Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand with a cancer diagnosis. Moreover, simply because your active treatment has ended doesn’t mean the strain and anxiety will also. You may worry about whether the treatment really worked or your cancer treatments may have brought changes to your body that you simply got to adapt to.
You want to urge back to normal, and you’ll wonder if you’ll ever feel an equivalent as you probably did before cancer. Yet, you’ll get to put your “old” normal behind and suit a “new normal.”
You may also find that having been diagnosed with cancer changes how you think of what’s important in life. You may decide to spend more time with family or friends or make time to do something you had put off. You may decide to volunteer for an organization doing good work. You may decide to leave a troubled marriage, go back to school, or look for a new job or you may plan to participate more in activities that you simply feel give your life joy and meaning.
The ways people deal with emotions are often referred to as coping mechanisms. Every person uses alternative ways to manage stress from cancer, depression, worry, or other negative emotions. Your cancer diagnosis and treatment may have led you to understand your coping mechanisms weren’t working alright or you may have found your original coping style helped you manage quite well.
Typically, people approach problems in one of two ways: actively working on them, or avoiding them. In general, active coping works better and is healthier.
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Ten Actions that would Improve Your Quality of Life
- Take one day and make one decision at a time.
Try to focus on resolving only today’s problems. Avoid projecting worst-case scenarios for the future. Taking one small step at a time can help you feel less vulnerable and give you a greater level of control.
- Ask for support.
Be open with your family and friends about how you feel and how they can support you. Offer specific examples, such as: going with you for a walk or simply listening once you want to speak.
- Communicate with your health care team.
If you are experiencing short- or long-term or late side effects let them know. Don’t suffer in silence. There are things they can do to help mitigate many of the problems you are experiencing.
- Retain the maximum amount of control of your life as it is cheap.
Having had cancer can make it difficult for you to feel responsible for your life. Take steps to take back some of the activities or decisions you may have delegated to others while you were undergoing treatment.
- Acknowledge and express your feelings.
A diagnosis of cancer can trigger many strong emotions. Take time to listen to yourself. Find constructive ways to express your feelings through writing, talking, physical activity, or creative pursuits. Consider professional support if you feel that depression or anxiety is hampering your ability to function well.
- Seek support from other cancer survivors.
Often, people find a sense of comfort when they communicate with others affected by cancer. Ask your doctor, nurse, or caseworker for local support groups. You can also contact the Cancer Support Community for tactics to connect one-on-one, in groups, or online with others.
- Learn relaxation techniques.
“Relaxation” refers to a calm, controlled physical state that will enhance your wellbeing. Relaxation is something that you might have to learn to put into your day, but it is important to do so. Consider music that makes you happy, reading a book, or taking a walk. Yoga, tai-chi, or meditation programs are also helpful. Take time to enjoy the moment.
- Do what you enjoy.
Try to find humor in the unexpected moments of each day. Consider the activities that you enjoy and can do comfortably. If you need to spend time alone, allow yourself that.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices.
It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your wellbeing. Improving your diet, including exercise in your routine, and maintaining intimacy are all ways of feeling better both physically and emotionally.
- Maintain a spirit of hope.
Hope is desirable and reasonable. It is often scary after cancer to line goals, but start out small and luxuriate in daily pleasures. You may want to redefine how and when you experience hope by focusing on your spiritual beliefs, cultural customs, and family connections.
Having a potentially life-threatening disease like cancer often leads people to look at their lives and appearance for meaning. In fact, this look for meaning could also be the aspect of cancer that the majority often features a positive influence on life. The fear of death that affects most of the people once they are diagnosed with cancer often leads us to believe what we leave behind and what we might like to do with the time we have left. It can cause you to desire a better standard of life, not just the number, and this is what matters most.
Quality of life means various things to different people. What’s most important is that you figure out what it means to you.