Self-Care Strategies for Cancer Patients

    Glenn Smith 15 Aug

    Person Centered Care

    Self-Care Strategies for Cancer Patients

    Practice Self-Care with Cancer

    Self-care is essential. This is true for anyone, but even more so for those of us with in need of medical treatment and care. There's a lot that goes into relating skillfully to a cancer diagnosis: researching and then choosing among treatment options; finding physicians and other healthcare practitioners that you feel comfortable with; managing finances and dealing with insurance agencies, etc.

    It is really important to make time to care for yourself and spend time with your loved ones. In fact, carving out self-care time can be just as important to the success of your journey as are the other components of your treatment protocol. Treating yourself well and learning how to create a supportive environment is essential to maintaining wellness.  Here are tips to support you during this journey.

    Seven Great Tips to Help You Stay Engaged & Enjoy Each Day

    1. Stay active. Keeping your body and mind active and engaged sets a positive baseline for health and happiness. A daily exercise routine is a great way to start. This could be something as simple as taking a walk around the block, first thing in the morning. It might mean taking a yoga or tai-chi class -- or going for a swim at the local recreation center. Gardening can be a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine, while gently exercising your body. If you have a passion for painting or writing poetry, continue to do these things -- or take a class to hone your skills! Consider joining a book club, to discuss topics that interest you, among friends.
    2. Keep a journal. There are so many benefits to keeping a journal: It's a safe place for you to express your thoughts and feelings, on whatever topic you'd care to explore. It can be used to record various treatment strategies, and how your body responded to each. It can be a place to record dreams, outline a new creative project, write letters to friends and family members (which you may or may not share with them), or just simply doodle.  
    3. Spend time with family and friends. The importance of spending time with friends and family members can't be overstated. Being with people who you love and trust creates a sense of nourishment and support that is deeply healing. Friends can help you brainstorm and make intelligent choices in relation to your treatment protocol.
    4. Listen to music and podcasts. The health benefits of listening to music are well documented. Music lifts your mood, and shifts the biochemistry of the body in health-promoting ways. So, cue up your favorite CD, or create a free Pandora radio station custom-made with your all-time favorite music.  There's also a whole world of podcasts out there -- on all variety of topics. Those featuring guided meditations can be especially therapeutic. For instance: the Tara Brach mindfulness podcast recordings are a great place to start, for some soothing and inspiring self-care guidance. 
    5. Eat well. It's obvious that healthy meals support the overall health of the body -- so don't skimp on this one! Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats and oils. And for those times when you're feeling a bit low-energy, or just not entirely inspired, here are some great healthy meal ideasthat will take you only ten minutes to prepare.
    6. Get plenty of rest. A good night's sleep -- along with occasional naps, when your body is feeling the need -- is a vitally important component of self-care. To help you sleep more deeply, particularly if you tend to be on your phone or a computer into the evening hours, Install f.luxon all your computers. This free app modulates the color of your computer's display to correspond to the time of day -- which keeps your body's circadian rhythms harmonized, increasing your chances of getting a good night's sleep.  
    7. Ask for help. Remember that it's okay to ask for support -- from friends and family members; as well as from professional therapists and counselors. It's perfectly natural to feel confused or overwhelmed sometimes -- or just to need a someone able to listen deeply. 

    Most importantly, find time to spend time with those you love, and to do the things that you love doing. Your interest and enthusiasm are a kind of "medicine" that will amplify the benefits of any and all healing modalities.

    Church Home LifeSpring is here to support you in any way that we can -- so please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

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