Self-Care Tips to Help You Beat Cancer by Scott Sanders of CancerWell.org
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Self-Care Tips to Help You Beat Cancer
Maintaining a positive outlook improves your chances in almost every situation, but sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Living with cancer, whether you’re a parent or a younger person, is difficult even on the best of days; it can take a toll physically and emotionally. It can be hard to perform daily tasks and learning to cope with the realities of an aggressive illness can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s so important for children and parents who are living with cancer to practice self-care. This can mean anything from finding ways to relax to taking care of your body in a way that makes you feel happy, comfortable, and healthy. Cancer can make you feel isolated, so self-care is also about your mental health — finding ways to be part of your community, spending time with loved ones, or just finding a quiet moment to yourself to do something you enjoy.
Being kind to yourself will help you get through even the roughest days. Here are a few tips from Kids Without Cancer on how you can do just that.
Engage your mind.
Many kids or parents who are living with cancer spend several hours a week at the mercy of a doctor, hospital, or chemotherapy station. It can be draining on your body and mind, so it’s a good idea to find ways to engage your brain during this time. Download stimulating games on your phone or tablet, bring along a good book, or listen to an interesting podcast on your headphones.
Staying positive is important, and this starts with your living space. Support a positive environment by making your home a place that makes you feel happy and relaxed. Ways to transform your space from negative to positive include doing a deep clean, decluttering, and letting in more natural light.
Consider getting a therapy dog.
Animals can be extremely helpful when it comes to our emotional needs; not only are they loyal, happy companions, they can actually help reduce stress and even lower blood pressure when you spend time with them. The Bark notes that’s why many doctors suggest their patients get the help of a therapy dog who can help with emotional support with an illness or mental health issue. These animals are highly trained and can be quite expensive, so it’s best to do some research before choosing one.
Spend your time the way you want to.
Living with cancer can be hard even on the good days, so it’s important for you to do things you enjoy as much as possible. If you have a hobby, practice it; if not, carve time from your daily schedule to do something you enjoy, such as sitting down with a good book or spending time with your grandchildren. This can boost your mood and help keep you positive even during a rough week. Live Better With suggests other self-care tips like keeping a cancer journal and practicing mindfulness.
Take care of your body.
Getting daily exercise and eating well-balanced meals can go a long way toward helping you feel good both physically and mentally, as can getting enough sleep. Treating your body well is one of the best methods for staying motivated when it comes to your health, so eat a variety of veggies and fruits, including mood-enhancing foods like kale, spinach, asparagus, and avocados.
Fit in a workout each day and make sure you’re getting enough rest. Even doing some simple stretches can relieve pain and release stress. If possible, spend some time outside, as fresh air can help you feel relaxed and at peace. However, you may end up spending a lot of time indoors, which is why you need to take good care of the air inside your home. Using an air filter with a high MERV rating with your HVAC system, for instance, will remove a large portion of the potentially harmful airborne particles in your home, giving you fresher air to breathe.
Living with cancer can affect your body in many ways; it can cause stress and anxiety, which can lead to memory problems, which can, in turn, make you feel disorganized and out of control. Get rid of clutter – both physical and mental – to give yourself some breathing space. Carry a notebook with you to write down things you need to remember and make lists daily of tasks and other things you don’t want to forget in order to stay organized.
Whether a child or a parent, practicing self-care is a big part of staying healthy and positive during a battle with cancer, so it’s imperative that you learn what works for your body and how to stay on a schedule. Get support from friends and family during this time, which will help you stay motivated.
For the past 40 years, Kids Without Cancer has been raising money to fund the pediatric cancer research being conducted at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and its affiliates Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Reach out for more info today! www.kidswithoutcancer.org
Posted on April 28th, 2022 in News.