Every individual’s experience with a cancer diagnosis is unique and specific to them. While some seem to take it head-on without thinking twice, others feel hopeless, and many waiver between these two reactions. Suffice to say, there is no “right” way to handle the news that you have cancer. But learning positive ways to cope can help ease the oft-present anxiety that comes as a result. In a recent article in Cure, a cancer survivor shares her experience of anxiety and the ways in which she learned to deal with its presence in her life.
It is important for those who are experiencing anxiety not to deny its existence. Like many difficult emotions we feel, rarely will it serve you well to hide anxiety from yourself. By deciding to acknowledge its presence, you are being mindful of your situation and taking control. The cancer journey can be confusing and tumultuous, so getting in touch with your feelings is an important part of the process. Our article on “Your Mindset” provides suggestions for how to gather information that will enable you to make important decisions about both your personal and professional lives.
Exercise certainly contributes to physical health, but it can also play a vital role in improving mental health. The release of endorphins helps to override many of the negative emotions that can accompany a cancer diagnosis. Our guide to “Managing Treatment Side Effects” includes a section focused on Cancer Treatment and Exercise and points out the findings of many studies showing that exercise can relieve many mental side effects resulting from a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, exercise can help with focus and energy, two things that play an important role in the workplace.
For more recommendations on how to address emotions related to cancer so they don’t negatively impact your work ability, check out our article on “Relieving Stress.”
Our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar series addresses many concerns of patients and survivors. Register for our upcoming session, Working Through Treatment, on Wednesday, September 14th, for tips on preparing yourself for work after a diagnosis. Our Managing Long-Term Stress session was held earlier this year and can be viewed in our series archive.