6 Ways of Stress Management during Cancer Treatment - Medx Health Assistance
cancer management

6 Ways of Stress Management during Cancer Treatment

How to Cope with Stress during Cancer Treatment

“The part can never be well, unless the whole is well.” – Plato

Being diagnosed with cancer can be immensely stressful, emotionally as well as physically. But what is more important is that the chances of recovery, and quality of life may very well improve with the reduction of stress. Do not let stress mount up and make it overwhelming. Maintain the mind-body balance for your well-being as a whole. Take charge and beat what stands in your way of a healthy life! 

  • Normal + Healthy Lifestyle

Organizing and preparing can suddenly seem daunting when the future is uncertain. Maintain your usual lifestyle, however, be open to changing it, whenever needed. One day at a time; during stressful times, it’s easy to forget this basic technique. To help you handle the stress and exhaustion of cancer and its treatment, select a balanced diet composed of a variety of foods and get enough rest. This should boost your level of energy.

If your doctor has cleared you for physical exercise, it can help you stay in better health, stimulate and energize your body. It is also known for enhancing mood and eliminating stress. In the battle against stress during cancer treatment, exercise is truly one of the best weapons. Recent results show that individuals who retain some physical activity not only cope better with recovery, but may also live longer.

  • Get Facts to anticipate challenges and strategize

In order to make choices about your treatment, try to get as much basic and useful information about your cancer diagnosis as you need and want. Some individuals want all the facts and information, so they can be very active in the process of decision-making. Others tend to learn only the basics and leave their doctors with specifics and options. Think about which approach works the best for you. 

Ask your doctor what physical changes you should expect and consult image experts for advice on clothes, makeup, wigs and hairpieces to help you feel more relaxed and attractive. In this field, members of cancer support groups can be especially helpful and can provide tips that have supported them and others. 

Your everyday habits will be influenced by medication. Ask your doctor if you expect your daily routine to continue. If a leave from your usual duties is required for your care, make arrangements for this.

Tip: To help you remember what you hear, consider taking a family member or friend with you to your first few doctor appointments. 

  • Review your schedule, goals, and priorities

Cancer treatments are exhaustive and can make you feel sick. You may need to spend time in the hospital or have medical appointments that are regular. To cope well with the treatment, it is very important that you do not feel overwhelmed or stressed. Review your goals, priorities and limit your schedule. Involve yourself in the activities that are the most important to you and your meaning of life. Do more of what you love and enjoy. Spend more time with your loved ones, share your thoughts and feelings with them, and make happy moments. Communication and laughter can indeed help in reducing stress, anxiety and fear that can be caused by diseases such as cancer. 

  • Financial Clarity

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or other cancer treatments can be quite a financial burden. Moreover, time away from work or an extended time away from home, might be a requirement of your treatment with additional costs of medications, medical devices or traveling for treatment. You might need help in navigating through insurance and figuring out finances. Getting financial clarity and the needed assistance, if any, beforehand will be a relieving step.

  • Let friends and family help and support

Friends and family can be your greatest support during this time. be open to asking and accepting help. Cancer treatments are quite demanding and tiring. Stress can take over the entire family especially the primary caregivers. Hence it is very important that you try and maintain an honest two-way communication with all those around you- your loved ones, doctors and others. It is supportive not only emotionally but also physically as, friends, family or neighbours can run errands, provide transportation, prepare meals and help you with household chores. Accepting the help of those who care for you can provide them a sense of contribution and also prevent caregiver burnout, in the long run. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but know that people would not offer if they did not want to find some way to help. Even if you have not had any recent offers for help, but you know a friend would be willing, ask for help. You need to save your energy to beat cancer. 

  • Develop your own coping strategies

 

Your way of standing strong and dealing with the difficult times, is your coping strategy. What you think calms you, calms you- the placebo effect! Moreover, all that has comforted you through rough times before the cancer diagnosis, will help ease your worries now too; it might be your favourite activity, a song, your close friends and family or your spirituality. It is time to turn to whatever and everything that relieves you of stress and keeps you happy and calm.

 

Ideas to try:

  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing, exercises, yoga etc.
  • Share what you feel honestly with family, friends, a spiritual adviser or a counsellor.
  • Keep a journal to let it all out and help organize your thoughts.
  • Take a walk outdoors.
  • List the pros and cons if faced with a difficult decision.
  • Find a source of spiritual support.
  • Self-change, self-love to maintain a positive attitude. Set aside time to be alone.
  • Do more of what you love and enjoy. Keep yourself involved and happy.

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