How Cancer Patients Can Still Practice Self-Care Rituals
Guest post from Dr. Shyamali Singhal, MD
Founder of Hope & Beauty
Most people have many things on their bucket list. But so often people neglect their personal needs. Self-care is important for everyone, but this is particularly true for those touched by a life-changing disease like cancer.
Self Care Can Help Us Cope With Difficult Times
Whether you’re a patient or caregiver, self-care is necessary to obtain some much-needed relief from what can feel like an overwhelming disease.
Cancer affects people in many ways. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Patients’ primary focus may be managing and adapting to physical alterations that happen with cancer treatment. Addressing the other effects of cancer can also help patients get through treatment and move toward healing.
Self-care to stop cancer and self-management to cope with the condition are two effective tools for the development of control and management of the disease. Both of them have certain strategies and practices.
Why Is Self-Care So Important During Cancer Treatment
Cancer is essentially out of our control. It demands treatment, which can bring about side effects, then there are the surgeries— all of this can make us feel weak or frustrated. But there are some things we can do to recover some sense of control. It may be out of our reach to change cancer, but we can make choices about how we care for ourselves. Self-care is one way to regain much-needed control over our life.
Through self-care, patients pay notice to their needs, strengthen their resources, and perhaps even build the ability to recoil. Learning how to lovingly care for ourselves is not the same thing as drowning in self-indulgence. Self-care during cancer treatment is an indispensable and vital part of comfort and health. Research shows that regular self-care practices can reduce the adverse effects of stress, sleep disorders, and tension. It has also been shown to prevent burnout and help strengthen our focus.
Simple Self-Care Tips For People With Cancer
Some of us might be able to knock off a lengthy list of exercises and experiences we could consider to be useful in self-care. We might also find that during stressful or challenging times our past self-care strategies suddenly no longer work. New situations seldom demand new and innovative ways.
Here we prepared some ideas to consider:
Find time for things that make you feel satisfied. This can be anything you enjoy doing: crafting, reading, taking a bath, going for a walk, or playing with your pets.
Journal. Writing helps us focus and clear the mind.
Eat healthy foods.
Slow down. Find quiet time for the body and mind.
Exercise. Before starting on a new fitness regimen, ask your doctor for approval.
Get a deep tissue massage.
Spend time with your loved ones. If all you have the energy for is a cup of tea with a close friend, then that’s the thing to do.
Sleep well. Sleep is astonishingly essential for our bodies and minds.
Respect your time. This could mean simply saying “no” when overwhelmed.
Above all, be compassionate to yourself. There is no one right way to go through the hard experience of cancer. It’s all about understanding out what’s right for you. And sometimes that means getting comfortable on the couch with a glass of wine and a good movie. Dr. Shyamali Singhal, surgical oncologist and founder of H&B, recommends indulging in one of our relief kits for cancer patients. In these kits, we’ve prepared some of the essential H&B products for self-care for cancer patients. Love yourself.