de-stress tips for cancer patients

Cancer is stressful. Between appointments, treatments, waiting for results, and just not feeling yourself all the time, it’s hard to try and live your life normally.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, suggests the following tips:

1.   When scheduling things, consider everything you want to do, and then think carefully about what you actually can do. Prioritize the things that are most important to you, and be willing to say “no” to things that will make life too hectic.

2.   Consider starting a “Gratitude Journal.” Begin each day by listing five things you are grateful for. If you do this when you wake up, it will put you on a positive path for the day.

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3.   Schedule down time. Life can be wonderfully hectic, but make sure you protect quiet, still time so that you have the energy you need to enjoy activities.

4.   Connect with family. Plan in advance as to how you can make the most of your time together, especially if you have family coming in from out of town.

5.   Don’t let good habits fall by the wayside when life gets chaotic. If you’re focusing on losing weight or increasing exercise, maintain those goals no matter what else life throws your way.

6.   If you’re in treatment, talk to your health care team about how to schedule treatments at times that will be convenient for you as you participate in other activities. Your team might not be able to accommodate all your requests, but it’s worth asking!

About UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

When you are facing cancer, you need the best care possible. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides world-class cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, to help you in your cancer battle. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in our region, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. We have more than 70 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with more than 200 oncologists – making it easier for you to find world-class care close to home. Our internationally renowned research team is striving to find new advances in prevention, detection, and treatment. Most of all, we are here for you. Our patient-first approach aims to provide you and your loved ones the care and support you need. To find a provider near you, visit our website.