GUEST POST: PATIENTS AND GOAL SETTING


I have recently been contacted by a contributor from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog to collaborate on a cause that affect’s so many of us on a personal level. My blog may be about travel, but it is also about saving the world, and our health should be a top priority. The following post links nicely with some of the work I have done on my blog in regards to inspiration and goal-setting. Melanie Bowen, the author of the following article brings in key element’s that I have used here on WhereDidSheGoNow such as creating a bucket list. Awareness is the basis of change, and if you or a loved one have been diagnosed, feel free to be inspired and follow some of the steps Bowen outlines below.

Patients and Goal Setting

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness, you might not see the importance of setting goals for yourself considering your mind might be clouded by other anxieties. However, goal setting and engaging in productive activity is even more important for patients than for the general population because focusing on goals helps improve their mental and physical health and gives them the best chances of defeating the disease.

Short-Term Goals
Start by setting short-term, personal goals. Whether you’re struggling to accept a serious illness like mesothelioma or maintainable illness news like diabetes, you may be feeling depressed, anxious or angry. It isn’t reasonable to expect yourself to have the concentration to plan for very long-term goals right after you’ve first been diagnosed. However, you can start rebuilding a healthy life by setting short-term goals. If you’re extremely depressed or anxious, getting out of bed at a reasonable hour or eating a healthy breakfast is a suitable short-term goal to help you defeat negative feelings and start creating the positive attitude you need to defeat cancer. Making a schedule for your day can help provide structure and encourage you to be productive so that you distract yourself from your fear or anger over your diagnosis. The more you write down extremely short-term goals and succeed at meeting them, the happier you’ll feel. These goals also help you begin to take care of your physical health, which inevitably is vital to your treatment management plan. Your stated prognosis has chances to improve if you eat healthily and get enough sleep; short-term goal planning helps you do these things. After you have gotten used to meeting these short-term goals, you can start thinking about longer term goals and things you’d like to do to provide yourself with a better quality of life.





Making a Bucket List
Many cancer patients benefit from making a “bucket list”–a list of things they’d like to do while they are still relatively healthy and able to enjoy life. Although making a bucket list may seem counter productive because it acknowledges that you will eventually die, it makes sense to work on this kind of list soon after your diagnosis. Being diagnosed with cancer forces you to face your own mortality, and this can be a frightening and depressing prospect. If you begin doing all those things that you hope to do in your life, however, you’ll feel happy and excited about the future rather than feeling depressed. You may also gain clarity through your future experiences and you will have done most of what you hoped to do—travel though your desires and travel down the path to healing.

 

Special Challenges for Patients
Planning and goal setting is undoubtedly a difficult task not only because we as humans get side tracked and are faced with life challenges but also because of stress associated with the with those challenges and as a patient your treatments regimen or limitations. After treatments or medication schedules, one may feel weak and tired. They may be disappointed if they are unable to meet their goals for the day or feel that there’s no point to goal setting. Begin by setting realistic goals and be gentle on yourselves if you are unable to meet a goal on a particular day.  To take it one step at a time, one has to begin with an initial step!

To learn more please visit the MCA blog.

Melanie Bowen

“Melanie Bowen is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics”

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