Working with an annoying colleague, trying to please a demanding mother-in-law, or having to wait for an hour at the bank all seems stressful. That is, until you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis, and you suddenly find yourself coping with a whole new idea of anxiety and worry, incomparable with anything else you’ve ever experienced in your life – the mother-in-law included.
This daunting disease is not just physically challenging, extremely difficult on your immune system, but the treatment and the mental stress of it all can turn it into even greater hardship. You still deserve to live an authentic, meaningful life filled with joy, as much as possible. So, let’s see what you can do while you’re battling cancer to boost your mental fortitude and enjoy life.
Give your mind and body time to rest
Some people experience insomnia when they discover they have cancer. If your mind is overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, you should ask for help from your medical team, but also slowly adjust your life to ensure plenty of healthful rest.
Perhaps a soothing bedtime ritual or a natural sleep aid like the Best Rest Formula with valerian root can help you make the most of your shuteye without disrupting your life. Getting enough rest is the foundation for ensuring optimal energy levels for all your goals, battling cancer, and leading a meaningful life included.
Avoid the urge to stay sedentary
If your cancer treatment doesn’t require hospital time or bed rest, you should follow your doctor’s advice on how much activity you need each day to stay energized. Managing your lifestyle while you’re dealing with cancer is tricky to say the least, but it’s an opportunity to give your body and your mind healthy coping mechanisms.
Staying sedentary all day long won’t help, instead, look for ways to be more active without feeling exhausted. Light walks with your pet or your friends, perhaps some yoga, or taking up a dedicated workout course can be of great help. It will strengthen your physical and mental resilience alike, and boost your quality of life.
Enrich your life with meaningful activities
Now’s the time to think about what brings you joy and makes you look forward to getting up in the morning. Yes, there will be moments when you’re exhausted, drained, or simply in need of some alone time – all of which you should honor, and listen to your body at all times. You can also rely on reinforcements like Acetyl-l-Carnitine to elevate your energy levels, with your doctor’s permission.
When you do have the zeal, you should spend time doing things that further empower that zeal. Try taking up a new class, online or offline, to learn a new skill. Read good books, try taking up a dance class, spend more time with your friends, hit the road when your treatment allows. As long as you have your doctor’s approval, you can certainly enrich your life with various experiences that will bring you purpose.
Consider a furry companion
The reality of a cancer diagnosis means that you’re facing your own mortality. In such instances, all the people around you are often going through their own kind of worry and sadness, which might be pressing on you further. They can’t help it, but perhaps sharing your time with a puppy could help you.
On a chemical level, having a pet means lowering your cortisol levels, boosting happy hormone production, elevating your immunity, and not to mention the stress reduction of having someone rejoice in your presence every time you walk into a room. Make sure you can share the responsibilities of caring for your pet, however, so that someone can help you on the days when you’re not up to the task.
Remember – you’re not alone
Dealing with cancer and everything it brings will undoubtedly make you feel lonely from time to time. While it’s true that every choice is ultimately yours, you don’t have to make it alone: in addition to your friends, family, and your medical team, you can always join cancer support groups in your community.
Sometimes, just sharing what you’re going through with people who have either been there or are going through it at the time is bound to be liberating. Not to mention that they’ll share an abundance of useful advice on living a full life despite the diagnosis.
Handling the diagnosis and the treatment is tough on your mind and your body alike. It’s important to acknowledge what you’re going through, seek support and help at every turn, and build a lifestyle that will give you the kind of quality you deserve. Make an appointment with our functional medicine experts for additional support and guidance during this trying time, to make the most of what healthy living can give you to fight cancer and its impact on your life.