Yes. I am doing another challenge. I’m really enjoying these. This one is called the Breast Cancer Awareness Month #pinkwellnesschallenge. Let’s just say that these types of awareness months would easily pass me by because I was so wrapped up in all of life’s busyness. No more of that in this house. We are taking it slower, being more intentional and super big on wellness. I kept going back and forth about whether I would do something on the blog because I am only a week post surgery but I kept feeling a pull. So, this is me listening to the call and putting a gentle reminder out into the universe this month (and hopefully annually) for us women to be mindful our our health. You know me. I don’t love anyone telling me what to do and when to do it so I haven’t felt comfortable doing a calendar type challenge as yet. Maybe one day soon but for now, here are 16 fun and easy activities you can do anytime next month to keep women’s health front of mind. Grab this printable, your girlfriends and start a new tradition of wellness this year!
1. Try a natural deodorant
I am not, by any means, trying to suggest that anti-perspirants have any connection to breast cancer. This girl is not a healthcare professional and never pretends to be. What I can tell you is that receiving a breast cancer diagnosis forces you to reassess what products you use on, in and around your body. There has been so much progress made in the natural deodorant space in the last few years so the options are endless. Please note that natural deodorants will help with smell but not sweat. Don’t want you to be surprised. While I could list quite a few natural deodorants for you to try, I am currently enjoying the organic deodorant creams from Little Seed Farm. Let me know your favorite in the comments and I’ll be sure to give it a try.
2. Paint something pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Now, this one is completely up to your interpretation. It can be something as simple as getting a pink pedicure or combining fall activities with Breast Cancer Awareness Month by painting pumpkins a nice shade of rose. Make a night of it by doing a wine and paint art class with your besties or creating some sidewalk chart art with your kiddos. Just have fun with it and paint the whole town if you want!
3. Donate to Breast Cancer research
I don’t have to tell you how important it is that we find a cure for breast cancer. Going through this fight over this last year has made me even more certain that I wouldn’t wish this on another soul. The pandemic has taught us that with enough motivation and resources in the right area, breakthrough medicine can be developed. There are so many amazing organizations out there but I like to keep it simple and stick to the major ones for now. Start with American Cancer Society and Susan G Komen and branch out from there.
4. Buy a wireless bra
No judgment on wired bras but give the wireless bra life a try if you can. This is another area that just felt like a shift was needed after my diagnosis. Giving my girls enough support without added wires or contraptions just felt better to me. Freedom is the word that comes to mind. Can I also tell you that gone are the days of basic looking wireless bras? Whatever floats your boat, there is a wireless bra for you. Have fun with them and get one to suit your every mood.
5. Send a letter to a breast cancer warrior
As a breast cancer warrior myself, I received so much encouragement through the words of others through care packages and social media. Some days, all it takes is the right message to bring your mood from gloomy to hopeful. Girls Love Mail have taken this premise to the next level. Sign up to send a handwritten letter to a breast cancer patient and give a gift that can be more powerful than money. I can’t tell you how much I love what they do and how easy it is to make a difference to a warrior and her loved ones.
6. Drink a cup of green tea
This one was brought to my attention by my naturopath. Green tea has amazing benefits, not only for cancer patients, but for women in general. Not once ever, have I regretted starting or ending my day with a nice cup of tea. The process of boiling water, pouring, smelling the calming aromas and finally stirring is a practice in mindfulness all in itself. Green tea does contain caffeine and with any major addition to your diet, please contact your healthcare provider beforehand.
7. Update your family history with breast and other cancers
When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you are asked over and over about your family history. Not until you need it for a medical purpose, do you realize how important it is for you to know and have. Start making it a practice to update your family history with critical information as it happens. Or use Breast Cancer Awareness Month as an annual signal for you to write that critical information down. Then go the extra mile by putting it in a place where it is shared and can be accessed by your family members.
8. Walk for 30 minutes
Again, this is built for flexibility. Feel free to go on a solo walk taking in the beauty of the outdoors to support your own mental health. You also can join one of the many breast cancer walks happening virtually or in person locally. The point is, if you want to walk, you have options. I can also phrase it this way. You have no excuses if you want to walk for breast cancer awareness month. So lace up those sneakers and get to stepping for such a great cause.
9. Get to know your breasts
Apparently, there is some clarity and education that needs to happen around self breast exams by the American Cancer Society. My fellow breasties are using the hashtag #wewantreceipts to advocate especially for women under 40. What is clear is that you should get to know your breasts well enough that if there are changes, you can alert your healthcare provider and decide on the best next steps. If you are going to participate in the #pinkwellnesschallenge, then this one is a non-negotiable. Take it from a breast cancer survivor, being proactive is the best course of action for you and your family. As mothers, we know every little freckle on our kids’ bodies. It’s time we put that same focus on our own. Make sure to disinfect your hands first 🙂
10. Say a special prayer for healing
When you’ve been through the fight of your life, prayer can make its way into your everyday life. That was absolutely the case for me and many others who are battling breast cancer every day. Hope is possible not only because of medical advancements but also faith in God and what is possible through Him. If you do pray, please take some time throughout the month to pray for the women, the caregivers, the families, the healthcare teams, the cures, etc. The list can go on forever. I have seen a difference in my kids by introducing prayer into our routine so don’t think it’s something you need to do on your own. Blessings are not only bestowed on those who are prayed for but for those who pray as well. Go get yours!!!
11. Random act of kindness
I created a Christmas Family Bucket List last year before my diagnosis and this item was on the docket. Since then, I have decided that any type of bucket list or challenge should include some random act of kindness. It just keeps your brain primed for helping and I am 100% here for putting that kind of positivity out into the universe. This literally can be anything you want it to be and I have to warn you, it’s absolutely contagious. Let me know what you do because I get a high from watching the ripple effect of positive vibes.
12. Share an inspiring story on social media
It is called Breast Cancer Awareness Month for a reason. The point is not to hide from the impact breast cancer is having on so many homes around the world. This month more than ever, we need to read the stories of those who have been affected by this disease. It does not need to be uplifting and positive. The only requirement is that it touches you. So, find a story that inspires you, share it on social media to make your community aware and lift up these brave, beautiful warriors as we work toward finding a cure.
13. Wear something pink
Please note that it doesn’t say buy something pink. I’m still a less is more kinda girl. But if your heart desires, please support an organization or company that is taking a stand in this fight right alongside our breasties and their families. This can be anything. See a trend here? Be as creative as you want. Earrings, shoes, a cute t-shirt or onesie pajamas. Just promise me you’ll snap a pic and tag me so I can share your support with my community.
14. Try a guided meditation
Health starts on the inside and mental sanity can sometimes seem fleeting. Finding 5 to 15 minutes to create a relaxing space for yourself should be a regular practice. Welcome serenity into your routine by trying to a guided meditation. If it’s your first time, don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be harder to “clear your mind” than you think. Focus on being present and enjoy the journey. Don’t worry so much on being a full-fledged yogi by the end of your first lesson. Namas-take-it-slow!
15. Review your birth control options
Is this something you’ve even thought about in the last few years? So many of us “set it and forget it” when it comes to this all too important process of preventing pregnancy. Also, new options are available but unless you speak to your OBGYN, you won’t actually have them as an option. This is just a gentle reminder that at least once a year, you should make sure that you are being intentional about what birth control you are choosing to use and why. Know the risks as well as the benefits and talk to your healthcare provider about how your family history can and should affect your birth control decisions. If you want to get educated on your options are, check out this great article from Healthline.
16. Eat a mostly veggie meal
I was tempted to say vegan but I’m the girl who is all about flexibility, right? Here’s the thing. Eating more vegetables will only do you good. It is suggested that at least half of your plate should be covered in vegetables.
I appreciated vegetables most when I was going through chemo. My mom made hearty soups every week with all the vegetables she could source locally. I was able to maintain some semblance of strength throughout treatment and bounce back quickly when the chemo took a lot out of me. I still eat meat especially since protein is a huge factor in post-surgery recovery but I am much more intentional about eating vegetables (and fruits) throughout the day. Trust me. Your body will thank you!
Now, on to the #pinkwellnesschallenge
I know October is right around the corner and none of us needs another thing on our to-do list next month. But this is more than just another task. It’s an opportunity for you to bring awareness to impact of breast cancer while focusing on your own physical, mental and spiritual health. We need to start taking of ourselves and each other so I hope you will join me in this Women’s Health Challenge for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #pinkwellnesschallenge, comment below, share with your friends or tag me on Instagram if you participate. Let’s do this ladies!!!
Download the free printable by clicking here or on the image below…