A breast cancer diagnosis can well up emotions of anxiety, fear, depression, and sometimes anger or irritation too. This is completely understandable and expected.
Your journey with breast cancer can be emotionally and physically draining. However, it’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude and take a healthy approach to cope with breast cancer each day to prevent any adverse effects on your quality of life and overall wellbeing.
Here are a few steps you can take to stay positive throughout your breast cancer treatment:
1. Allow Yourself to Feel — Know that it’s normal to experience the roller coaster of emotions after your diagnosis and during treatment. Don’t feel like you need to suppress your emotions. Let yourself feel.
2. You’re Not Alone — It’s critical to understand that you’re not alone in this journey. Remind yourself that there are many people out there who can relate to what you’re going through.
3. Ask for and Accept Help — Although you might feel compelled to isolate yourself, this is the time when you need support from your loved ones the most.
4. Spare Some “Me” Time — Set some time aside to do the things you enjoy and love to do for yourself. Get into a habit of giving back to yourself.
5. You’re More Than Your Disease — Going through treatment can alter your view of who you are, and you may experience an identity shift. Remember that you’re more than your diagnosis.
6. Analyze What Triggers Negative Thoughts — Identifying the sources of negative and anxiety-provoking thoughts leads to self-awareness and can bring positive change.
7. Work on Your Feelings — Seek therapy to handle your emotions and process them appropriately with the help of a professional. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
8. Wear What Makes You Feel Strong — Your body goes through many changes as a result of your breast cancer treatment. Wear makeup or dress up in a way that makes you feel secure and confident. You are beautiful!
9. Recharging Yourself — Visit your favorite places or spend time working on the hobbies and activities that make you feel rejuvenated and help you reclaim your life.
10. Focus on What Matters — It’s essential to focus on meaningful things and people in your life to have a greater sense of purpose as you follow your treatment.
11. Don’t Let the Process Change You — Hold on to the things that define you as a person, whether it’s your sense of humor, empathy, or any other personality trait. Cancer is not who you are.
12. Try to Follow Your Routine — Don’t let your diagnosis change your life. Sticking to the things you’ve always done will give you a sense of normalcy and control during your treatment. Girls’ nights, volunteering, church and family time; what has always been important to you should remain a priority in life.
13. Adopt Positive Self-Talk — Positive self-talk can offer the additional dose of positivity you need at this point in your life. Some choose to adopt a mantra, while others pray. Find what works for you to reaffirm internal, daily positivity.
14. Minimize Interaction with Toxic People — Just like positive self-talk and experiences that uplift your spirit, negative words can bring you down and turn into negative energy and thoughts. So, minimize the time you spend with negative or toxic people.
15. Learn Cognitive Reframing — The way you perceive a situation or your thoughts can help to improve your resilience and reduce distress. Learn to see the glass half full!
16. Give Back to the Community — Helping others going through breast cancer treatment will not only make you feel connected, but you’ll also be able to contribute to the community.
17. Don’t Feel Bad for Setting Your Boundaries — It’s great to have people reaching out to you and keeping you company, but there comes the point when all you need is to rest in solitude. It’s alright to let your loved ones know when you need some alone time.
18. Be Grateful for What You have — Counting your blessings or keeping a gratitude journal can help you remember all the good, little things in your life and provide you a sense of comfort and harmony.
19. Look After Yourself — Working on things like your diet, sleep, physical activity, and unhealthy habits (smoking, drinking, etc.) will improve your overall health and wellbeing and ability to fight back against breast cancer. A healthy diet, yoga, and meditation can help you through your treatment.
20. Join a Support Group — Talking to others going through the same circumstances as you can help you feel composed and connected. Join a breast cancer support group, online forum, email service, or telephone support network to learn effective ways of dealing with your specific problems and share your experiences.
Overall, the time you spend investing in yourself during treatment is never time wasted.
Remember to keep your needs and wants a priority and work to surround yourself with loved ones who support and build your confidence. Your treatment is a time to focus on self and you will make it to brighter, healthier days.
You are not in this fight alone!