Facing a disease such as malignant mesothelioma means tackling some major changes in life. At Kazan, McClain, Satterley, Lyons, Greenwood & Oberman, we want you to know that just because you have this illness doesn’t mean you have to forget about annual holiday traditions, such as making New Year’s resolutions.
Admittedly, this may be a tricky venture. Most people’s resolutions are related to improving their health: better diet, smoking cessation, weight management, and so on. When you have cancer, such as mesothelioma, such resolutions are wonderful ideas.
The pitfall with resolutions is people’s tendencies to break them. Some individuals are not bothered if they fall into this trap, but others may get down on themselves and feel their self-esteem wear down.
There are several ways to avoid this and look forward to the new year with your head held high.
Self-reflection can do you a world of good
Making promises is the easy part. Keeping them is a whole other story.
Experts from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center point out that keeping a New Year’s resolution requires more than willpower. In fact, it takes some prep work before a resolution is even made.
In order to avoid the emotional fallout of not being able to keep a resolution, it may be helpful to do some self-reflection about why your goal is so important and whether it’s worth the trouble. After such a reflection, you may realize you are not ready to make this resolution, and that’s okay. But if at some point you feel you are ready, you have to consider whether you have the skills and social support to follow through.
What resolutions should you make, and how do you keep them?
For those living with mesothelioma, the usual resolutions to live a healthier life – nutritious food, more exercise and smoking cessation – are classics for a reason: they make you feel better. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help manage your weight and deliver vitamins that support your immune system. Physical activity may keep your muscles functional while helping your body to take in more oxygen.
And when you have a respiratory disease, giving up smoking is a no-brainer.
In order to improve your success in keeping your resolution, it helps to be as specific and realistic as possible. Instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” tell yourself, “I’m going to go walking after breakfast for 30 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.” Remember that beginning new habits takes time, and seeing results may be a slow process. Start out gradually, and try to keep a positive and patient attitude.
Also, you should make sure you’re doing things you enjoy. If you want to consume more vegetables, make sure you’re eating produce that you actually like.
You can also boost your success by scheduling a day to start your resolution, and making preparations before that day. For example, if you’re going to quit smoking, take the time to get rid of all of your cigarettes and talk to your doctor about nicotine cessation aids.
It can be easy to get derailed by changes in your schedule caused by illness or a vacation. You can plan ahead for such situations, though. If your resolution involves dieting, keep healthy meals on standby in the freezer so you don’t have to cook. If you’re trying to exercise more, try to schedule a workout session during your vacation ahead of time