So many friends and family members are told this news every day around the world. It is a shock, a disaster, traumatic, helpless, void of emotion to some and others cry uncontrollably. Whatever your initial emotion is, it is time to breath, observe and set about your plan for your family member or friend. You don’t have time to waste.
It has been my experience that most people go into helpless mode and then “try” desperately to do something. What is the “to do something” you are looking for?
You cannot take it away. That is the first item on your agenda. There is no good saying to someone, “I’m sorry and I wish it was not happening”. It is, they require love and support not your emotional issues of not knowing what to do.
Other people go into, “I will make you feel better mode?” This is a reaction of your inability to change the situation right now. The comments or discussions are, “I will make or buy something to make the person feel better.” The following are some suggestions of what people might make or buy. Pisang goring, Thanpthiam, Khao man, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, donuts, cream and custard desserts, etc.,
It is amazing how many people go into I will make or buy you something sweet to make you feel better. This is the emotional connection to food. The reason that people are choosing this type of food is to remove part of their own pain away in their helpless state.
What if you reversed that and said to yourself, (after you get over the initial shock of the information), “I can help this person.” How does that make you feel, how does that change the situation? You become an integral part of the change required to help this person return to a healthy state.
You have plenty of time to feel helpless, just not when you are with them. It is for you to be the shining beacon of hope and positivity. Now you can shine by buying or cooking food that will help to build healthy cells. That is your purpose and calling. Let your family or friend know what you are doing for them. They will be so happy that someone is taking the time to think about what can bring about a healthy change.
There is no nutritional value in sugary desserts or highly processed food. None! Don’t make their cells struggle, provide food that will fill the cells with minerals, vitamins and proteins. Once again be apart of their recovery.
Don’t go behind their back and eat all those cakes and desserts yourself because you are feeling sad. You too need to eat healthy food to keep you strong. That is where the togetherness part comes in. You don’t want a person to feel that they are doing this alone. It becomes a family process and when friends come, they join in with the extended health plan for all.
I don’t ask people to eat or prepare food that I would not eat and prepare for myself. When working with people who have had this diagnosis, the whole family embraces the change. Don’t make the person feel different because they had to eat different food. This not about exclusion, it is about inclusion.
Close family and friends can coordinate cooking delicious healthy food. Thailand is full of fresh vegetables. Nothing too hot or spicy, good protein from fish or chicken. Very little red meat, it requires a lot of energy to break it down. This is the same for people all over the world. Only a small portion of side raw salads – cooked food is best.
If you are not someone who can cook or likes cooking, bring flowers when visiting or bring a book, magazines, watch movie’s together. Go for a walk, meditate together, sing together, dance together, laugh or cry together. Enjoy healthy meals together that someone is happy to make with love and the knowledge that it is helping the situation.
As I have already discussed, don’t forget about yourself. Many times, the family and friends put their own needs last. Be careful not to do that. It is so important for you to take care of yourself so the person can witness people being healthy and happy and then they are more likely to connect with all that positive love.
Family and friends can take it in turns to make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Yes, there are plenty of desserts that do not require sugar, preservatives or food colourings. Mango and sticky rice for example without all the sugar. Cook it and see for yourself. I have always been an advocate to remove sugar and processed foods from the diets of people with cancer and many other illnesses. Also from the diets of healthy people. Our body does not require a lot to be healthy. It does require a selection of certain nutrients to make every cell a happy cell. Protein, vegetables and fruit to simplify it. When you embrace this type of thinking when caring for someone, it helps you to care for yourself giving everyone a chance to return to good health or to maintain it.
Too many people get caught up in the belief that, if I give you something sweet it will make you “feel” better. We don’t won’t someone to feel better, we want someone to “be” healthy. Feeling is an emotion. Changing their cells to be healthy enables them to accomplish their dreams and wishes in life. You have the ability to change a person’s life so make it happen.
Health practitioner and coach