Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand with a cancer diagnosis. Moreover, just because your active treatment has ended doesn’t mean the stress and anxiety will as well. You may worry about whether the treatment really worked. Or your cancer treatments may have brought changes to your body that you need to adapt to. You want to get back to normal, and you may wonder if you will ever feel the same as you did before cancer. Yet, you may need to put your “old” normal behind and adjust to a new normal.
Managing stress, no matter what circumstances you are under can be hard. Whether you are currently battling cancer, are a long-time cancer survivor, or are a friend or family member of someone who has a cancer diagnosis, stress can follow you no matter who you are. The real question is, how can you manage stress in a healthy way? It’s tempting to avoid stress, however avoiding the situation can be worse in the end.
Here are some common signs that you are avoiding your stress:
- Denying that the stressor exists
- Withdrawing from social experiences
- Avoiding any thoughts about the stressor
- Having wishful thoughts
- Using drugs or alcohol to forget the stressor
- Blaming and criticizing yourself for the stressor
- Keeping extra busy and ignoring the stressor
There are active, healthy ways to cope with stress from cancer:
- Take action. Do the next right thing
- Get support, join a support group or seek out a trusted friend
- Look for advice and information from trusted sources
- Accept that the stressor exists and decide what you can and cannot control
- Try to get a new perspective by finding any positives in the situation or in other areas of your life
- Become aware of your feelings about the stressor and express them to others
At Cancer Support Community, we offer a complete Distress Screening Program to help people identify specific areas of concern and find ways to alleviate them. The program includes a 15-question assessment, a report of the results explained by our licensed social worker, and an Individual Wellness Plan tailored to your specific concerns. The plan provides referrals to programs at Cancer Support Community that have been proven to be effective. This individual-based program allows for you to gauge your stress and can help you decide the best ways to manage it.
Stress management classes are offered regularly at Cancer Support Community and are often recommended for individuals who participate in the Distress Screening Program. Some of the classes we offer include yoga, Qigong, and mindfulness meditation. Any one of these classes could help with stress that you are feeling and allow you to take a deep breath and relax your mind, body, and spirit. To learn more about what stress management programs are offered, you are invited to click this link: https://cscco.gnosishosting.net/Events/Calendar/Support-Services.
If you would like to complete the Distress Screening Program, or need assistance on how to manage stress please call us at 614. 884.HOPE (4673).
Written By: Meagan Van Stone