Last month, we covered some of the most commonly experienced emotions associated with receiving and living with a cancer diagnosis. Now, as part two, let’s go over some methods to get through those emotions.
Express Your Emotions
Don’t bottle up your emotions. It is important to express how you feel in order to be able to let go of them. Some people rely on their loved ones, like friends or family, to talk through their emotions. Others lean on other survivors, a support group, or a counselor. If you are someone that prefers to be more private, it is still important to work through how you feel, so consider methods like journaling, or set aside time to contemplate your emotions within yourself.
Don’t Blame Yourself for Your Cancer
Some people believe that they got cancer because of something they did or did not do. While it is true that there are behavioral factors that can increase your likelihood of developing cancer, there are also genetic factors that you cannot influence. Having risk factors for certain cancers does not mean a certain fate of developing them. In fact, individuals that show no risk factors are not immune to the chance for developing cancer. All bodies are different. Remember, cancer can happen to anyone.
Don’t Try to Be Upbeat If You’re Not
You have a right to feel what you feel when you feel it. You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, and allowing yourself to stay true to how you are feeling is important. Give yourself the freedom to allow for bad days. Having bad days is going to be part of the process, and one way to communicate that with loved ones is to tell them you are having a bad cancer day. This phrase is used by many and is an effective way to communicate how you are doing.
You Choose When to Talk about Your Cancer
It can be hard for people to know how to talk to you about your cancer. Often loved ones mean well, but they don’t know what to say or how to act. Be sure to think through your personal boundaries with others when it comes to talking about your cancer. Do things at a pace that is good for you with the people you choose.
Find Ways to Help Yourself Relax
Retain your hobbies. Do what you love to do if you can. You may like hobbies such as woodworking, photography, reading, or crafts. Or find creative outlets such as art, movies, music, or dance. If you are in need of relaxing activities, you can try things like meditation, guided imagery, or relaxation exercises. These are just a few ways that have been shown to help others; these may help you relax when you feel worried.
Be as Active as You Can
It is important to show yourself grace and to not push yourself, but at the same time this does not mean you should not try to do thing. While it is true you probably will not be able to perform tasks and duties like you did prior to treatment, keeping simple activity in your routine can make the world of difference. Getting out of the house and doing something can help you focus on other things besides cancer and the worries it brings. Exercise or gentle yoga and stretching can help too.
Look at What You Can Control
Some people say that putting their lives in order helps. Being involved in your health care, keeping your appointments, and making changes in your lifestyle are among the things you can control. Even setting a daily schedule can give you a sense of control. And while no one can control every thought, some say that they try not to dwell on the fearful ones, but instead do what they can to enjoy the positive parts of life.