10 Ways You Can Lessen Your ‘Scanxiety’The Breast Cancer Site
Scanxiety, or scan anxiety, is the apprehension and fear a person with cancer feels prior to, during, and after undergoing their medical tests. It is a serious emotional issue among cancer patients and survivors, and can trigger symptoms similar to those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you’ve gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, and hormone treatments, you may assume it should be simple to take a few follow-up tests, but that’s not necessarily the case. While the anxiety you feel is real, worrying about impending test results simply does not help, and yet staying calm, cool, and collected is much easier said than done. When you need to maintain your sanity and your sense of peace, here are some coping strategies you can try that may help you ease your scanxiety.
10. Distract Yourself With Hobbies
Hobbies can serve as superb distractions from your worries and anxiety. Knitters knit, crocheters crochet, and if you have another hobby, go for it. Plying your thoughts and skills to create a work of art or hit a bullseye with an arrow can reroute your emotions; you can’t problem-solve and fret about your appointments at the same time. So, pick up those paintbrushes and paint, or do whatever it is you do — even if you don’t feel like it at first.
Exercise helps your body release endorphins, those warm, fuzzy chemicals that help boost your mood and alleviate anxiety. You don’t need to overtax yourself with a routine beyond your capabilities; just move your body and get your heart rate up. Try stretches, take a yoga class, or just walk around your neighborhood. Exercise sends oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, and as your energy levels rise, so does your state of mind.
8. Listen to Music
Listening to your favorite music is a great distraction, particularly if you can combine it with a leisurely walk in a comforting place. Sitting in your favorite park, listening to your favorite tunes, and watching the kids at play can make a nice mood-lifting combination. If you’re a musician, play your instrument with abandon, and take out all of your frustration by putting passion into your music. Whether listening or playing, it can be quite cathartic.
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