The shock of a cancer diagnosis and the bewildering aftermath can make it hard to keep an optimistic attitude. But there are things you can do, right now, to make your experience easier and more pleasant. If you’re feeling down, give these ideas a try.
Breast cancer can be isolating. You can really feel left out when you’re too sick to go to work, too tired to visit a friend, or too immune system-compromised to interact with anyone, and you might be feeling lonely. In that case, pick up the phone. Instead of waiting for someone to remember that you’re home alone, consider writing an old-fashioned letter — the ones that require a postage stamp and a sheet of paper. You’ll have fun writing it, and someone will be delighted to receive it. Send a text or connect on social media. In whatever way that feels comfortable for you, help yourself build the bridge you need.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Eating the food your body needs to fight disease can be seriously challenging during cancer treatment. Some patients need to eat any calorie they can tolerate just to get the proper nutrition, but many others end up gaining weight. If your body can tolerate it, choose healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins that will make you feel good. Sometimes, you can drastically change the way you feel just by making better dietary choices.
Take a Walk
Exercise can help combat the fatigue cancer patients frequently experience during treatment and afterwards. Ask your doctor if exercise would be good in your situation. You’ll feel better if you do, especially when that exercise is outside or with a friend.
If your health has you worried for yourself and the people you love, why not take a mini vacation and let those anxieties go. A funny movie, an absorbing book, an art project or other creative outlet can take your mind off cancer.
If you’re alive, you’re breathing. But not all breathing is equal. Slowing down to take a few mindful deep breaths can reduce anxiety and depression and help you find a happier outlook. It takes only a few minutes to focus on your breath and change the course of your day.
Spiritual practices all over the globe advocate the use of affirmations. An affirmation is when you make a statement, out loud or silently, about a positive expectation in your life. Some cancer patients use affirmations that anticipate or celebrate important relationships. Others visualize positive health outcomes or successful coping mechanisms. You can create your own or use this one which many patients find helpful: I am open and receptive to whatever good this experience may bring into my life.
Whatever tool you choose, staying upbeat can have a positive impact on your health. Making these practices a habit can help.
Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.