Finding healthy ways to stay positive after receiving a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly difficult. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family is a crucial first step to effective healing and coping. Reducing stress is vital at this turbulent time, and your friends and family can help you achieve that by helping you schedule appointments, tidying up around the house, or even simply sitting down for a cup of coffee together.
While your loved ones can lend a hand or offer a shoulder to lean on, it is also essential for you to maintain your own peace of mind. Of course, it is easy to get swept up in your new routine, so we’ve come up with a few things you can do for yourself to unwind after a chemotherapy session or a miserable night’s sleep. Here are three ways to stay positive during your cancer treatment.
Don’t let your diagnosis define you
Remember that you are not your diagnosis. A positive cancer diagnosis does not mean you are now doomed to spend your days in stiff hospital beds, watching soap operas off a tiny television hung from the ceiling, or isolate yourself from being around the people and things you love. Sure, you’ll likely grow tired faster than you usually would, and you will probably encounter some people who dance around the topic, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. Keep doing the things you usually would, with the people you would normally do them with. Don’t let your diagnosis stop you in your tracks.
Stay in the present
There will be times that all of this will become overwhelming, and when this happens, one of the best things you can do is to breathe and meditate. Staying present and keeping yourself in the “here-and-now” will help you cope when it all gets to be a bit too much. When you receive bad news, or you’re growing tired of juggling your treatments and medication, put it all in perspective. Yes, you do have cancer. Yes, you are tired and ill. Yes, you are fighting your hardest. But you are also surrounded by people who love you and doctors who have studied for years to treat you and help you heal.
Find a support group
Having a support system at home and seeking comfort and understanding from the people who know and love you is invaluable, but they can’t always provide the kind of understanding you will sometimes need.
If your thoughts and feelings are interfering with your life, work, or relationships, it may be time for you to seek help from a professional. A licensed and qualified therapist or counselor will provide you with the advice, coping mechanisms, and support you can’t get from the people around you or provide for yourself. Websites like WithTherapy will even help you find the therapist right for you.
If therapy or counseling doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, consider the possibility of group therapy or a support group for people undergoing cancer treatment or cancer survivors. Reaching out to others that are sharing a common experience can open you up to an entirely new way of thinking.
Hopefully, some of the methods discussed above will help you to maintain a positive outlook while you navigate your way through battling cancer. There are others that may seem less obvious, like making sure that you and your loved ones undergo a full-body MRI. Something as simple as an MRI can help to detect cancer early on and help you keep peace of mind.