Maintain Good Mental Health During Chemotherapy

By Jacqueline Stenson
Reviewed by Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS; Theodore Tsangaris, MD; Pat Whitworth, MD, FACS

  • Maintain Good Mental Health During Chemotherapy
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    With your body going through so much right now, it’s easy to forget to nurture your soul. Use these tips to stay mentally healthy during treatment:

  • Join a support group.
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    1. Join a support group.

    It can be comforting to talk with other cancer patients or survivors. A decade-long breast cancer study published in Cancer showed that participating in a support group can boost your quality of life.

  • Set priorities.
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    2. Set priorities.

    You may not be able to keep up with all your commitments, so prioritize the most important ones. You may decide, for instance, to change jobs to reduce stress or take more vacations.

  • Visualize
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    3. Visualize getting better.

    Imagine your cancer disappearing and your body growing stronger. This optimistic outlook can ease stress and promote relaxation, according to the American Cancer Society.

  • Laugh every day.
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    4. Laugh every day.

    Laughter can help people boost their mood, tame tension and anxiety, and improve their quality of life, according to a review published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. So watch your favorite sitcom, go to see a funny movie or horse around in the backyard with the kids.

  • Try something new.
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    5. Try something new.

    At the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care in New York City, patients are encouraged to try a range of activities, including crocheting, scrapbooking, tai chi, Reiki and even a drum circle. Want to take a cake-decorating workshop? Do it now.

  • Celebrate your wins.
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    6. Celebrate your wins.

    At the end of each chemo cycle, treat yourself to something special—perhaps a meal from a favorite restaurant, a new pair of shoes or even a long soak in the tub. You deserve it!

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