This month our society will be invaded by pink everything… pink ribbons, pink football socks, pink headbands, pink flags; pink to represent breast cancer awareness and advocacy. It is easy to be distracted by the mass amounts of pink without really picking up on what it is representing or what we each can do to join the brigade in a meaningful way.
To give you a little update on what the pink movement is all about, here are a few Breast Cancer facts:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the US, affecting about 1 in 8 women.
- 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2016
- Death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989. These decreases are thought to be a result of advance treatments, early detections, and increased awareness (hence the pink)
SO the pink really is FOR something. It is being flaunted this October to make more of us aware of how much of an affect breast cancer has on our society, honor those who have been affected by the disease, and to better support the outreach programs, research, treatments, and detection techniques to help save lives in the future.
Being aware of how real this disease is is scary! The likeliness of personally being affected by this disease at some point in my lifetime, or knowing someone else who is, is too high for my comfort. There are tons of considerations to take but what will really make a difference? What can each of us focus on to truly make a difference in our health and happiness (which are inherently intertwined)?
Here are my top 5 tips to incorporate into life, which hopefully will make at least a small difference in helping your mind, body, and soul stay healthy, happy, and flourishing, cancer free.
CHECK YOURSELF – The single most important tool for surviving breast cancer is early detection. Learn how, when and how often to check yourself. It takes 5 minutes and might be the most important self-care 5 minutes of your month.
* If you cant remember on your own, here’s an app to help remind you!
GET OUTSIDE, multiple times a day- Indoor air is more likely to have a higher concentration of gases, pollutants, and worst exposure to carcinogens do to inadequate ventilation, and higher temperatures. Fresh air, (even just standing outdoors for one minute) fills your body with more oxygen and helps decrease the concentration of gases and particles in your body.
LAUGH – We all have felt the physical and psychological affects of a good laugh. Laughter can bring a fresh frame of mind, fresh oxygen in our blood stream, and a good stomach muscle workout. What is NOT to love about laughing?
GO NON-TOXIC – Toxins constantly surround us, there is just no way around it, they are in everything. The best thing that we can do is make choices to not increase the toxins we are exposed to by choosing non-toxic products. Non-toxic beauty products and cleaning products are the most important.
- Beauty products because our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs everything, especially the toxins in the soap, lotion and other products you slather on.
- Cleaning products because we often clean the places that we spend the most time and are the most exposed to; the kitchen counter that we eat off of, the bathroom that we wash in, and the sheets or clothes that we climb into.
PLAY – We all know that exercise is important. What I think is not highlighted enough in today’s society is playing! Playing IS exercise and not only gets your body moving but also releases that lightheartedness in all of us, and just makes you feel like a kid again. Enjoying movement with no specific agenda or goal, just to enjoy the moment. Not many people make time for this anymore… Dance, play with kids, play soccer, jump rope or play hopscotch, play tag, wrestle in the backyard! Whatever it is do something that makes you laugh, moves your body, and reminds you to not take life so seriously. Feel the endorphins boost, the good vibes flow, and the health and happiness skyrocket ☺
This blog post is courtest of HEART by Elena Hight – Elena is a professional snowboarder and two-time Olympian who created the lifestyle blog HEART. Heart is a compilation of people, places, and things that inspire Elena as an athlete and in her everyday life. While her “day job” is still on her snowboard, through HEART she strives to enrich lives with the things that keep her passion for life flowing. For more from Elena check out HEART www.elenahight.com/heart.