1. Acknowledge this is a difficult time. Recognize that your upcoming surgery is causing a disruption in your regular day to day lifestyle. Your schedule must be changed, there will be everyday things you cannot do for a while, even weeks or months, and you and those around you will need to adapt. Carefully preparing for the time period right after surgery will help your life tremendously. Discuss the situation with those family and friends living close to you so everyone is aware of the situation and time frame, and can make adaptations in their own schedules to make themselves available if need be.
  2. Make a theme for your surgery. Find a positive quote or saying, and if you don’t have one, google some ideas. Print and post in places where you will see it regularly, such as the kitchen, the bathroom, and computer. Take a picture and make it a background on your phone, so the theme becomes a constant reminder. You will repeat this positive saying aloud and to yourself whenever feelings of uncertainty or anxiety arise.

  3. Make sleep a priority. If you’re tired, everything in life becomes more difficult and overwhelming. Not sleeping enough increases feelings of anxiety and irritability, and you’re more likely to be overwhelmed by the prospect of your surgery. Find the extra time for sleep in the evening, and establish a routine where you have a set time to get prepared for bed. Begin to wind down rather than doing “just one more thing”. Read an actual book or magazine rather than on your phone or electronic device to avoid the blue light which disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms. You want to be in the best possible condition for your surgery and sleep will get you there.

  4. Surround yourself with positive information. Most of us don’t realize we’re constantly bombarded with negative information through news and social media. Consciously surround yourself with positive messages and inspirational stories. Whether you choose to read or listen to podcasts or audiobooks, your mind and body absorbs every image and word. Ensure most if not all of the information coming in during the days and weeks prior to surgery is positive and hopeful, rather than those which generate fear and upsetting feelings.  Notice if friends and family tend to focus on the negative news and see the cup as half empty. If so, gently ask them to to change the subject for this period of time around your surgery. Focus on the positive and your healing journey ahead.

  5. Enjoy the little things. There’s nothing like a major event, including surgery, to shift one’s mindset. Living in the moment and appreciating small everyday events adds to our happiness and sense of well being. Breathe deeply and nourish yourself in the moment. Get outside and consider the beauty of the natural world that surrounds you. Acknowledge your loved ones, and listen to their voices. Enjoy and savor your food. Wear your favorite special outfits and enjoy your fancy dinner and glassware even if it’s an ordinary day. Now is the time! When we live in the moment more fully we experience the positive in our lives.

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