This article is written by Scott Sanders. Scott is the creator of CancerWell.Org, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer.
If you are dealing with cancer, you’re likely dealing with a lot of emotions. Aside from the physical effects, your mind and soul can be impacted as well. That’s why self-care and spiritual wellness can help you manage your condition. If you need a little more guidance, here are a few suggestions to help you stay strong.
Stress Relief is Important
As someone dealing with cancer, you’re no stranger to stress. Dealing with the diagnosis, pondering your prognosis and mapping out a treatment plan can all make you feel overwhelmed. Add this to the burdens of everyday life, and you have a recipe for a staggering amount of stress. Relieving this stress is at the core of self-care. You have to find simple ways to combat the pressures and positive ways to cope with negative moments in your life. Hobbies can be a wonderful way tame tension. Try starting a small garden or consider adopting a pet to take care of the stress in your life.
Addiction Can Be a Danger
Medications are likely to be a part of your life, but it’s important to avoid addiction. If your doctor prescribes medications to help relieve your pain, be careful with how you use them. Opioid pain medications can be highly addictive, even when taken as directed, and can lead to some very serious health consequences. These high-powered painkillers can be even be deadly when abused or not used carefully.
Sleep is Essential
If you’re dealing with the discomfort of cancer, getting a good night’s sleep can be complicated. You may have a hard time getting comfortable or have trouble settling your mind down. Still, sleep is vital to maintaining strength so try to find ways to encourage your body to rest. Some people find softer sheets to be more comfortable on their skin, and cooler temperatures could help your body relax in the evenings. You can try soothing essential oil blends or teas to help tame any tension that is preventing you from getting to sleep. If all else fails, consult your doctor for ways to get the rest you need.
Peace Can Be Freeing
Spiritual wellness is always important, but it can be even more beneficial for those with cancer. Whether you subscribe to religion or seek another form of spirituality, the connected and mindful practices can bring a calm to your life. Attend religious services if that seems to help or develop practices on your own. You can use quiet moments to pray or meditate at home. Meditation can have powerful grounding and pain relief properties, so make it a part of your normal routine.
Exercise is Essential
Cancer takes strength and energy from your body. The only remedy is to get a little exercise each day. Even something as simple as an evening walk or gentle yoga can help you feel stronger. Aside from building your body, exercise also helps your brain produce valuable endorphins. These chemicals are essential for pain reduction and feelings of happiness, so find activities that boost your happy hormones. If it helps, ask your doctor about working with a physical therapist to make activity easier for you.
Therapy Can Improve Mental Health
The physical effects of cancer can be obvious. The mental effects can’t be seen but they can be felt just the same. Many times, the emotional impact of dealing with cancer can be even more overwhelming than the physical symptoms. You may feel lost, hurt, angry or depressed after your diagnosis. It can be comforting to talk to someone about all the feelings and thoughts racing through your mind. Find a counselor who can help you work through your emotional pain and think about reaching out to a support group. Gaining mental clarity can be good for your mind, body and soul.
Spiritual wellness and self-care may seem trivial when you are facing something as serious as cancer. But taking care of yourself is the only way to stay strong and positive through this plight. Minor changes to your daily routine can help you feel more stable in your mind, your body and your soul as you travel down this uncertain path.
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