storms, and let me tell you, the journey to serenity hasn't been a stroll in the park. If I hear one more person complain about my brain fog I will probably SCREAM. But hey, I've gathered some battle-tested tips along the way to manage stress and sprinkle a little calm into life's chaos.


Are you living a double life?


One of the biggest questions that come to mind when I think about stress is the cause. Throughout my life I've realised that my stress levels were the worst when the way I am living is inconsistent with my my inner experiences. Last year, when my life flashed before my eyes I thought to myself this can't be. I have so much to do... someone else to be. I spent the past 36 years of my life focused on being a version of myself that fit the expectations of others versus living for ME. So I ask you what do you want really? Who do you really want to be? Please take a moment to design your life on paper without thinking about expectations of others or barriers. Figure out what's causing the misalignment and develop a plan to get there.


#1 Rolling with the Imperfections:


Picture this: life after breast cancer, and there I was, trying to craft this perfect post-cancer existence. Guess what? Perfect doesn't exist. Accepting the beauty in the mess, in the imperfect moments, was my first step toward stress-free living and it's still a journey. So, let's collectively toss the idea of perfection out the window and embrace the beautiful chaos that is life.


#2 Mindfulness Magic:


Now, I'm no meditation guru, but I stumbled upon the magic of mindfulness, and it's a game-changer. Taking a few minutes each day to just be present – breathe in, breathe out – made all the difference. Whether it's a quick mindfulness app, a stroll in the park, or just enjoying a cup of tea, these tiny mindful moments became my secret weapon against stress.


#3 Boundaries: A Love Story


Ah, boundaries – my newfound love affair. As a survivor, I realized saying 'no' isn't a crime; it's an act of self-love. Setting boundaries, whether it's carving out 'me time' or gently declining extra commitments, allowed me to protect my peace. So, don't be afraid to draw those lines in the sand. Your sanity will thank you.


#4 Laugh in the Face of Stress:


They say laughter is the best medicine, and I'm here to vouch for it. This one is certainly still a growth area for me. In the midst of stress storms, find moments to laugh. It could be a funny show, a silly joke, or even a dance party in your living room. Laughter is a powerful stress-buster, and it's like a little rebellion against life's tougher moments.


#5 The Power of the Pause:


Life moves at warp speed, right? But here's the secret sauce – the power of the pause. Take a moment, breathe, and hit that mental reset button. It could be a deep breath before a big meeting, a pause to appreciate a beautiful sunset, or simply closing your eyes and letting the world fade away for a minute. The pause is where the magic happens.


#6 Connection is Key:


As a survivor, I learned that leaning on my support system is like having a safety net for stress. Share your thoughts, fears, and joys with loved ones. A chat with a friend, a heartfelt conversation with family, or even joining a support group – these connections became my lifelines during stressful times.


#7 **Get Your Body Moving:**


Exercise – the ULTIMATE stress-buster. It doesn't have to be a marathon; a simple walk, a dance session in the living room, or a yoga stretch can work wonders. Physical activity releases those feel-good endorphins, giving stress a run for its money.


#8 **Tech Detox Vacations:**


We need more connection.... In the digital age, we're constantly bombarded by notifications, emails, and the hum of technology. Enter tech detox vacations – intentional breaks from the digital world. Whether it's an hour each day or a full day of tech-free bliss, these breaks helped me reclaim my peace and sanity.


#9 **Gratitude Journaling:**


The gratitude journal – a simple yet powerful stress antidote. Taking a few minutes each day to jot down things I'm grateful for really helps to shift my focus from stress to serenity. It's a beautiful reminder that even in challenging times, there's always something to be thankful for.


#10 LET IT OUT- SCREAM!!!


Last but not least, Scream, WRITE, run. Whatever you need to do to release the pain let it out. You're human, we're human.


So, there you have it, my stress-busting toolkit forged in the fires of breast cancer survival. Life may not always be perfect, but with these strategies, we can sprinkle a little serenity into our days. Remember, you're resilient, you're amazing, and you've got the power to conquer any stress that comes your way. Cheers to a stress-free, serene life! 🌈✨


Have anything to add to the list. Send me an email. I'd love to hear from you.



xoxo,


Zakia

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What an excellent and exciting read. These topics make you do a self evaluation and assessment of your life, friends, and health. These topics are definitely a road map to a better you. Thank you, and I look forward to more explosive articles.

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