10 Ways to Practice Self Care After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
With the diagnosis of breast cancer, a storm of emotion often comes — mostly centering around the feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Overcoming any negative emotions and combating breast cancer with a positive outlook is vital to long-term mental and physical health.
Below are a few principals you can adopt to maintain your best attitude and come out triumphant on your journey through breast cancer treatment.
1. Expect and Accept Changes
It’s inevitable to experience some changes in your life after your breast cancer diagnosis. Expect things to change and make necessary adjustments in daily habits to deal with change appropriately. In the end, allowing yourself to be flexible and accept new ways of life will put less stress on your body and mind.
2. Be Honest With Yourself and Others
Be honest with your friends and family when you are not up for a visit or ready for an outing. At first, it may seem like you are hurting their feelings, but you have to put yourself first and be honest with everyone about it. Don’t hesitate to tell loved ones you’re not feeling well or looking your best and would like to catch up later.
3. Take Your Time to Process
Allow yourself time to experience the range of emotions you may feel and understand that life may not be the same after your breast cancer diagnosis. We each process intense changes differently; you’re allowed to process and accept change in your own unique and personal way.
4. Show Gratitude
Appreciate the people who take care of you and are there for you during and after your breast cancer diagnosis. These special people may include hospital staff, friends, or family. Showing gratitude to people for their support will bring stability and love into your life.
5. Let Others Take Care of You
One of the essential things to remember along your breast cancer journey is accepting help offered by loved ones. Even the smallest things can prove to be a real blessing. Don’t turn down an offer of support by a friend or a family member — even if it’s a simple house chore, meal provided or phone call.
6. Nurture Yourself
It’s quite common to forget to enjoy the things you like doing amidst the life-changing process of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Continue to pursue your passions as far as your body feels safe and able, and live your life alongside those you love. Now, more than ever, cherish the things that make you happy and joyful.
7. Find People Who Understand
You’re lucky if you have someone in your life who can understand what you are going through and is always there when you need someone to talk to. However, you may also want to connect with people who are in a similar situation as you, so joining a support group might be helpful. You can get the information needed and the accounts of other people to help you fight breast cancer.
8. Look After Yourself
Remember that you are your best advocate and nobody else can care more about your health and wellbeing than you do. Look after yourself and surround yourself with positive people instead of falling prey to crushing feelings of self-pity, loneliness, and despair; this will help you take control of your life, general health and emotions.
9. Take Inspiration from Other Cancer Survivors and Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Knowing that you have breast cancer may make you feel like you’ll never be able to lead the same life again and feel as carefree as before. Reading the encouraging stories of breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer will make you hopeful and know that you are not alone. Many have faced the same diagnosis and have come out stronger and are thriving in their lives.
10. Focus on the Things You Can Control
After a breast cancer diagnosis, the future may seem to be a countless stream of chemotherapy sessions, doctor visits, and not feeling like yourself. These are among the few things you can’t control during your breast cancer treatment. Although you can’t control everything in life, you can control things such as your diet, physical activity, social interactions, and practicing mindfulness.
Shifting your focus to the things in life you can manage can help you stay resilient and optimistic. There are many who fight alongside you and there are beautiful and bright days ahead.
Connect with other survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer by signing up for this year’s 2020 Komen New Jersey MORE THAN PINK Walk on October 4! Register and get started fundraising here.