You received some of the worst news of your life: you have cancer. You have scheduled treatments to help rid your body of the cancer cells, and you’re beginning to feel the effects of your oncology treatments, including weakness, nausea and the loss of hair. The mind-body therapy discussed below will help you manage your chemo, radiation and/or surgery.
It could be difficult to keep your spirits up during one of the most stressful times of your life for you and your family. Here are some ways you can boost your mood during cancer treatments:
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Music can be an integral part of therapy and can lift your spirits. Listening to your favorite songs can help you relax and give you the consistent comfort you need as your moods shift during treatments.
Practice your breathing to help your mind and muscles relax. Meditation, yoga and healing touch techniques can ease your mind and decrease your stress levels. If you’re up and moving or lying in your bed, these are practices you can employ wherever you are and during the various stages of your treatment process.
You’re having to experience a lot of emotions all at once. Talk with a family member or close friend about what you’re experiencing. If you don’t want to worry a loved one, then consider speaking with someone outside of your current realm to help you through your thoughts and feelings. Talking with a licensed mental health professional could aid you as you work through your cancer treatments and a rollercoaster of emotions and physical ailments. Learn all you can about your cancer and treatment and read blogs from others.
Cancer treatments decrease your white blood cell count, which can increase your chances of getting infections. Nip that in the bud by making sure you cook your food well and keep kitchen items clean to avoid exposure to bacteria. Purchasing organic dairy, meats and produce will also limit pesticide exposure and other chemicals that could coincide with your treatment. Also try to avoid anything with artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Drink tea whenever you can. The antioxidants in white or green tea is thought to decrease the chances of your cancer spreading and also can protect your liver from radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Do what you love and makes you feel comfortable and at home in your own skin. If you love writing, then write in a journal every day. It could help you pour your soul and feelings onto the page, which has therapeutic benefits. Watch your favorite TV show, window shop online, read books, play video games — do whatever makes you and your mind happy and able to relax from the effects of your treatment.
While this presents some challenges during chemotherapy and radiation treatments, remaining active helps increase and maintain your energy levels and decrease your anxiety and depression during this time. Engage in moderate exercise, such as tai chi, walking and yoga. Consult with your doctor before starting your own exercise regimen and don’t try to overachieve with your comfort zone. Do what you can in the moment.