Cancer diagnosis and treatment are stressful. It stirs up pain, anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Studies have shown that patients who practice self-care and pay attention to their spiritual well-being have a better quality of life.
As a result, cancer treatment has taken an integrated approach that not only pays attention to medical care, but also prioritizes the spirituality of the patient.
Here are simple ways that you can practice self-care and enhance your spiritual wellness as part of your cancer treatment and management.
Take care of your body
Your body is doing the best it can to recover and it needs as much support as it can get. Nourish it with healthy, nutrient-dense foods. Incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These will provide the body with the necessary nutrients for cell rejuvenation and to boost your immunity. Some foods help to alleviate treatment-related side effects such as nausea. Consult with a nutritionist about an appropriate diet that will fit in well with your treatment plan.
Exercise can feel like too much work but it is essential for your recovery. The key is to choose relatively short, low-impact and low-intensity movements such as gentle yoga and walking.
Exercising offers cancer patients numerous benefits such as it alleviates fatigue, improves circulation, helps the body get rid of toxins and enhances your mood.
Ensure you get adequate sleep. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep. Avoid caffeine or other triggers that may disrupt your sleep. Establish a sleep schedule and stick with it. Create a conducive resting environment in your bedroom. Keep it quiet and the lights dim.
Support can be in form of asking for help from friends and family, joining a support group, consulting a social worker or psychological and psychiatric support. Psychiatrists and psychologists will help you to manage mental and emotional stress. A support group provides you with an avenue to interact with other people undergoing cancer treatment. A social worker will help you with planning your finances, finding a caregiver, refer you to places where you can access resources and help you with the practical aspects of cancer care and management.
Cancer-related pain is a major cause of stress for cancer patients. You can safely integrate opioids as part of your self-care routine to manage cancer-related pain. Opioids are highly effective in managing different types of cancer pain. One of the key advantages of opioids is their ease of administration as they can be administered via multiple routes. However, care must be taken to prevent opioids addiction. It is best to use them under the supervision of your oncologist.
Take some time to quiet your mind
It is normal to feel that cancer has turned your life upside down. However, if not managed, this can give you a sense of hopelessness or lead to depression. That is why it is important to find some calm. Some people meditate, and others listen to soothing music. Find what works to quiet your mind and practice it often.
Engage in activities that you enjoy
A cancer diagnosis shouldn’t put an end to doing the things you love. Your hobbies fill up your soul, and you need to bank as much as you can especially at this point in your life. Make a deliberate effort to engage in your hobbies every so often. For instance, if you enjoy knitting, bring your knitting kit to your next doctor’s appointment. If you enjoy reading, schedule some time for reading every day.
Self-care and spiritual wellness are not a luxury for cancer patients. Instead, they are vital to promoting recovery and quality life. Find simple self-care practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
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