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Life After Cancer: Focusing on Self-Care

Cancer and its treatment are hard on the body and spirit. After your recovery, try to look for joy and use your energy in positive ways. This can help both your mind and body as you move forward. Making a schedule in your daily life may help with things you can control and provide a sense of well-being. During this time:

Celebrate your coping skills. Recognize the tough experience you’ve been through, and applaud yourself for getting through it.

Embrace your new normal. Life isn’t the same as it was before cancer. But you’ll adapt sooner than you think.

Enjoy the little things. You may find renewed meaning in life after surviving cancer. Enjoy the small moments of each day.

Spend time with loved ones. Even doing everyday errands with family or friends can be uplifting.

Go outdoors. Spending time in nature can help boost mood and feelings of well-being.

Be part of the community. You can pay tribute to your own recovery by assisting others dealing with anything from hunger to poverty to illness. Reach out to elders who need social contact or help out at a dog shelter.

Decide how you want to make changes. Did cancer serve as a wake-up call for any changes you want to make in your life? Eating better? Exercising more? Quitting tobacco? Start planning on how to make them and ask your healthcare provider for support.

Seek out laughter. Smiling and laughing are great ways to boost happy-mood chemicals in your body. Watch funny TV shows and movies, look at funny videos online, and ask friends to text you jokes.

Get creative. Try your hand at drawing, painting, scrapbooking, knitting, or crafting. You don’t need training or skill to feel good from creative activities.

Keep physically active. Make sure to get regular exercise, whether it’s walking, yoga, dancing, or an exercise class. It’s not only good for your body. It can reduce fatigue and anxiety and boost your mood.

Soothe stress and relax. Try relaxation methods, such as meditation, mindfulness, and positive imagery. Take a yoga class. Listen to music. Take walks outdoors.

Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts about your cancer journey and recovery can help you process your emotions.

Offer support to others in treatment. You can be a mentor to someone just diagnosed, or who’s going through treatment now.

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