A Day In The Life Of A Cancer: Helen Phelan

By Helen Phelan –

 

I’ve explored my birth chart more deeply in the past few months, and while my sun sign is Cancer, my rising is Leo and my moon is Virgo. My mother always joked that I should’ve been born a Leo because of my theatrical personality but her scheduled c-section 2 weeks early left me a Cancer. When I learned that your sun sign represents how you present yourself to others, the pull I’ve always felt for the spotlight finally clicked. Learning that your moon shows you what you really see yourself as, the self-analytical, organized Virgo inside was revealed and made perfect sense. All that being said, I have always fully identified with the traits of a Cancer, proud to be thought of as intuitive and unconditionally loving. This is what a typical day looks like for me, as I embody all of my chart. 


Cancer Strengths:

Nurturing

Supportive

Healing

Compassionate

Unconditionally Loving  

Creative

faithful

Intuitive


Cancer Weaknesses: 

Dependent

Indirect

Moody

Passive Aggressive

Stubborn

Unable To Let Go 


6 am – The alarm goes off and I have to peel the weighted blanket off me first to convince myself to move. Cancers feel protected by our hard, external shells, and I can say without hyperbole, that sleeping with the weighted blanket has changed my life. 

Helen Phelan Instagram


6:05 am – Ask Alexa for the news from NPR while brushing my teeth only to tell her to stop 30 seconds in. Cancers are highly sensitive and I should know by now that starting my morning with bad news is not a recipe for a fun morning. I set about my skincare routine to one of my playlists instead. 


6:15 am – I throw on the outfit I laid out the night before and start to neaten up my apartment. Cancers love to nest and the older I get the more compulsive I am about maintaining my space so that it feels like a cozy place to relax in after a day in the bustle of NYC. I also teach sessions out of my apartment, so it’s important for me to have a calm home to be able to hold space for my clients in it. Cancers are inclined towards healing work, so this tracks too. 


6:45 am – I make myself some tea and some soft boiled eggs over oatmeal and sit down to eat breakfast and instinctively open Instagram. Then I catch myself mindlessly scrolling and put the phone face down until I finish eating, mentally going over the programming I’ll work on with my clients later on. 


8 - 10 am – My first pilates client comes over. Cancers are super psychic, and while I can’t read minds, reading the energy in the room is my superpower. When I’m working with my clients I use that empathic ability to meet my clients where they are and get them moving in a way that will benefit them the most in that particular moment.  

Helen Phelan Instagram

 

10:10 am – After each session I do a little closing ritual to help maintain a strong energetic boundary for me and prevent me from burning out. It looks different every day, but today, I had access to burning some sage so I just took a loop around my apartment and took a few deep breaths.

Burning Sage

 

10:30 am – I squeeze my own movement practice in- I try to listen to what my body is asking for each day, whether its yoga, pilates, cardio, weights etc. Today, I’m being called to practice better recovery skills so I just do some light stretching and core work for around 30 minutes at home on my mat. 

Helen Phelan Instagram

 

11:30 am – I answer some emails and take some calls, feeling recharged and not drained after my workout which allows me to maintain focus on the parts of self employment that come less naturally to me, like book-keeping. 


1 pm – I make a quick veggie stir fry out of ingredients I had leftover in the fridge for lunch before trekking into the city for an in-home client. I recently learned that cancer rules the stomach, which makes total sense why I get so unbelievably hangry when I haven’t eaten enough. Being a New Yorker, I do order takeout more than I should, but my fiancé and I make sure to cook dinners at home at least 4 nights a week and I use the leftovers for lunches when I can. 



3:30 - 4:45 pm – I take my dog, Hugo, out on a long walk across Williamsburg and stop at the Domino Dog Park on the way back home so he can get his exercise in, too. Hugo is a Gemini, in case you were wondering, and in true outgoing Gemini fashion, we have to stop and sniff every dog we see along the way.

Helen Phelan Instgram

6:30 pm – It’s Yannick’s turn to cook, so I make use of this extra free time to take a quick bath. When we were apartment hunting, a non-gross bathtub was my one requirement. The moon rules Cancer, making us reliant on self care and comfort to reset. At the end of the day this little crab needs some alone time after sharing and taking in so many people’s energy. I light my candles, play some ambient music, fill the tub with epsom salts, slap on a face mask and lock the door for a solid 20 min. Do not disturb. If I don’t get at least a few minutes to myself after a full work day, (sometimes it’s just sitting in the bedroom by myself for a bit) I get grumpy and defensive and I don’t have the bandwidth to catch up with my partner about our days together. 


9:45 pm – Time to wind down and turn all my screens off-- phone especially. I embark upon my multi-step skincare routine (I told you Cancers love a self care moment) and climb into bed to make some progress in the book I’m reading (atm, it’s The Joy of Movement) which also helps me get into a sleepy headspace before falling asleep around 10:30pm


Because of the nature of my work, my schedule is always a little in flux, but the constants are the things that keep me grounded: staying organized and making sure I have enough time for myself so that I have more to give the next day. 

 

– Helen Phelan

 

Cover image courtesy of Helen Phelan

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