Cancer has become one of the most deadly diseases of our time. The number of new cancer cases in 2021 has already exceeded 19 million worldwide. The disease has become more common and invasive every day. Cancer is now one of the leading causes of death.
Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming at any stage. It evokes many emotions. It’s completely natural to feel this way. Not only patients but also people near people with cancer may share the same feelings. However, staying positive and optimistic can improve the quality of life and even improve the outcome of ongoing treatment.
Being diagnosed with cancer
It’s not just one emotion, but you can be in the tide of all kinds of emotions. You may be shocked, sad, lonely, angry, guilty, and despairing. All these feelings are real and you can start by accepting them. They are part of your cancer treatment journey.
For most people, cancer is a loss. You can lose your health. The overall appearance may change. Family relationships can also change. The heavy burden of cancer treatment can lead to financial setbacks. This is in addition to physical suffering. Therefore, you also need to pay attention to your mental health. Mental health is quite important, and we cannot say that we will meet another day.
During the course of treatment, it is quite common to feel anxiety before and after the tests. You may think that you are not healing the way you should have. You may feel sad, but it’s very common and natural. This can lead to depression. You may lose hope and have difficulty focusing on your day-to-day work or even getting out of bed. These are all signs of depression.
Even after a person recovers from cancer, he or she often doesn’t seem happy or celebratory. This may be because a person has been through a lot. The person may still be used to not going to the medical facility anymore. Research has found that cancer survivors are more often affected by anxiety and depression than those without a history of cancer.
Activities to boost mental wellbeing
Previously, cancer patients were suggested to take plenty of rest. But nowadays, doctors advise doing regular exercise. Even a small amount of exercise can help a person to boost their physical as well as mental being. These may help to reduce some of cancer’s side effects like trouble remembering or recalling, loss of focus, depression, nausea, fatigue, etc.
Don’t push yourself, just start with simple aerobic exercises. Try to take a small evening walk. You can even try mild jogging. Other exercises that are worth trying are swimming, cycling, dancing, etc. One can even go for anaerobic exercises like heavy lifting, pushups, squats or lunges, etc. But one should be cautious and consult the doctors before trying any heavy exercises.
Meditation and Yoga:
Studies show that yoga can help cancer patients both mentally and physically. One aspect of yoga is dealing with the mind which can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.
Yoga can also reduce the side effects of cancer. Several studies have found that yoga can reduce cancer-related fatigue and improve sleep. It also helps cancer patients to recover after cancer surgery.
Meditation is another mental activity that can help cancer patients to improve their quality of life. You can practice 20 to 30 minutes of meditation daily to reap the benefits of meditation. It can help to deal with pain and fatigue, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, and can even help you manage your feelings and emotions.
Acceptance and self-preparation:
The first thing you have to do is accept your feelings. Accept that you feel overwhelmed, anxious, weak, and angry. All emotions are natural and you can feel that way. Accepting that you have cancer can have positive effects. Get together and get ready to start the fight. This can instill a sense of hope and optimism in you, even when the odds are against you. Therefore, whether you are living with or beyond cancer, your chances of improving your quality of life are increased.
Adequate amount of sleep
It is crucial to get enough sleep. You should ensure that you get 8 hours of sleep every day. Use meditation or yoga if you have trouble sleeping. One should not take caffeine, sugar, or any stimulants to disturb the sleep cycle. You should schedule a bedtime, like a particular time to go to bed.
Get a hobby or do something you like
Everyone has a hobby or at least enjoys doing something. You can start by reading a book. Or you can do some artwork like painting, sculpturing, etc. You can try knitting or learn origami. Some people like to maintain a diary or journal. Write all your feelings or worries in the diary, especially the feelings you may not be comfortable sharing with someone. There are many other engaging activities, for instance, gardening, solving puzzles, playing board games, reading magazines, etc. You just need to find one to help you relieve your stress.
Join a community or get emotional support
You can join the community of people involved in cancer. You can feel hope by listening to the battle story. Talking and listening to people who are experiencing similar situations can have a positive impact on you and your family. You can learn a lot from their experience and how they dealt with certain difficulties.
Nowadays, you can also join the online community. Several such communities encourage members’ positiveness and support. By listening to and watching their success stories, you can increase your morale and strength in the fight against cancer.
If necessary, consult a personal counselor to manage stress and heal mentally. Asking for emotional help is nothing wrong.
Whether it’s about maintaining physical or mental well-being, both can be equally challenging for cancer patients. Depression and anxiety are quite common in cancer patients. One can begin by accepting your feelings and situation, preparing and planning in order to boost their mental health status. Optimism is the key here.