Once your cancer treatment is complete, it’s time to focus on numero uno. That’s right. It’s all about YOU. You'll look forward to less doctor visits, no more treatments, and eventually beginning to feel more like yourself. Ultimately, the goal is to build your “new normal” by creating healthy habits and gaining peace of mind—however, this is often easier said than done. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cancer recovery tips to help you get back into the swing of things post cancer treatment.
Tip 1: Stay Connected to Your Social Circle
Friends and family are simply remarkable at keeping us grounded. You may find yourself facing moments where you want nothing more than to pull away and just be alone for days on end. While alone time is great, don’t break contact or bail on your loved ones. Say yes to dinners out with friends or sunny mid-morning coffee dates. Believe us: you’ll be glad you did!
Tip 2: Make Positive Changes
Do you get the warm-fuzzies when you walk into your bedroom, living room, or kitchen? No? There’s a reason behind why may feel this way. Over time, we can associate certain objects and rooms with a traumatic time in our lives. Rearranging furniture, adding new decor, or painting rooms a new color can make a world of difference in adding more joy into your life.
Tip 3: Get a Healthy Amount of Sleep
Say it with us: Sleep. Is. Healing. A good night’s rest can make a world of difference in your overall mood and physical health. Snuggle up in a soft sleep cap for a restful slumber! A silk pillowcase, like this one by Cardani, is also a great thing to add to your nighttime ritual—they're super soft, and they help keep new hair growth healthy after cancer treatments are complete!
Tip 4: Start an Exercise Regimen
Any type of exercise—from jogging to dancing to yoga to simply walking—is highly beneficial for both physical and mental health. Exercising post cancer treatments does wonders to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression—AND it lowers the chances that the cancer will return.
Tip 5: Take Your Vitamins
A daily vitamin can easily give us a boost, especially in getting the nutrients we might be missing in our meals. Before hopping in the car for a trip to the store, ask your doctor which vitamins are recommended for your specific needs. Some vitamins such as Omega-3 and supplements such as CBD oil can even improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Keep in mind that the healthiest way to get your vitamins is directly from your food (see tip 6 on our list).
Tip 6: Eat Healthy Food
Get ready to ditch the chips and ice cream. Balanced meals with plenty of veggies, fruits, and fresh foods are the way to go! A more nutritious diet can leave you feeling good enough to conquer the world. In fact, some studies suggest that eating whole foods is good for your mood as well as your body. You can still eat junk food in moderation, but make the majority of your diet healthy, fresh, and unprocessed.
Tip 7: Share Your Feelings
Just because you’ve completed treatment does not mean you’ll feel happy all the time. After all, down days are a part of life. How you handle these days is what it’s all about. Holding feelings in is detrimental to your mental state and can actually make you ill over time. Consider reaching out to a trusted friend or seeking out a therapist to help you work through these feelings.
Tip 8: Open Yourself to Others
Now that you’re on the cancer recovery road, it’s a fabulous idea to pay it forward. Reach out to others starting treatment to help guide them through the journey.
Tip 9: Put Your Needs First
Are you ever guilty of putting others needs over your own? If so, you’re not alone. Helping someone before we help ourselves can show others how much we care, but at what point do we turn the focus back on ourselves? The answer is: RIGHT NOW! The next time someone requests your help, take your own feelings into account. Do what you can, if you can, and remember: Your health should be your number one priority and saying “no” to a request does not make you a bad person.
Tip 10: Make “You” Time
We’re not just talking about time to get odds and ends done, or watch your favorite shows; The “you” time we’re referring to is on a more spiritual/mental level. Sometimes the only way to process our thoughts and feelings is when we are alone, somewhere we feel most at peace, or doing something that makes us feel at ease. Start by finding a location that makes you feel serene. Think of this as taking a step out of your everyday life to reflect. Consider taking a journal to jot down your thoughts or even just taking this time to relax.
Use these tips to help you build a new normal for yourself and don’t forget to follow-up with doctor for regular screenings/check-ups. Have any other tips to help other cancer survivors? Share them with us in the comments section below!