Setting Boundaries: Prioritizing Well-Being at Home
Love is in the air, and you know what else is? Germs.
That probably wasn't the first thing to come to mind, right? It certainly should when you are going through active cancer treatment! Lowered white blood cell counts and constantly applying hand sanitizer in public are 2 very real occurrences among those impacted by metastatic breast cancer. It can be harsh on one's mental health because, in some instances, you have to protect yourself by saying no to fun or exciting things.
Saying no to stay safe with metastatic breast cancer
So, what do you do when you want to live life and stay safe?
For folks with breast cancer, getting sick is a huge gamble. It's why most of us try to stay away from crowds. We keep face masks with us and keep that hand sanitizer handy. It protects us while keeping others around us safe as well. Do you know the saying, "Never judge a book by its cover?" Well, it also applies to life because you never know what someone is going through. Plenty of us don't "look sick" as much as we hate that phrase.
Cancer treatment and feeling left out
A tricky part about being a young human in active cancer treatment is feeling left out of a lot of stuff. It can be heartbreaking. Staying healthy and safe could mean skipping friends' weddings, missing concerts, and taking exciting trips or vacations.
I am so lucky to have a partner who understands my health situation, which makes me feel supported with hard decisions about social events. Surrounding ourselves with friends who are understanding makes it a little easier, too.
While sometimes it burns me when I don't get invited to certain events and outings, my partner and I understand the importance of staying safe.
Cultivating a comfortable home
It is also crucial to us that we cultivate a space where people can come to us and be comfortable. I love hosting friends to visit, and my space is comforting and inviting. My friends who have stuck around get it; they are honest with me when they feel sick or under the weather. They will postpone a visit until they feel better.
At-home activity ideas
Making sure my home is a comfortable place is super important. It can be fun to do activities at my favorite place on earth: home. Here are some fun activities to try when hosting company or staying in.
Snack and movie roulette
Each person picks a special snack (i.e. candy, chips, drink, etc.) and a movie to go with it. To choose which special snack and movie to enjoy, play rock, paper, scissors, and the winner gets to decide! You can even pick a random show or movie through Netflix.
Themed movie nights
My partner is a Disney fan, so this activity is also enjoyable. We pick a movie and create a themed night around it. Ways to lean into the theme are to dress up as the movie's characters, cook a particular dish inspired by the film, or even decorate your space according to the movie's time frame or fictional setting. The opportunities for themes are almost endless!
Fine dining at home
While not everyone is a fan of ordering takeout, I personally enjoy it. I can support a local business, and I get to enjoy my favorite food. Plus, I don't have to make it!
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, my partner and I enjoyed ordering our favorite takeout and setting up our space like a fancy restaurant. We would light some candles, set up tea lights, and set the table. You can get cozy with a favorite blanket or play music to go along with dinner.
Creating the fun at home
Finding fun at home can feel daunting. Switching over to fun tasks is hard when so many chores need to be accomplished around you. Remember, those things can wait! Life is all about balance, after all.
What activities do you enjoy doing at home?
Do you have a safe space where others understand what you are going through?