Hello Friends of Enliven,
On what would have been the last Friday of March Break, we are settling in for an extended time of social distancing. In contrast, one of the main aims of Enliven is to reduce social isolation.
So how do we reconcile our current duty to global and community health and the Enliven goal of helping people staying connected? We know that many in treatment right now are susceptible to all forms of viruses and so the added stress of this pandemic will be challenging. Please consider the following ways to stay connected, hopeful and well.
Novel virus, novel feelings. Stress and anxiety are even more normal now; and having cancer may add to this response. Additional distressed feelings are going to visit. Remind yourself that this is normal. Our job, as we practice self care, is to find a way to release these feelings - from our minds, from our bodies, and from our hearts. We are facing a new virus, and new feelings can be expected. Use these feelings to motivate actions of wellness.
Just the facts. Learn about the pandemic and what it means for you as a patient, caregiver, or health professional. Shut down fearmongering -- credible sources are key: social media, and always consider the reliability of information you see on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Problems. When problems come up during our time of social isolation break them down with a problem-solving plan. What's really a problem? What can be deferred? Talk to someone about your problem. How do they see it? What are some possible solutions and how can Enliven help?
Be kind. It's always important, but these days it's critical. Be kind to yourself and to those you give care. And if the current situation overwhelms us - that's ok. We're human. The world is overwhelming now. Take a moment to breathe and reset.
Daily wellness plan. Set your day up so that wellness can be the star of the show. Eat healthfully, rest, drink water, move your body through space. Think about your wellness non-negotiables first thing in the morning. Set out the water pitcher. Put the walking shoes at the door. Cut up some celery and carrots. Easy, planned wellness gestures for every day will help now.
In cancer we hear 'one day at a time' often. These days, one day at a time, one hour at a time is the new reality. Let us be part of your wellness plan now. We are here for our members, friends and supporters during this pandemic. If you have cancer and are looking for help during this time of social isolation, reach out. We'll do all we can to ensure you have what you need.
Take good care,
Jackie Riley, E.D. Enliven Cancer Care: A Centre for Well-being in Cancer
Hello Dear Friends of Enliven,
Recent snowstorms aside, I’m feeling spring-y!
March 2020 promises to be a time of renewal, growth, and a few surprises. It’s only a matter of days to our next Enliven Dance it Out - Dance Party! There are so many great plans for March at Enliven. (Read more)
On March 5th, we’ll gather again at 59 Main St. East (1st floor this time!) and listen to the music that beckons our bodies to boogie, befriend, and bask. The boogie-ing will be self evident - no skills necessary, just the interest in celebrating a body that can move through space. And befriending is what Enliven and Dance it Out is all about. Befriending our own bodies and their capacity to find joy in movement and music, befriending other participants who will each have their own connection to Enliven and to cancer, befriending music that is the memories of our lives and new tunes that leave us curious. And we’ll bask in the passing of time. Dance parties are always held at the end of each quarter of the year. Can you believe that we are in the last month of the first quarter of 2020?! So join us, move, and remember all the joy that connection, music, and the wonderland of movement can bring. (Put the next 2 Dance Parties in your calendar: March 5, and June 3.)
Sometime this month we’ll have the good fortune to hear from Carrie Oakley in a workshop to Medical Expenses and Taxes Workshop that was postponed due to the snowstorm of Feb. 27 - watch social media and our website for a rescheduled date and time!
And what did I say about spring and growth?
March seemed like the perfect time to expand our offerings into the next neighbouring town in Muskoka. On Thursday, March 26 at 7 pm, Enliven will host it’s first BRACEBRIDGE Cancer Coffee Talk. This is an opportunity for patients, caregivers, and health providers to come together. Make connections and know that Enliven is there to help facilitate connection and end the isolation that can come with a cancer diagnosis.
And what about the surprise of March?
Well, for me, March is the official first month of my second year with Enliven. It’s the month I turn 51 and if you missed the inaugural Soup for the Soul in February, come and enjoy the sensational soup of March on March 31 at 12:30 pm (many thanks to our volunteers interested in making homemade healthy soups to share with our friends of Enliven.) I’m not announcing the next soup recipe, but I know that it’s delicious! Have a favourite soup you’d like us to serve in April? Contact us and let us know.
Enjoy the month of Spring, my friends and contact Enliven to find out more about how we can assist you or someone you love make a connection through cancer this spring.
Jackie Riley, Executive Director, Enliven Cancer Care: A Centre for Well-being in Cancer