YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Here is our list of 10 important things you can do to speed your recovery. If you are a friend or family member, these are areas where you can be supportive:
The most important thing we can do for our health is stay connected with others. The presence of social support significantly improves our health.
Get 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep has immense healing powers and helps us recharge physically and mentally.
Eat real food not junk food. Mostly plants. Get others to cook vegetable-forward dishes for you.
Avoid pushing down feelings. We may find it easier to share fears or anxieties with acquaintances or an expert.
Substitute water for sodas, alcohol, coffee and energy drinks. Give yourself at least 3 weeks to adjust to this and see how you feel.
Exercise is a better predictor of health than how much we weigh. Pick 3 days of each week to commit to an hour of exercise you enjoy. You may find the more offbeat the exercise, the more you may enjoy it (a dance class vs. a gym workout). If we are very ill, we can aim to move 5 minutes for each hour we are awake.
If done with treatments, changing up our bedroom environments helps avoid associating a restful room with being ill. Repaint the walls, buy new sheets/sleepwear, or swap out decorative objects.
Sing with others, give compliments and/or volunteer. These activities are highly correlated with happiness.
There is such a thing as “post-traumatic growth” – about 25% of people experience this after cancer. For many, it means learning to living life for oneself instead of others all the time.
This is the time to be generous with ourselves and drop our standards. We don’t have to be perfect at anything right now. If you have the financial means, treat yourself to things that can help you: a counselor, a yoga class, nutritional supplement or products that help manage pain. If you are a friend or family member reading this, recovery gifts like this can truly help a patient.
If you are unsure of what you might want to start with first, talking to a Recovery Coach might be a first step.
Learn more about how one might help.