It’s common these days for people to have an excess of stress in their lives, which can lead to a variety of mental and physical health conditions. If you have breast cancer and are undergoing treatment, you’re probably no exception to that generalization. But never fear! There are dozens of ways you can de-stress every day to make sure your anxiety doesn’t take over your life.
Whether you just pick one tried-and-true method for dealing with stress or work your way down the list to kick stress to the curb in a different way every day, the right stress-free tip for you is surely on the list below. And if it isn’t, we’d love to hear how you handle stress in the comments!
The best part about these tips? You don’t have to deal with hectic airline travel, request time off work, or empty your bank account to use any of them! We’ve purposely picked out ideas that you can try even on a busy schedule and a tight budget. Check them out!
10. Get organized
The first step to living a stress-free life is becoming more diligent about organizing your time. Keep a day planner, calendar, or another time-tracking device to help you avoid scheduling conflicts. Tracking your activities will allow you to gain a better understanding of the limits of what you can do in a day without getting too anxious. Be sure to block out time for fun and relaxation in there too!
For some people, disorganization in other areas of their life might be problematic for their stress levels too. If the shoe fits, find a place for it in the closet. Spending time cleaning and organizing your space will help clear your mind and also serve the purpose of distracting you from any worries you may have about your cancer treatment. Start with just a small area if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of so much organizing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend!
9. Get moving
There’s no doubt that it’s hard to stay active when you’re undergoing cancer treatment; you may be feeling nauseous, weak, or just plain worn out. But the good news is that you don’t have to go out for a 5-mile run to get the benefits of exercise. Even going for a simple walk or doing a little light yoga could help you feel physically stronger and a lot less stressed. Plus, recent research has shown that yoga-like exercise is associated with decreased tumor sizes in breast cancer patients.
8. Stay in touch
Spending time talking with friends and family will open you up to a network of all kinds of support. Not only is there very likely someone in your life who is willing to cook meals for you, help with your chores, or drive you to treatment appointments, there are probably at least a few people who are willing to (and want to) listen to you vent about your stressors. Even just a quick chat with a friend can be very therapeutic. Bonus points if you get to talk about yourself for a while but then you also talk about your friend’s life, making the convo a win-win for the two of you and distracting you from your stress for a little while.
If your stress specifically involves another person—for example, if one of the things that contribute to your stress is a deep-seated suspicion that your husband no longer finds you attractive—a different kind of conversation may be in order. You may be tempted to just put on a happy face for the sake of others, but not expressing your feelings and dealing with the issue could be seriously harming your health. Rather than distracting yourself from your stress, try talking to the person involved about how you feel, why you feel that way, and what can be done about it. Confronting the issue rather than hiding from it might have surprising results.
Click “next” below to see more ways you can de-stress when cancer treatment is making you anxious.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?