4 Ways to Manage and Reduce Cancer-Related Stress
Cancer and treatments can take a toll on your body, but many people forget to account for the stress that comes with a diagnosis. Managing these cancer-related stressors is extremely important as effective coping methods can help prevent other negative side effects – side effects that impact your physical health, too. We’ve compiled a few simple things you can do to help yourself reduce stress levels and stay positive.
Accept (Or Ask) For Help
People will be likely to offer their help with everyday tasks like household chores, cooking meals, or watching the kids. While your first impulse might be to decline, it’s important to give yourself time to relax. Not only will you likely be more tired than usual, but visiting the doctor will take up some of the free time you typically have to complete common tasks. Don’t hesitate to accept help when it’s offered – or ask for help if you need it.
Allow Yourself to Process Emotions
A common mistake many cancer patients make is trying not to be upset or show “weakness”. The truth is, accepting how you’re feeling and coping with it can be therapeutic. This means laughing, crying, being angry, and every emotion in between. Give yourself time to move through all stages of emotional processing, instead of trying to skip over particular feelings.
Having easy access to all the information you need for doctor’s appointments, medications, treatment plans, and more can significantly reduce the daily stress you may be feeling. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it also helps family members and other loved ones easily find things if you need help. File all necessary paperwork in clearly labeled folders, outline important phone numbers, and keep insurance information in one spot so you don’t waste any time or create panic if you can’t find a necessary document.
Take Care of Yourself
Despite a cancer diagnosis, you should take time to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself. Whether this means working with your doctor to develop a personalized exercise plan during treatment, getting a massage or facial, going to see a movie with friends, or enjoying your favorite book during an uninterrupted hour at home, set time aside to pamper yourself.
If you’re struggling to manage the stress that came with your cancer diagnosis, your doctor can help. Speak with him or her for recommendations built around your diagnosis and treatment plan.