How And Where To Start Taking Better Care Of Your Body Alongside Cancer Treatment
Treatment, adverse effects, and surgical procedures during cancer might leave us feeling helpless and disappointed. But there are measures we may take to reclaim our control. Taking care of oneself during cancer treatment is crucial to one’s well-being. To help you get started, I have included some suggestions below.
Tips To Take Better Care Of Your Body During Cancer Treatment
- Indulge In Activities That Bring You Joy
When it comes to what makes people happy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It could be as simple as listening to music or as intricate as tending to your garden. Try to recall a time when you felt restored. Keep doing those things regularly or start doing some new activities. This will quickly help you to calm down and relax. You could even consider turning your home into a spa for a few hours; Spray or diffuse some essential oils and play spa music to calm and relax your body whilst you run a bath and have a long, hot soak.
- Eat Healthily
Eating a variety of healthy foods can help with your energy levels. Extra protein and calories may be helpful when undergoing treatment. Chia seeds are a complete protein (contain all 9 essential amino acids) and are high in plant-based protein. However you might not feel like eating because of the side effects like sickness, difficulty swallowing, or constipation. Some easy ways to sneak in nutritious food is smoothies and juices. Packed full of vitamins and minerals they will support your health as you go through this journey. If possible, add berries to your smoothies as they are a brain boosting super food full of antioxidants.
- Stop Or Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Consumption of alcoholic beverages has been linked to an increased risk of developing some cancers. It may also interact with other medications, increasing the likelihood of unwanted side effects like mouth sores. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism for the emotional toll of cancer is not without its risks. Swap alcohol for kombucha or sparkling water with fruit-you can even serve it in a wine glass!
- Move Your Body
Try to get some form of physical activity into each day. Even if you don’t feel like it on a given day, getting up and moving around is crucial to your physical and mental well-being. Strength training can help you maintain your balance and increase your muscle tone. It can increase vitality, decrease the likelihood of fatigue and depression, and also extend life expectancy. I advise starting slowly with exercises that don’t strain your body too much and constantly checking in with your doctor and support team. They will suggest what kinds of physical activity could benefit you the most. When you’ve got some direction, do what feels good for you.
- Get Out In Nature
Whether you love the beach or the bush, get out in nature as much as possible. Nature will revitalize you, clear your mind, boost your energy and keep stress levels lower. Heading out into the sunshine also will increase your vitamin D which supports brain health and the immune system as well as relieving depression symptoms.
- Ensure That You Get Good Quality Sleep
Sleep is when your body is resting and recovering. Good sleep is essential for healing and ideally I recommend you aim for 7-9 hours. Ensure that you set a bedtime routine so that you start to wind down at least an hour or two before you go to bed. This means no technology! It is also great if you can use blue blocking lamps so that your body starts to feel sleepy before you actually get into bed. Herbal tea before bed such as chamomile or valerian can also help as can avoiding caffeine. Practicing slow, gentle breathing such as Buteyko Breathing before bed will also support the body to move into a relaxed state.
- Write A Gratitude Journal
There is always something to be grateful for no matter what we are going through. Consider writing a gratitude list in a journal every day. Research shows that when we focus on gratitude, we become happier and it can even improve our immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. If you don’t want to write every day, maybe consider having a chat with the family over dinner and you each take a turn to say what you’re grateful for.
When dealing with cancer, it feels like your world has completely shifted. There is no right or wrong way to cope with it. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Rest when you need to. Turn off all social media and technology when you need to. It’s time to focus on you and your healing journey. By taking care of ourselves, you can fortify your resources and fight better during your cancer treatment!
About The Author
Melanie is a Peak Performance Specialist with a strong interest in supporting people with burnout, stress, anxiety, trauma, PTSD and cancer.
Melanie believes that when we learn how to regulate our nervous system, we are better able to cope with the challenges that life throws at us. As a trauma informed coach also trained in Buteyko Breathing/Oxygen Advantage and Havening Techniques, Melanie combines the power of the breath and gentle touch to teach people how to reach peak performance in every single area of their life.
With two science degrees from London University and a health science career spanning two decades, Melanie unites science with holistic health and complimentary therapies to ensure her clients have all the tools and information available to achieve their best health.
To find out more: www.eagerforlife.com.au