Exercise, meditation, sleep and support can help you manage stress after a cancer diagnosis.
A cancer diagnosis will shake up your life. Even with the best prognosis, it's a stressful time, and you are bound to have lots of questions.
But it's important to manage — and not ignore — the stress you feel. Anxiety, worries or depression can interfere with your recovery, the National Cancer Institute says. You may skip doctor's appointments. Your sense of pain may increase, you might not be able to sleep or you could have trouble with nausea or vomiting.
We have some tips for how you can cope with stress after learning you have cancer.
- Exercise: You can boost your mood, increase your confidence and reduce tension with regular workouts, the American Cancer Society says.
- Communicate: Talk to your family about what is going on and your worries. You can also benefit from support groups. We offer several for the patient, caregiver and different types of cancers.
- Sleep: It's important you get your rest while you are undergoing cancer treatment. If insomnia becomes a problem, talk to someone in our sleep disorders center about how we can help.
- Relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation and guided imagery can calm your mind and help you focus. Read about the different methods here.
- Professional help: If you are having severe depression or anxiety, your doctor may refer you to a behavioral health specialist. You might benefit from medication or therapy. Do not try to treat yourself with medication – some drugs or natural remedies may interfere with medications you may be on for your cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor.
At Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center, we focus on our patients' entire lives — their physical, emotional and social needs. We empower our patients and encourage them to be part of their recovery process. For more information, call 305-682-2151.