Now, we are all familiar with a “To Do List.” You know, the lists we create of tasks we want to accomplish throughout our day and week. These lists can make us feel productive, but they can also foster a lot of stress and anxiety!
I have put a lot of thought into this recently as I have been feeling overwhelmed and quite frankly, not feeling as if I am giving a 100% to everything I’m doing in my life. Have you ever felt like this? I decided it was time to re-evaluate my so called “To Do Lists.” I knew I would feel empowered in changing up this habit, to prioritize things I want to achieve throughout my day. But even more important, I wanted to make sure I was making time for activities and relationships that foster increased positive emotions and joy!! How many of us schedule joy into our day? This was weighing heavy on my mind as I know the importance of self-care and putting my health first above all!
So, I created a “Stop Doing List.” First, I wanted to recognize the importance of such a list. The first step is to intentionally remove an existing action and replace it with another action. I began by choosing an action that doesn’t necessarily add value to my life. An example would be, constantly checking social media. This was the first item I decided to scale back on. Other actions might include, television, phone games, possessions, and for me, even breakfast.
As I was pondering this new change in my life, I decided to start intermittent fasting (which can have a slew of benefits for cancer thrivers.) I used to spend a good amount of time preparing breakfast, cleaning up after breakfast, all while checking social media. By simply removing those activities, it has enabled me to focus on expanding my self care routine in the morning. Now, my morning routine consists of rebounding, time in nature, extra gym time and time for prayer.
This new routine quickly filled me with empowerment and yes joy!! What an awesome way to start my day! My suggestion is to start compiling your “Stop Doing List,” and try it for 21 days! You may just recognize as I did, that this “new” way of prioritizing your day brings you blessings.
Below are some tips to starting your list:
1. Stop saying "yes" to every request. People pleasers like me, struggle with this. Coincidently, people pleasers have a higher incidence of cancer.
2. Do NOT compare yourself to others. When we are faced with a life altering illness, we look at life very differently than others.
3. Stop saying ok when it’s not! Listen to your intuition and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Listen to your body closely.
4. Have CLEAR boundaries. Boundaries will help free up your time, to enjoy things that are most meaningful to you.
5. Do not feel guilty! Putting our physical, mental, and spiritual health first is key to thriving.
I hope you find as much value in making these changes as I did.