Managing Stress After Cancer Diagnosis

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Managing Stress After Cancer Diagnosis

You are sitting at the doctor’s and they have some grim news for you or your loved one. The tests show that it is cancer. The instant this news is delivered stress sets in. from herein, it is not only the disease that you will need to fight, but the horrible sensation of doom and gloom as well. For most cancer patients, it actually isn’t cancer itself they are dealing with, but the depression of this disease.

It is at this point that you need to strengthen your nerves and restart your coping mechanisms. Here you will find some of the most practical and easy to follow stress management tips and tricks.

1. Going Silent

This is one of the worst things that people get into. Going silent, or not expressing your feelings mean that you bottle up everything inside which results in a storm of emotions at some point that only furthers pulls you down into depression.

The first thing that you need to understand is that not voicing out how you feel is going to make you more hopeless. You will only be able to come to terms with the problem when you share it with your loved ones.

So let the feelings flow. Tell people what you are thinking or what you want to do in order to fight the disease. Talk to your friends or family members. If you feel that you will worry them, than think of it this way, if you don’t talk at all, it will worry them even more.

Support Group

Talking to friends or family not an option? Join a support group. This will have other cancer patients who will not only understand what is happening with you, but will be able to empathize with your situation.  What’s more, there is a therapist handling such groups and they might refer you to psychologist if you are not dealing with the problem properly.

Expression through Art

Many experts suggest that one way of expressing yourself is through some sort of artistic expression. Whether it is writing you are good at or painting, dance or singing, all of these things will help you in recuperating mentally and gaining strength of emotions. You can search up specific groups that target cancer patients and join them.

2. Negative Coping Mechanism

Many people try to get rid of stress through negative coping mechanism that instead of proving beneficial, it makes your physical and mental condition worse. This included smoking too much, excessive drinking or even binge eating. What you are doing is avoiding dealing with facts and hiding behind these addictions.

Talk to your doctor if you are suffering from such a habit. They would be able to guide you about how to get out of any negative behavior and start living in a more healthier manner.

3. Keeping Control

Many people feel that things get out of hands or become too overwhelming when they become ill. This includes finances too. If you feel that money matters are not something you will deal with, then get help now. Don’t wait for debts to start building up before you consult with a financial advisor. There are many cancer-related insurances available and by discussing the situation you can cover most of the treatment cost.

When at work, don’t try to hide the fact that you have been diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing chemotherapy. Your boss or colleagues need to know in order to make things easier for you. People are not pitiful, they genuinely seek to help. So get all the support that you can. If work from home or half days are possible, get them. You will need rest and making arrangements prior to the start of treatment is best.

When it comes to housework, get help. You can hire someone to come in weekly and clean up the house. Your loved ones and neighbors can also pitch in to cook, clean and shop for you. But again, the thing to remember is communication. You have to let others know when you need their support. Ask and you will not be disappointed.

4. Take a Vacation

Having some me time is essential. This is going to be the biggest stress reliever you can find. Going on a trip or holiday will help you get a fresher perspective on life and your situation. Yes your finances may be restricted right now, but this most certainly does not mean that you can’t take the weekend to head out and gain some “alone” time in order to come to terms with what is going to happen next.

Whether alone, with family or some close friends, take a three to five day vacation to some resort, farmhouse or beach. You will feel an immediate difference in the way your nerves have been. This time will allow you to relax and capture positivity again.

You can take a vacation before beginning the treatment if your oncologist allows. If you feel that going somewhere is just not possible, simply stay at home and spend time doing things that you enjoy. Ask a service to provide food for you for a few days and hang out with family or your pet.

5. Workout

Did you know that exercise releases endorphins in your body? These are the happy hormones that help you in feeling better immediately. If you feel that weakness is setting in because of cancer, you can incorporate a short walk in your routine. Just 3-4 rounds in the park or 15 minutes around the neighborhood will show a marked difference in your emotional state.

If you are up for it, join a swimming class or Yoga group as these too help the body in relaxing and calms the mind. There are also many cancer groups that help patients with their physical strength  by engaging them in various activities.

Cancer is very much managable, so long as you keep yourself positive and are willing to keep the stress at bay.  Just don’t give in to despair, keep communicating with your loved ones and have faith. You will come out of this crisis in due time. Believe in the power of positive attitude and you will see how nothing, no matter how serious can pull you down. Rely on your faith.  Ask for help where you feel you need it and let others solve some of your issues.

Good luck!


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