Deborah Smith is a positive psychologist specialising in the science of happiness and mindfulness. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and is here to help, so email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
After having breast cancer, a mastectomy and treatment that out me into early menopause, I no longer feel like myself. What can I do to change this? Mandy Fox, Derby
You’ve been through a lot and perhaps haven’t received the support you needed along the way. Joining a support group is a good way to meet others who have been through the same type of experience and understand how you feel. You might need time to grieve the loss of your breast, because it can be difficult to move on if you haven’t been able to let go of the emotions you experienced when the mastectomy was done.
As your treatment caused early menopause, you might not have had time to fully process your feelings before continuing into the next phase. Again, I advise you to share your experience with a close friend or a therapist, to help you come to terms with these changes.
To begin to feel like yourself again it’s important to reconnect with who you are and what makes you unique and special. To help you do this, write a list of all the things that make you a wonderful and beautiful person, and read it whenever you need reminding. Also, set aside some time to do more activities that make you feel happy and fulfilled, as this will help you find a fresh focus and regain your confidence.
THREE TED TALKS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD
These short talks by experts and inspirational people can be brilliant and thought provoking. Find them, and hundreds more, at ted.com/talks
‘THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY’, BRENE BROWN
Brown shares her journey to embracing vulnerability
‘YOUR BODY LANGUAGE MAY SHAPE WHO ARE ARE’, AMY CUDDY
Full of easy-to-follow advice on the impact body language has on us.
‘ALL IT TAKES IS 10 MINDFUL MINUTES’, ANDY PUDDICOMBE
The creator of the app Headspace talks mindfulness.
Mantra; You don’t have to have it all worked out
… to move forwards.’ Sometimes we need to focus on one step at a time – just take the first step and see what happens.