7 Tips for Balancing Responsibilities With Metastatic Breast Cancer

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Evaluate your priorities. Daily life — with all of its responsibilities and challenges — keeps on coming, regardless of how you are feeling. Take the time to figure out what keeps you motivated each day and minimize the non-necessities in your life.

Ask for help, and be specific. Put one person in charge of giving medical updates to family and friends and helping you organize what needs to get taken care of. Be direct and detailed about your needs, and prepare a list of tasks that people can do for you. And most importantly, accept help when you need it.

Let some things go. There may be times your house cleaning slows, the laundry piles up, and you are eating mostly take-out. Be gentle on yourself and give yourself permission to ask for help, or just let it be. You may be forced to learn new ways to manage changes at home and in your relationships.

Consult financial, legal, estate planning, and disability experts. As emotionally difficult and time-consuming these conversations can be, getting things in order, practically, can help you live each day with less fear, worry, and tension and allow you to focus on getting the most out of each day.

Take care of yourself, emotionally and physically. In addition to taking care of your body with good diet, exercise, and sleep, consider seeking emotional support from a therapist or spiritual adviser and consulting with your doctor about medications to help with pain, sleep issues, anxiety, or depression.

Take the time to do things you enjoy, every day. Plant a garden, try a new hobby, read a great book, sit in the sun. Do things that bring you pleasure and that you can look forward to.

Stay connected to supportive people. Make and keep these connections. It can sometimes feel like work, but these people can help ground you. A great place to start is a local support group or the Breastcancer.org Community.


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