How to beat the blues with cancer
Even the most positive person, can face low points, depression, or down days during cancer treatment. It is important to know these short-term low periods are normal. However, if they last for multiple days or you are concerned you may harm yourself, talk to a support person or call our Navigators at 302-645-3630 immediately. Delaware 211 also has mental health resources.
Tips to boost your mood
If you are just experiencing a few days of sadness, crankiness, or more fatigue than normal, here are some ways to get yourself out of the emotional funk.
Talk about your feelings: Emotions are a normal part of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Talk to a good friend or family member about what you are feeling. Connecting with others helps you clear those negative thoughts out of your mind. It also helps a loved one realize how you are feeling and they may be able to suggest something fun to get your mind off negative emotions. Even if you don’t feel like leaving the house, you can look at photo albums at fun memories with loved ones. Or, call a good friend on the phone and relive some of those fun memories.
Meditate: One way to bring your attention back to your body and your healing is by doing a mindfulness meditation. It has been shown to boost your immune system, reduce anxiety, and support sleep. In some cases, your true thoughts and fears may come to light during meditation. Keep a notebook nearby to write any important thoughts down. Then share these thoughts with a support person. Or, if it helps, you can also crumple up these negative thoughts and throw them away. Deep breathing can also help you return to a calm place and focus on the present.
Connect with a spiritual guide or religious leader: In some cases, you may want to schedule an appointment with your spiritual or religious leader. Talking it out with a person outside your immediate support circle can often help open your perspective and awareness. These spiritual connections often bring comfort during the cancer journey.
Get moving: Movement is a great way to get back to focusing on your body and the present. Take a walk outside and feel the sun on your face. Focus on the leaves of a tree or a blooming flower. If you cannot get outside, do some basic stretches. Stretching your body can help boost those feel good hormones within your body.
Let your anger out: In some cases, sadness gives way to anger. This could be anger over your diagnosis, anger over how you are feeling, or even anger from other areas of your life. It is important to get this anger out. If you can, talk to someone. In some cases, writing down the reasons you are feeling the way you are can help release those emotions. And, still others find it helpful to scream into a pillow.
Know that sadness, anger, and emotional feelings are normal. Seek help if these feelings do not ease up or if you are concerned about the feelings you are having.