We have all felt it, crawling through our day wishing we had five minutes to ourselves. Wanting to stop and just sit down and have some Space to think! Space to breathe!
After three breast cancer diagnosis, I realised just how vital it was to have that space. Space to reflect and ‘be’ and rather than rushing through our recovery, actually taking our time with our healing journey and appreciating the view. Hanging out at the summit for a bit and gathering our strength again.
There can be so much to process and take on board while going through cancer treatment as well as the frustration of wanting to live our lives again but a huge part of this process is figuring out who we are now and what ‘normal’ even means after this.
After having so many people around me through my treatment though, there was no one there to help me now. I wanted to feel empowered. I wanted to build my own recovery tribe around me to nurture and support me as I took those tentative steps forward again.
As well as exercise, nutrition and holistic care, skincare is a huge part of our wellbeing, through cancer and especially afterwards. Learning to look after ourselves with non toxic products and safe and effective lotions and potions is all part of the healing process and we become much more assertive about our self care. I met Ruth because of her amazing soaps and I wanted to spread the word and share the fantastic work she is doing to improve natural skincare.
After my second diagnosis I began writing about all these things that I had tried and discovered, that were helping me rebuild my own all round wellbeing and influencing my healing. These blogs gradually became what is now the Samspaces website, a resource for patients, survivors and supporters to use as signposts, to rediscover as well as explore all the options that are available to improve their own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and healing.
By putting this into practice through the Safespace support group, in the Surrey area, I have seen first hand how welcome this support is post treatment. We meet twice a month, once for a coffee and a chat and then the second meeting is focused around a wellbeing workshop, demonstration, class or talk. We have had dance classes, cookery demo’s, makeovers and creative workshops where we can be ourselves and feel safe and relaxed.
But, it is also important to remember that we are all different and our cancer experiences are all so personal to us. The Daily Space has recently been launched as an online community where members receive a monthly email with a list of wellbeing tips, links and suggestions that they can tap into as and when they need.
Each month there is a different wellbeing tip, a space to go/thing to do to inspire and encourage, a soundtrack suggestion, a book and app recommendation and recipe link as well as a blog written by a specific wellbeing professional about their service and how it can be helpful.
Members can access the private Facebook group to share ideas and ask questions while connecting with other patients and survivors as well as wellbeing professionals. There are numerous discounts as a member of the Daily Space but most importantly, it is that invaluable support net, so we know we have support to help us bounce back up when we fall, in our own time, with our own power posse behind us.
Taking a daily space to look after ourselves whether it be emotionally, physically, spiritually or mentally is vital to achieving optimum healing after cancer or after any adversity but we don’t have to do it alone and simply having that support counts so much towards our own emotional wellbeing.
So, today, whether affected by cancer or not, when you're rushing around and trying desperately to get everything done, stop and take some space for yourself. Space to reflect, space to pause and space to breathe and make it your daily time, your daily space.