Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Comfortable Place to Heal

I'm not an zen master, nor anywhere near an expert on anything in that category. I do know in order to heal, your environment must be conducive to a healing process. Here of some of the things that I believe help to speed up the healing.

Declutter and eliminate: Stuff can take it's toll on me. I get overwhelmed if there is stuff everywhere. It is amazing how relaxing it is when there is less clutter. There is nothing nagging at me (I need to put this away; I need to file this; I need to donate this; I need to fix that; Why do I even have this still). Peace and tranquility cannot be found in disorder. It is also very frustrating trying to locate things in chaos. Keep only things that make you feel happy and positive.

Emphasize the things you love: Things I love bring me peace and joy which promotes healing. I love flowers and plants. If you love tulips, like I do, surround yourself with them (fresh ones, photos of them, artificial ones, fabric pillows with tulip decor). I love, love, love candles. Nothing relaxes me like dimming the lights, lighting every candle in the room and putting on my favorite music. Don't worry about any decorating code. This is your your comfort and healing alone. Do what makes you have joy and peace. It is your home after all, not the Hollywood designers.

Color: White is out, sorry! Neutrals are fair but color is stimulating and peaceful at the same time. Color releases emotions and memories. Surround yourself with color. Repaint the room you spend the most time in and be bold. Make it cheery and lively, no depressing dreary colors here. Brighten up the room and brighten up your attitude.

Light: Try to let in as much natural light as possible. Remove bulky curtains and raise the blinds completely. Raise the valances if the cover the windows too much. Try to invest in a storm door to let in volumes of natural light.

Fresh Air: Open the windows and door every day at least for fifteen minutes. If the weather is conducive, place a fan in the window to blow the fresh air in. It's worth the cost of a little extra air conditioning or heating for thirty minutes afterwards.

Comfort: If finances are available buy a new duvet cover or comforter and some new fluffy pillows. Everyone I have ever know loves the feel of freshly washed sheets. If your bed is comfortable and relaxing you can rest easier.

Fragrance: Surround yourself with aromas you love. If you are going through chemotherapy heed this warning: Do NOT use your favorite scents! The scent will trigger the memories of chemo after your treatment is over. No matter how much you love it, find something else you can love for right now. Believe me on this one, I speak from experience.

I didn't get the opportunity to do a lot of this because we were so strapped financially while I was going through my cancer treatments. I sure wish I had though. Just remember it is hard to heal under stress. Make yourself as comfortable as possible.