We all know about the physical toll cancer can have on the body, but what about the mental implications it can have on one’s health? There are a lot of emotions to process when you find out you have cancer, which does not change when you are undergoing treatment. Not only is it emotional and exhausting, but it can be stressful as well. From coordinating appointments and treatments to the mental and emotional strain it can cause for both you and your family members, the stress can quickly mount up and get overwhelming.  

It’s surprising to what extent diet, exercise and sleep affect your stress levels, so make sure you are on top of your day with that. Meditation, however, is extremely effective and has proven to have profound effects on stress and your physiological state of being. Breathing and pranayama are also very effective at keeping anxiety and stress levels low. Start your day with some quiet time where you can focus on your breath and rest your mind. You can start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up. Do this just before sleeping as well, it helps with restful sleep.

5 Ways to manage stress:

  1. Spend time outdoors

Getting fresh air and a dose of greenery can be incredibly relaxing and refreshing. Outdoors is a great remedy for feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Walking in nature, sitting on your terrace or spending time in a park nearby can be therapeutic and can substantially improve your mental health. 

  1. Limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine

Though often considered a stress-relieving vice, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine often cause sleeplessness and anxiety which contribute to the body’s stress response.

  1. Ask For or Accept Help
    Many people will offer to help in various ways when they hear you are ill. Even though it may feel awkward or uncomfortable when someone asks if you need help to run errands or do the laundry, say “yes”!  People would not offer if they did not want to find some way to help you. 
  1. Exercise

Physical activity will help you stay in better shape, keep your body active and energized and is known to improve mental health and eliminate anxiety. Exercise is truly one of your biggest tools in the fight against stress during cancer treatment.

  1. Join a Support Group

Sometimes, even when friends and family have the best intentions, they cannot understand what you are going through when you’re undergoing cancer treatment. A support group can alleviate a lot of stress because you can talk about and release your cancer-related issues with a group of people who truly understand. 

Disclaimer: Please follow the advise given only after consulting with your health care provider!

Samara Mahindra

Founder & CEO of CARER
CARER works with cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and specialists to prevent and help cancer patients. To know more about Carer (Cancer Prevention & Therapy Experts), please visit here.

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