Of all the coping ideas I’ve seen and heard, this one is probably the most effective and, also, the easiest one to do.
Give yourself something to look forward to.
Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? So simple and basic most of us don’t even think of it, but it’s there for the taking.
Here’s a great example from my own experience. When my wife was feeling pretty punk after chemotherapy, we received a postcard from a friend on vacation in Tahiti. It depicted a beautiful lagoon with hotel bungalows stretched out over the water; pretty dreamy.
Feeling the way she did (and me too, because she felt so awful) we found it hard to believe that a place like that could even exist in the world. I told her that some how, some way, when her treatment was over I was going to take her to Tahiti, and we put the postcard up on the refrigerator.
Guess what happened.
It gave us hope.
Seeing it there and thinking about it every day allowed us to focus on something besides her treatment, which seemed to be going on forever. It’s really amazing how much better you can feel when you just think about something wonderful or fun that’s going to happen in the future.
You can accomplish the same thing without going all the way to Tahiti; just setting a date to go to the movies next week ought to do the trick. Or plan a special night together with candles and soft music, or invite some friends over . . . whatever it is that you like to do, something that would be a treat for you.
Remember that it isn’t about doing something that someone else thinks is cool or fun, it’s about what YOU think is cool and fun. Some people like to go to the airport and watch the planes land. If that’s what floats your boat, DO IT!
This article is one in a series on coping strategies for patients and caregivers alike. For more thoughts on caregiving, coping strategies, and just plain fun subscribe to my free monthly newsletter at www.CaringAndCoping.com