Dylan Foster is a writer at HealthWellWise.com. When he is not working as an office assistant, he enjoys DIY projects at home and hiking with his dog.
When life becomes a dizzying array of doctor’s appointments, treatments, and side effects, one of the most empowering things you can do is to focus your energy on what brings you joy. Here are five things you can do to stay motivated and improve your quality of life during cancer treatment.
Keep busy during chemotherapy
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy appointments can be time-consuming, anxiety-inducing, and overall exhausting – but dwelling on negatives doesn’t do you any favours. Occupy your mind during treatment with low-effort activities like reading, crafting, or listening to music and podcasts. You can find podcasts for any interest, including podcasts for cancer patients and survivors, or tune into mindfulness and meditation programs. Keep in mind that cancer treatment tends to come with a lot of ambient noise. If you don’t already have noise-canceling headphones, now is the time to invest in a pair. Over-ear headphones beat earbuds for long-term comfort and noise-canceling ability.
Tap your inner creative
Creative expression has profound benefits for both physical and emotional wellbeing. You don’t need to be an artist to benefit. Even if you’ve never painted, drawn, or sculpted before, you can release negative emotions by channeling them into art. Self-portraits, collages, photography, and needlepoint are beginner-friendly arts and crafts that anyone can try. Who knows? Tapping into this creative side could prompt you to do a little freelance work whenever you feel up to the task; just remember to take it slowly and schedule time to handle tasks that you’d like to accomplish related to your freelancing.
Start a yoga or tai chi practice
You may have little energy for exercise during cancer treatment, but movement remains as important as ever. Instead of pushing your limits, engage in slow-paced, low-impact exercise in the form of yoga and tai chi. These longstanding practices not only alleviate tension and joint pain, they also build mind-body awareness, boost energy, and relieve stress and anxiety. Choose a thick yoga mat if practicing at home. Thick mats provide extra cushion and stability to prevent injury and maximise your comfort during practice. You can also purchase yoga blocks, bolsters, and other accessories for additional support and modify poses for your needs.
Treat yourself to regular spa treatments
Speaking of tension: While spas have long shied away from providing massage and other spa treatments to cancer patients due to misconceptions surrounding safety, it’s gradually becoming easier to find spas that offer touch therapy during cancer treatment. The benefits of touch therapies are wide-reaching and include reduced pain and tension, better sleep, and mental health improvements. Use the Spa & Therapist Finder at Jennifer Young Training School to locate therapists experienced in oncology touch treatments and make massage a regular part of your treatment routine.
Pamper your skin with specialised skincare
Treatments for cancer can lead to many appearance-related side-effects such as itchy, dry, sore and sensitive skin, brittle nails and sore or chapped lips. These can leave many of us feeling low and uncomfortable. A skincare routine that works to target these effects can also be a relaxing ritual that helps you recognise yourself and feel comfortable in your skin again. The skincare products from Jennifer Young are uniquely formulated for self-care during and after cancer treatment with ingredients that soothe the skin and add a touch of luxury to your daily routine.
There’s not much that’s fun about cancer treatment — but that doesn’t mean you can’t find moments of joy throughout the journey. Tap into these ideas to make life with cancer a little more pleasant. While it can’t erase the challenges you’re facing, the small acts of self-love and self-care make a bigger difference than you could ever imagine.