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For sixteen years, Rethink’s annual fundraising event, Boobyball, has had a reputation for being a one-of-a-kind event. But coordinating the amazing decor, unique activations, killer gift bags and auction items that make this party the talk of the town is no easy feat. We have our incredibly dedicated committee members in each city to thank for making Boobyball the memorable night it is!

Sam Cherry (Boobyball Toronto), Kelly Townsend (Boobyball Vancouver) and Melinda Karlsson (Boobyball Ottawa) share why they chose to get involved with their Boobyball Committee and what keeps them coming back. Want to join them? Why not apply for the Boobyball Committee 2018!

Sam Cherry (Boobyball Toronto), Kelly Townsend (middle; Boobyball Vancouver), Melinda Karlsson (Boobyball Ottawa)

How do you describe Boobyball?

Sam: Boobyball is by far my favourite event! It has now become an annual tradition. Who doesn’t want to have an absolute blast with all of their friends and help others at the same time? 

Kelly: Boobyball is unlike any event and it is truly unique. Boobyball is more than a night out of dancing. There are a variety of activation stations set up throughout Boobyball, which makes it an interactive event and one of a kind. 

Melinda: Boobyball is a fundraiser based around awareness, support and empowerment.  I think its unique in the sense that while being inclusive for anyone at any age it really brings to the forefront an issue that is and will effect young women sooner or later, whether that be personally or through someone they may be close to. 

Why did you want to get involved with Boobyball?

Kelly: The main reason I got involved with Boobyball is because there are very few (and not nearly enough) charitable events that are geared towards young professionals. I think that it is very important to engage the younger generation in philanthropy work and give them an opportunity to give back. Current events are usually galas that are set at a price point that is not feasible for young professionals and Boobyball is an event that provides them with this opportunity. Additionally, a lot of individuals (including myself) have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another and I think that it is extremely important to bring awareness to breast cancer. I especially think that it is important to bring the awareness to young women as breast cancer can affect anyone regardless of their age. It is important for young women to know this, take the necessary steps, and have the support they need. Rethink’s work is outstanding and unique – just like Boobyball. It brings a different light to breast cancer.

Sam: I wanted to be involved with an organization that cared about the people it supported and that did it in an uplifting, fresh, and positive way. Rethink Breast Cancer has really changed the way I see giving back. It isn’t about getting out my credit card (even though sometimes it is because their initiatives are incredible – aka Give-A-Care), it is about finding ways in your everyday life to give back – like getting together with 1,000 young people, having some cocktails and celebrating the incredible work that Rethink is doing to help change the future for young women with breast cancer. 

Melinda: I wanted to be involved because I think it’s a great cause lead by really passionate women. I think we all have a responsibility to help in anyway we can and for me I am able to make time to sit on this committee and help plan this great event every year. For others it could be something like sharing links that help create more awareness, donating or showing up to a really fun party to raise money to fight this horrible disease and also support the brave women that are either going through or have gone through fighting it. 

What is your favourite thing about being on the Boobyball Committee? 

Sam: I have been on the committee now for 5 years and they can’t get rid of me! I have met some of the most amazing, strong, innovative, creative, thoughtful women who are so passionate about building a community of similar people and making a difference in a super positive, beautiful, and fun way. The best part of being on the committee for me is seeing how the organization has grown so much over those 5 years and the impacts that have been made because of Boobyball’s success. I can actually see the results – which makes it all worth it.  

Melinda: My favorite part of being part of Boobyball is the humanity you witness throughout the planning process and then of course on the night of the event. Its really sad to see how many people have been effected by breast cancer but also wonderful to see how many people out there want to help and turn their personal stories into a way to help others. I think it’s inspiring and it really helps bring everyone together and create an amazing event with a really great vibe.

Kelly: My favourite thing about Boobyball is working with the individuals on the committee that come from a variety of backgrounds. It is amazing to see a group of individuals get together, get creative, and see the outstanding results of everyone’s hard work.

Is there anything unexpected that you learned or gained from being on the Boobyball Committee?

Melinda: I think something I’ve gained from this committee is an extended network of really powerful women that truly care about making a difference. The women that are on this committee are all busy, hardworking and passionate girls and I think coming together every year to plan this event and help the Rethink Breast Cancer Foundation do what they do makes us all a little bit better. 

Kelly: I always appreciated what it took to put together a large scale event but this gave me even more appreciation for all the work that individuals take to put on an event and what exactly goes on behind the scenes to make these things happen.

Sam: I have learned that giving back doesn’t just have to be about donating money – time and energy is equally as important and helps you feel like you are truly contributing to something greater. 

Do you want to be part of the team that makes Boobyball happen?
Click here to apply for the Boobyball Committee 2018!

 

 This is CANSWER HIVE. Tips and insights shared directly from Rethink’s Young Women’s Network (RYWN).


Is there anyone in the world that understands you better than your bestie? The person (or people) who can pick you up when you are down, say the exact thing you need to hear, and show up for you on your darkest days?

Our Rethink Young Women’s Network share words of gratitude for their best friends, supporters, and caregivers who have helped them through their toughest times.

Dear Erin,

I wanted you to know, you are so special to me because you were with me on the worst day of my life and you made it better. Cancer is so hard but you made it easier by always being just a text away and I love you for that!

XO Emily

Dear Flouncy Bishes,

I wanted you to know you are the most selfless group of women in the world because you go out of your way to make me laugh and cry when I needed it most. Cancer can fuck right off but you are heroes and I am beyond humbled. #teamalinastit #boobsvoyage #byebyetitties

XO Alina

Dear Diana,

I wanted you to know that you are the best sister anyone can ask for because you have sacrificed so much these last months and put me ahead of your children, your job, even your own health. Cancer can be scary but you are the bravest navigator and advocate and I am forever grateful.

XO Alina

Dear Melanie,

I wanted you to know, you are a dear friend because you have been the perfect combination of encouraging and understanding when I needed it most. Cancer can make having friends hard but you are the real deal and I would be a TOTAL party pooper without you.

XO Krista

Dear Monica,

I wanted you to know, you are an amazing friend because you are always there when I needed you the most and also during the times I push you away. Cancer can be scary and it really sucks but you are always there no matter what and you make me a better person and I love you for that.

XO Lesly

Dear Mom,

I wanted you to know, you are the most incredible person because you took early retirement and literally became my right hand when I needed it most. Cancer can try and take things away but you are always there reminding me what I have and I am forever grateful you are my first and best friend.

XO LeeAnne

Dear Tanya,

I wanted you to know, you are the most incredible selfless best friend because you were there for me, making me smile, letting me cry or rage, raising money and awareness while also recovering from a broken back when I needed my best friend most. Cancer can be so scary and isolating but you are the constant reminder to keep fighting and to enjoy life when I can and I am so proud to call you my best friend.

XO LeeAnne

Dear Trish,

I wanted you to know, I wished for a friend for life and my wish came true. Cancer has changed everything for me, but our friendship and your support is steadfast through it all. Love you, my dear friend.

XO Vesna

Dear Heidi and Tanya,

I wanted you to know that I want everyone to know how much your friendship means to me. ‘So what’s your story?’ And so begins a beautiful friendship in spite of this ugly cancer. We support each other, we cry together, we talk and text and text and text together, we laugh. Oh, how we laugh. Cancer brought us together, but every other connection keeps us together. Love you, my dear friends. Always.

XO Vesna

Dear Vesna and Tanya,

I want you both to know that meeting you has changed my life because you have been honest and vulnerable and wise and strong when I needed someone to get what I was going through. Always available to share thoughtful support sometimes without speaking a word just letting me know I’m not alone. Cancer can take us to the edges of ourselves where there seems to be nowhere left to turn but you both continue to show me the path to learn more about myself and push me to be better and kinder to me. I love you Sistas! Xoxoxo

XO Heidi

Dear amazing family and friends in my life:

I wanted you to know, you are AMAZING, INSPIRING, STALWART, FULL of LOVE, HOPE ENERGY and kindness. Because of you I have not been flattened or defeated by this disease, because all of you have been there when I needed reasons to take one step in front of the other. Cancer can be brutal- but you all are my reason to fight and stay strong. I love you all for helping to light my path forward. I’m also grateful to Rethink- for providing this forum for women to connect with one another and not feel so alone on this road. It has been said that gratitude is the memory of the heart. Thank you.

XO Sarah

Dear Chris (my unbelievably amazing husband),

I wanted you to know, you are the reason I can stand here today, bent but not broken because you loved me every day, unconditionally, when I needed love the most. Cancer can be isolating but you are always there, hand in my hand, every day even while we helplessly watched our parents succumb to this horrible disease and I never cease to be amazed by you and your infinite well of compassion.

XO Stacey

Dear Josh,

I wanted you to know that you are the reason I continued to smile during the most difficult time in my life because you wiped away my tears when all I wanted to do was cry, held my hand when I felt like the world was crumbling beneath my feet, and loved me even when it was hard for me to love myself. Cancer can be so emotionally and physically exhausting but you have been the anchor that has kept me grounded and the light in my life when the sun refused to shine and I don’t know how I would have ever made it without you by my side every step of the way.

XO Kim

Dear David,

I wanted you to know, you are appreciated because you always made time for me when I needed friendship and company most. Cancer can be so lonely and isolating but you and your family never forgot or avoided us, and I thank you!

XO Jill

Dear Toma,

I wanted you to know, you are a special man because you started dating me 2 weeks before chemotherapy knowing what is waiting for us and you told me it is ok to be weak when I needed to hear it most. Cancer treatment can be the toughest thing to go through but you are my rock today and I know I am gonna be okay no matter what.

XO Santa

Dear Mike,

I wanted you to know, you are the best husband I could ever ask for because you always take the time to make me feel loved and happy when I need it most. Cancer can try to make us break but you are my best friend and I could not ask for a better father for our children.

XO Julie

Dear Lisa,

I wanted you to know, what a truly amazing best friend and sister you are. From the beginning, you were fighting alongside me, always there, never letting me push you away. Cancer is surreal and scary, and being by my side means more to me than you’ll ever know. I want to be like you when I grow up, thank you.

XO Erin

Dear Mom,

I wanted you to know, you are the most giving and selfless person because you stood beside me and carried me (some days physically) through everything – pre and post surgery when I needed support, encouragement and love the most. Cancer can rock our world but you were/are the rock and support I needed and that allowed me to thrive and flourish forward.

XO Kathleen

Dear Janelle,

I wanted you to know that you were an incredible peer support mentor to me. You were kind, patient and understanding when I felt alone and petrified. Cancer can be all consuming but you helped me tackle one hurdle at a time and gave me hope that I would find the strength to get through this very difficult time.

XO Vanessa

Dear Judit,

I wanted you to know, you are incredible because you had so much compassion (and a huge chemo care kit) when I needed it most. Cancer can be so scary, but you are a wealth of information and have helped me through the worst of times because of your medical and personal experience. I am grateful you read my post on RWYN at Rethink and contacted me.

XO Shelley


First Things First.

Naturopath [nach-er-uh-path]:

A naturopath is a trained doctor that specializes in alternative forms of medicine. Without using traditional drugs and treatments, naturopaths focus on the overall wellness of their patients. This includes treatment options such as: diet, exercise, and herbal/natural medicines.

Whats the big idea?

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding cancer treatment (like chemotherapy) and weight loss/weight gain. The overarching misconception is that the side-effects of chemo makes you lose weight. But there are a lot of other treatment options that prove otherwise, particularly steroids and hormone treatments.

So we asked Dr. Jill Shainhouse, a fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (meaning she specializes in cancer treatment!), her thoughts on the treatment and weight conversation. In her practice, Dr. Shainhouse found an increase in weight gain amongst her breast cancer patients going through treatment. Here were some of the reasons why:

  • SUDDEN MENOPAUSE: One of the main side-effects of breast cancer treatments like chemotherapy and endocrine therapy is early menopause. With this comes sudden hormone changes and sluggish metabolism.
  • CRAVINGS: Another side-effect during chemotherapy is cravings for “comfort food,” which typically aren’t the most nutritional.
  • FEELING NAUSEOUS: One of the main ways patients decrease nausea during chemotherapy treatment is eat more carbohydrates (because it’s most tolerable food group).
  • REDUCING EXERCISE: There are many side effects to cancer treatment that discourage someone from exercising, like neuropathy, fatigue, and nausea to name a few.

Keys to managing fitness goals post-treatment:

Remain Mindful

Not only does Dr. Shainhouse recommend being mindful when it comes to choosing healthier options and proper portion sizes, but she also recommends remaining mindful by remembering the source of the weight gain. Recognizing that it’s not your fault and that you don’t have control over the side-effects of your treatment is crucial to moving forward.


Dr. Jill Shainhouse, ND

Dr. Shainhouse is a certified member and fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. She has 12+ years of experience in her field and is one of only naturopathic doctors in Ontario to have the highest standard of training in naturopathic oncology. She is currently one of the doctors on staff at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto.

 

Exercise Regularly

Finding ways to exercise during and after treatment are really important. Dr. Shainhouse recommends both cardiovascular activities (like running, biking, etc.) as well as resistance/weight training for the most holistic fitness approach.


Dr. Jill Shainhouse, ND

Dr. Shainhouse is a certified member and fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. She has 12+ years of experience in her field and is one of only naturopathic doctors in Ontario to have the highest standard of training in naturopathic oncology. She is currently one of the doctors on staff at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto.

 

Avoid Eating After Dinner

It’s best to avoid eating after you’ve had dinner because your metabolism slows down at night. But, if you need to, it’s best to snack on veggies or small amounts of fruit.


Dr. Jill Shainhouse, ND

Dr. Shainhouse is a certified member and fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. She has 12+ years of experience in her field and is one of only naturopathic doctors in Ontario to have the highest standard of training in naturopathic oncology. She is currently one of the doctors on staff at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto.

 

Introduce Nutritious Foods

Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and increased alcohol consumption (which has been linked to an increased breast cancer risk). Instead, focus on increasing your intake of:

  • FIBRE-RICH FOODS to help support digestion.
  • LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES + FRUITS like sweet potatoes, squash, quinoa, steel cut outs, berries, apples, and pears.
  • BRASSICACEAE FAMILY VEGETABLES like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts to support sulforaphane intake (a compound found in vegetables that may help prevent recurrence). 
  • OMEGA-3 FATS like fatty fish, flax, chia and hemp seeds, almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts.

Dr. Jill Shainhouse, ND

Dr. Shainhouse is a certified member and fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. She has 12+ years of experience in her field and is one of only naturopathic doctors in Ontario to have the highest standard of training in naturopathic oncology. She is currently one of the doctors on staff at Insight Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto.

We’ll admit it: we have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day.

In theory, a holiday all about expressing and appreciating love should be intrinsically wonderful. Emphasis on the word “should.” Because sometimes it feels as though this holiday has more to do with the marketing of pricey gifts, high-demand dinner reservations, and rom-com style romantic gestures, than about love itself.

Resentment towards Valentine’s Day is becoming increasingly widespread. Criticism includes (but is not limited to): the unwanted reminder of single status; the onslaught of gushy, too-much-information-posts on social media; the intrusive feeling of sitting well within earshot of another couple on an intimate date, etc.

But all is not lost! There has been a notable effort to reclaim Valentine’s Day to bring attention to other subjects, such as unique female friendships (Galentine’s Day) and raising awareness for violence against women and girls (V-Day). These efforts are a great reminder that no one else should define your expectations or experience on this day or any other.

A handful of Rethinkers shared their perspectives on what Valentine’s Day means to them. Our big takeaway? Celebrate this day on YOUR terms. Or don’t celebrate at all. You do you.

Have a friend or loved one going through a difficult time? Want to show them that you are thinking of them?

Sure, you could buy them flowers or a store-bought card. But nothing quite compares to a thoughtful (perhaps even cheeky!) card that you make yourself.

The Sorry Girls, the amazing DIY duo on Youtube, share four easy and creative do-it-yourself card ideas that you can make at home. Maybe your friend or loved one is sick, going through a breakup, or maybe you just want to show them you care. These cards are sure to put a smile on their face and let them know you are thinking of them.

Interested in the Give-A-Care Lemon Candies mentioned in the video? Click here!

 

What is negative self-talk, anyways?

A.K.A: trash talking yourself. It’s always good to consider the ways that we need to improve. But there’s a difference between self-reflection and negative self-talk. Negative self-talk isn’t constructive and it rarely motivates us to make any changes: “I can’t do anything right” vs. “I need to find ways to manage my time better.”

And sometimes it can start out small, like picking out little things we don’t like about ourselves. But if we don’t know how to RECOGNIZE, ADDRESS, or PREVENT negative self-talk, it can turn into anxiety and, in extreme cases, self-hatred.

Here’s how you can turn down the volume on your inner critic and hop on board the self-love train this month.


Recognize: call it out for what it is.

via GIPHY

Be aware.

We have tons of thoughts running through our minds every moment. And most of our thoughts happen without us even fully acknowledging them before we move on to the next one. If you’re unsure or you need some convincing that you struggle with negative self-talk, try jotting down the negative things you say to yourself throughout the day as it happens. It might seem extreme, but in order to get rid of negative self-talk, we need to be aware that it’s actually happening.

Name your critic.

Some psychotherapists recommend naming your critic. Giving that negative inner voice a funny name can help us see it for what it really is. It stops us from looking at ourselves as the problem. And makes the real problem clearer: we keep believing what the voice says. So next time negative self-talk creeps up, don’t just shrug it off as another anxious thought. Call out Felicia, The Perfectionist, Negative Nancy (or whatever name you so choose) for what it is. And, more importantly, stop listening!


Address: stop it in it’s tracks.

via GIPHY

Put it in perspective.

Negative self-talk stems from the downward spiral we let our thoughts go into. Stumbling over your words in an interview turns into: “I’m such an idiot, I will never get a job.” But putting these negative thoughts in perspective can help us find out what really went wrong. Usually the problem is actually quite solvable, we just needed to break it down and process it slowly.

Talk it out.

Sometimes talking to a friend can help us overcome negative self-talk in the moment. The next time you’re embarrassed or something didn’t go the way you wanted it to – call someone. Shame and guilt grow in secret. Don’t suffer in silence.

Think “possibly.”

Sometimes the worst thing we can do when we’re thinking negatively is to force ourselves to say nice/positive things to ourselves. Instead, start by saying neutral things that hint to a possible solution. Instead of thinking: “I’m a failure,” choose to say: “I didn’t do very well on that project. I know what to do differently next time.” We don’t have to lie to ourselves. But we can be realistic, without the self-hate.

*Want to know more? Find a full list of strategies HERE.

Prevent: keep it from coming back.

via GIPHY

Be your own best friend.

We would never call our best friend a loser, a failure, or an idiot. So why do we feel like it’s okay to say things like that to ourselves? One way to beat our inner critic is to become our own best friend and choosing to focus more on our positive characteristics. We need to celebrate the little wins, the smart things we do, and the goals we achieve. And, more importantly, we need to remember them so that the next time Negative Nancy tries to criticize us, we have proof for why she’s wrong.

Be the bigger “person.”

When we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, we open the door to negative self-talk. The reality is, we can’t do everything right and there’s no such thing as a perfect person. But psychologist Christa Smith puts it beautifully: “When we have a goal for ourselves and our lives that is bigger than being good, we become bigger than the critic.” Whether the goal we choose is being more peaceful or just being a work-in-progress, when we redefine what a “good” life and “good” outcomes look like we make it possible to find joy and contentment outside of perfection.

It’s World Cancer Day (WCD) – an annual event meant to inspire and motivate people around the world in the fight against cancer. This is the last year of the #WeCanICan theme. And to make it memorable, World Cancer Day has created a Map of Impact to highlight the events, campaigns, and projects happening by people all over the world today.

The point: big or small, we all have the ability to do something to take action against cancer – so why not share it with the world?

But what does this mean for us Rethink-ers? In what ways can we (as the Rethink community and/or those going through cancer) map our impact today so that it lives on even after 11:59pm tonight?

We’re glad you asked!


WE CAN…

Believe it or not, one way to make an impact is to educate yourself on breast cancer and breast health. When we are more knowledgeable about breast cancer, WE CAN help bust the breast cancer myths out there and WE CAN be better caregivers/support systems for those we know coping this disease.

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Do you know a teen or young person into chatbots? We’ve got you covered! Have them interact with the 8008135 chatbot to find out what the real facts are when it comes to breast cancer awareness and education.

WE CAN…

Rethink is advocating for young women with breast cancer year-round. Whether it’s our socially-shareable campaigns, our annual events, or access to new medicines – we are putting young women’s needs first and making sure their voices are heard. And YOU CAN join us!

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Join our campaigns and take action at rethinkbreastcancer.com/get-involved.

WE CAN…

Rethink is working hard to advocate for better access to cancer care and decreased wait times for medications – especially for MBC (metastatic breast cancer). And until things change, a great way WE CAN tell someone with cancer that we’re there for them is to show them that we’re there for them. By sending a Give-A-Care package to someone you know with cancer, YOU CAN show your support even when you don’t have the words to say. It’s the first line of products for young women with breast cancer that actually understands young women with breast cancer.

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Build a personalized care package for a young woman you know that acknowledges what she’s really going through, and gives her the care she really needs.

I CAN…

As a young women diagnosed with breast cancer, you have a wide range of unique needs that aren’t always addressed. And sometimes it’s frustrating that this diagnosis was something that you couldn’t control. But, at Rethink, we believe that YOU CAN take control of your situation. Whether it’s understanding your diagnosis or the issues surrounding fertility, learning how to get through treatment or life after treatment, you don’t have to be in the dark.

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Look through our Care Guidelines to find out what kinds of questions you should be asking your doctor at your next appointment and what resources are available to you.

I CAN…

By sharing your story, YOU CAN: build connections with other women going through similar experiences, help those who have been newly diagnosed, and inform Rethink’s work and advocacy. Your voice and your story is powerful, don’t stay silent.

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Share your story on one of our monthly #YWBC (Young Women with Breast Cancer) profiles.

I CAN…

YOU CAN ask for support. It isn’t a sign of weakness. And sometimes the reality is that your family or loved-ones don’t always understand exactly what you’re going through. That’s why you need a community of young women to turn to when you need someone who just knows.

MAP YOUR IMPACT:

Join the Rethink Young Women’s Network (RYWN) to find community of young women who are navigating their own breast cancer diagnoses and understand what you’re going through.

Meeting the right people, finding the big-break opportunity, proving your worth for that promotion- these are daunting tasks. Rachel and Itsiana knew that there was better way to connect and collaborate. They recognized the need for a space that young, professional women can come together to inspire and empower each other’s success, so they co-founded Monday Girl: a network of young professionals and creatives who hustle on Mondays – and every other day of the week.

Check out our video for how you can rethink networking in your life with these tips from Monday Girl. 

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses can often creep up on us when we least expect it and it is important to be aware of the warning signs.

We may not be experts on mental health but these articles from Forbes and Prevention.com got us thinking about what depression really looks like so that we can empower you with info and help you to get support.


Perfectionism

We all know somebody who has this kind of mindset: it’s not done until it’s done right. And most of the time this is just a personality thing. But, when excessive, perfectionism can be a sign that someone you know is struggling with their mental health.

Perfectionism is related to depression when it comes from the mindset that people won’t love or accept us unless we’re perfect. So it all comes down to self-love and self-acceptance. Screw-ups are just a part of being a human being. But we need to make the conscious decision to allow people in our lives (and ourselves!) to make mistakes. So that we all know we don’t have to be perfect… and that there’s no such thing as a perfect person.


Lashing Out

The typical image of depression and mental illness that’s painted for us is someone who’s alone, sad, and not very social. While these can still be symptoms, anger and irritability are known to be more severe symptoms of depression.

People are more likely to lash out when they’re feeling helpless, hopeless, or not in control. This symptom takes more patience to realize. It’s easy to give a “talk to the hand,” an eye-roll or to just avoid people we know who seem to get angry and irritated over the smallest things. But sometimes it takes looking a little deeper into why they’re feeling those ways in order to actually address the situation.


Constant Negativity

People with depression can be biased towards negative situations. It’s natural to notice negative events in our lives because we like to to try to change them. But when we choose to only notice the negative aspects of people or situations in our lives, it can turn into a cycle of sabotage… if we only see the negative, we become negative and unhappy.


Lack of Concentration

We all know a “dreamer” – or maybe it’s us! Someone who’s always thinking about the future or just daydreaming. But just like anything else, when excessive, “daydreaming” or a lack of focus can be linked to mental health challenges because they stop us from being present to the moment. This can often affect a person’s ability to function in their relationships, at work, at school, etc.

When people around us aren’t able to concentrate it’s easy to just assume that they’re a forgetful person or that they’re struggling with other illnesses, like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). But we need to put depression on the map. In many cases, concentration isn’t just linked to forgetfulness. But often times depression prohibits concentration because people are thinking about things over and over again in their minds (failures, regrets, worries, etc.)


Increased Alcohol Consumption

Now, we’re not referring to alcoholism in this one – although that can be related to mental health. But, a person doesn’t need to be an alcoholic to maybe have a problem with alcohol abuse. The main thing with alcohol is that is has the ability to heighten negative emotions once you get going. Have you ever had a friend who – by the third drink starts opening up about their worries about the future?

We’re not knocking the casual, occasional drink with dinner. But, if you notice someone in your life consistently consuming more and more alcohol throughout the week, it could be a sign that something else is going on. Whether depression or not.

*Find out more about alcohol and it’s link to breast cancer here. 


Chronic Pain

Studies have shown that anywhere from 30 to 50% of people with depression report struggling with chronic pain too. This could be because people who are in more negative states tend to be more in tune with their bodies – noticing pain more often. But it could also be the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you expect to be in pain (physically or emotionally) you will be.


Excessive Social Media Use

It’s difficult not to be glued to our cellphones in this super digital age. For work, school or other reasons it’s often unavoidable. But, using social media (consciously or subconsciously) to escape the “real world” in hopes for a short-term boost or coping mechanism could be a sign of a problem.


Lack of Self-Care

Sure, we all have our go-to sweatpants or comfy outfit that we wear on Saturdays or the days where we just don’t feel like getting dolled up. And let’s be clear: that’s TOTALLY okay! A lack of personal hygiene is a symptom of depression when it’s tied to self-neglect or a person’s inability to function on a day-to-day basis (like brushing their teeth, combing their hair, wearing unwashed clothes, etc.). People who are struggling with their mental health and/or depression often feel overwhelmed – therefore, it becomes easier and easier to let the “little” things slip.

Finally, if you or  someone you love are in crisis click HERE to find a distress centre near you or reach out to Support@Rethinkbreastcancer.com


For more information about mental health and Breast Cancer, check out Rethink’s “The Psychosocial” section on our blog!

unsolicited (definition)

adjective
1. not requested or invited: unsolicited advice

Receiving advice when you never asked for it can be unwelcome and uncomfortable for a number of reasons (including but not limited to): the judgment and implied criticism, the assumption that someone else knows what is best for you, and just simply because you didn’t ask for their opinion.

Responding to unsolicited advice can be tricky – shutting it down too aggressively can potentially damage your relationship, but being too receptive may invite even more judgment.

Check out our video for what you can do when you receive advice you never asked for.