If you’ve already had a few chemo sessions, you are sure to have experienced the ‘cancer blues’. You feel tired, lethargic, and your world seems so small now that you have to scale back your activities. And now and then fear gets hold of you and you feel like a good cry. You’re not alone. Everyone who is counting down to their last chemo session regularly hits a rough spot. Don’t fight it, allow yourself to feel sad and then boost your morale again with one of these six no-nonsense tips.
Tip 1: Fill your lungs with fresh air
Don’t stay indoors when you don’t need to: go out for a walk and a breath of fresh air as often as you can. You might only manage a few steps, but maybe you can sit down on the bench around the corner to catch your breath. Or you might have a cosy spot in your garden or on your patio where you can spend a few minutes each day filling your lungs with oxygen. Even on colder autumn or winter days, a moment outside in a warm jumper with a nice cup of coffee or tea can feel invigorating. However small the step, every step counts. Be sure to read these extra tips to help you feel energised outdoors during chemo>>
Tip 2: Play... and concentrate on what you can still do
Children demand a lot of time and energy, but they also take your mind off your problems. Do you find it difficult to have to say no to rough games or exhausting day trips during your chemo treatment? If so, why not involve your children more in your everyday activities? Two or three sets of hands make even the most mundane chores more fun. Making a fruit salad together, washing vegetables or playing quiet games, for example. Perhaps this is a good time to pull out those old board games, or remember those old songs and nursery rhymes and pass them on to your children? Science has shown that playing really reduces stress and tension, even in adults. Go for it!
Tip 3: Send your colleagues a message
If you get on well with your colleagues, you might really start to miss them during those months of chemo that you’re forced to spend at home. In the beginning, you will be inundated with text messages and greeting cards. But they may start to dwindle as your treatment progresses. Remember that outsiders have no idea when or whether it’s a good time to disturb you, whether you are up for a chat, what they can or can’t say or ask. So why don’t you just call or text them? A short message breaks the ice and helps dispel awkwardness, encouraging them to call or visit out of the blue.
Tip 4: fill your house with flowers and plants
Plants and flowers around the house will boost your mood. Looking after them will also give you something to do. And having plants to care for can really be beneficial for you too as a cancer patient, especially if you feel that you are always the one that everyone has to care for. It helps to pass the time and will give you something else to think about if you can turn your attention to something simple like a house plant.
Tip 5: Listen to your favourite music
Nothing can beat the instant feel-good factor of music. Relaxing classics or a thumping rock beat, whatever makes you happy. Studies have shown that listening to music, singing or playing an instrument can influence the psychological well-being of people with cancer. So tune in to your favourite radio station or create your own mix or playlist with your favourite music. Why not make playlists for different moods: soothing, consoling, upbeat... And perhaps you’ve been thinking about dusting off those old LPs. Who knows, that might really do the trick and lift your mood on days when you have to take it easy.
Tip 6: Take photos of fun times
So you might not really want to have your picture taken with a bare head or wearing your chemo hat or scarf. But forget about your looks for once and set your worries aside. Remember, even people with hair don’t look like film stars every day! Did your nice neighbour pop in for a visit today? Did you have a good laugh with your husband? Are you trying on some new styles and hamming it up with your granddaughter? Keep your smartphone at hand to capture the moment. You’ll always have your very own personal feel-good photo album within reach, with memories of all those fun times. Feeling down? Just scroll through your photo album and feel those happy hormones coursing through your body.
An extra tip...
Last but not least, “give a woman a new pair of shoes and she can take on the world”, or so the saying goes. And while you’re on chemo, perhaps a new hat is what you need. Doesn’t a new print or new colour on your head make you feel ready for anything? So treat yourself to a new chemo hat now and then. Better yet, have someone treat you... Now is the time to browse our new collection of chemo hats and scarves >