Guest blogger Scott Sanders is here to provide self-care tips for those going through cancer treatment. Look out for Scott’s book “Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment” coming out this summer!
When you are diagnosed with cancer, you suddenly feel as though you’ve become someone else. Your life changes, your plans change, people around you change. You don’t want to simply survive — you deserve to have true spiritual wellness. It’s possible with good self-care.
Listening to Yourself
Cancer has a way of taking over your life. Your days are filled with taking pills, going to treatments and dealing with all the emotional upheaval you’re experiencing. With all that going on, it gets pretty easy to neglect yourself. Make sure you’re taking the time to listen to yourself and pay attention to your own needs every single day. Paying attention to your own needs is essential, and it’s an integral part of good self-care, according to Cure Today. Be aware of the moment, and your needs in that moment. Staying aware of yourself is the first step toward successfully taking care of yourself.
Make Yourself Spiritually Well
When your body is sick, it can sicken your mind and soul as well. But you don’t have to let cancer completely take over. Focus on your spiritual well-being to practice good self-care. According to Huffington Post, you should take the time to do something you love. Maybe it’s something you haven’t done since childhood, or something you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever it is, make the time to reconnect with a hobby or a pastime you want to enjoy. Try new things, experiment with activities, and see where it takes you. Who knows what you’ll end up finding out about yourself? Give yourself some joy right now, because now is when you deserve it.
Self-Care and Safe Pain Management
It’s hard to focus on caring for yourself, or on anything at all, when you’re a person in pain. But you don’t want to end up becoming hooked on prescription drugs as a side effect of your illness, which already creates enough troubles. Opioids are a common treatment for cancer because this is a group of drugs that provides strong pain relief. Oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine are very common prescription opioids, but they can also be over-prescribed… and that can lead to abuse.
Talk to your physician about safely using opioids, and don’t take more than the prescribed amount at any time. Ask about other pain relief options that don’t depend on drugs. Try self-care practices such as yoga and meditation as a way to manage your pain. These are very safe therapies, and it won’t do you any harm to become dependent upon meditation to relieve stress and take yourself away from the pain you’re feeling. Pay attention to how many pills you’re taking, and make sure you aren’t over-using your prescriptions to avoid addiction. The illness is bad enough without keeping your mind in a fog all the time.
Soothing Your Spirit with Self-Care
Cancer can create depression, anxiety and many other negative feelings. Self-care alleviates these feelings to keep you emotionally and mentally healthier. Talk to others about the feelings you’re having, even the negative ones. Don’t be afraid to talk about depression and anxiety with loved ones or with your doctor. These feelings are normal, and sharing them can make them feel a lot less scary.
Combat feelings of depression and anxiety by focusing on things you enjoy. Look at pictures of beautiful places, watch nature documentaries, or learn about history or another subject that interests you. Feed your mind with new knowledge, and give your eyes and mind beautiful images to behold. And when you feel like taking a bubble bath, take one! Self-care is about taking care of yourself, so start doing it. After all, no one can take care of you better than you.
Living Better with Cancer
Living with cancer is a challenge. It’s frightening and it’s difficult, but it doesn’t have to defeat you. Take care of yourself, and don’t simply survive your illness or learn to live with it. Learn to live better with it, because you can still get a lot out of your life despite your diagnosis.
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.