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Stress Management

Posted 6/24/2016 by UHBlog

Both during and after treatment, it’s normal to have stress over all the life changes you are going through. Anxiety means you have extra worry, can’t relax, and feel tense. You may notice that:

  • Your heart beats faster
  • You have headaches or muscle pains
  • You don't feel like eating, or you eat more
  • You feel sick to your stomach or have diarrhea
  • You feel shaky, weak or dizzy
  • You have a tight feeling in your throat and chest
  • You sleep too much or too little
  • You find it hard to concentrate

If you have any of these feelings, talk to your doctor. Though they are common signs of stress, you will want to make sure they aren’t due to medicines or treatment.

Stress can keep your body from healing as well as it should.

If you’re worried about your stress, ask your doctor to suggest a counselor for you to talk to. You could also take a class that teaches ways to deal with stress. The key is to find ways to control your stress and not to let it control you.

Here are a few tips that may help you feel better:

  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Try breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, yoga, or tai chi.
  • Exercise regularly. You'll feel better and be more prepared to handle problems.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid too much sugar.
  • Join a support group. Support groups offer you the chance to talk about your feelings and fears with others who share and understand your experiences.
  • Schedule daily relaxing time. Spend time doing an activity you find relaxing, such as reading a book, gardening or listening to music.
  • Write in a journal. Writing about the stresses and events in your life provides a private way to express your feelings.
  • Say no, where you can, to things that would add more stress to your life.
  • Make time for hobbies and interests.
  • Get enough rest and sleep.
  • Don't rely on alcohol, drugs, or food to help against stress.
  • Spend time with people you love.

Recognize when you need more help. If your stress continues or you are thinking about suicide, talk to your doctor, a psychologist, social worker or professional counselor.

Sources:

National Cancer Institute
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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