Recently, I’ve felt like I definitely need more organization in my life. With graduation coming up, the stress of finding jobs, moving back home, and saying goodbye to this stage of my life has left me in a state of disorganization. I used to take pride in being neat and orderly so, I want to get this back in my life. I’ve never had cancer, but Puja Thomson’s Book “After Shock” comes with plenty of tips to keep oneself organized through stressful situations. It also promotes different ways to help de-stress oneself through various activities. “Unnecessary distractions from disorganized record keeping will dissipate and drain your energy-the very energy you need for healing” I took tips from her book and did see a change by the end of the week.
Puja’s book does focus on how to keep one’s medical papers organized, but I decided that I could use her advice for my own personal needs. I started off with just getting my school work in a more organized place. I bought different binders for each class and it did keep everything in one place. I threw out all old papers that I didn’t need, which was a little hard for me since I’m a slight hoarder. However, once all the clutter was gone, I could already tell that I would be able to find all my important papers much easier.
The Yellow Page step, which suggests writing down contact information of your “most important cancer –related contacts and frequently used resources”, I just wrote down the names and numbers of all the people I am in regular contact with. I’m not good with memorizing numbers so, this should be a huge help if my phone ever breaks and I need to get in contact with someone. I would recommend that everyone should do this and keep this sheet of paper with them at all times. It’s always good to have in an emergency.
I also decided that I should take the advice (from a different section in this book) to write down any major events that happened in my day or just write down my feelings. According to “After Shock”, “when you take time to write to yourself with honesty and innocence from your heart, you are extending a similar gesture of openness and love towards yourself”. From a person who is not good with expressing emotions, I saw a huge improvement when it came to my stress levels. Keeping everything bottled in doesn’t help anyone and being able to just write down how I was feeling that day made life easier. “After Shock” recommended to keep this journal private and that’s exactly what I did. It’s liberating to be able to express yourself without anyone else judging you.
Reading how relaxing can help the mind and body, I tried to follow everything this book suggested. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping and actually staying asleep. Before I go to sleep now, I try and do the breathing exercises. Just concentrating on that does put me more at ease and I’ve noticed that I can fall asleep a lot faster. I’ve also started to release physical tension. I’ve never realized how tense I am before. Just giving myself a quick massage makes me feel less stressed and more relaxed.
By the end of the week, I realized how more relaxed I felt. Since I knew where all my important notes were, I was able to study more efficiently. I also was able to concentrate longer because I wasn’t so tired. Puja’s books are meant to help with the health of the reader. I would recommend that anyone that needs a way to get their life in order to read her books.
Written by Heather Salerno, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings