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Cancer stands out as one of the most stress-inducing experiences in an individual's lifetime. Managing cancer becomes even tougher when accompanied by additional stressors arising from employment, family, or financial issues. Persistent stress could potentially undermine the immune system, leading to other health complications and diminishing overall emotional wellness.
While it's not possible to completely avoid stress, you can use some simple strategies to manage it and feel more at ease. Here are some suggestions to help you reduce stress:
- Stay Active: Doing moderate exercise like a 30-minute walk a few times a week can help lower stress. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Include a type of mindfulness practice in your daily routine, like yoga, guided imagery, deep breathing.
- Spend Time Outside: If you can, take a walk in a park or natural area. Being outdoors, getting fresh air and sunlight, and hearing nature sounds can boost your mood.
- Connect with Others: Make time to hang out with friends and family – it's a great way to lower stress.
- Eat Well: Eating healthy and getting enough sleep gives you the energy to handle stress. Learn more about eating right during treatment.
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is important for your overall health and recovery. Aim for 7 or more hours of sleep each night. Naps during the day can also be helpful. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare team.
- Join Support Groups: Talking with others who understand what you're going through can be very comforting. You can also confide in a close friend, counselor, or social worker.
- Have Fun: Find activities that help you unwind, like reading, gardening, or listening to music.
- Journal: Keeping a journal is a private way to express your feelings about stressful events.
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