The fight with the big C continues every day. Finding out that a loved one or someone you know is battling cancer is tough. It may even be difficult to express your grief without adding to the anguish the patient is already suffering. Showing that you care and supporting an ailing family member or friend is not easy. But here are some ways to help in whatever small way you can.
Mean what you say. Make sure that you mean it when you say that you will be there to help. Be specific about how you intend to help and keep your word. Avoid making promises that you cannot keep. One of the things you can do is to take care of simple tasks that may give the patient more time to rest.
Volunteer to take care of something. Be explicit. For example, volunteer to pick up the children from school while your friend or loved one is getting radiation treatments or chemotherapy. Inform them that their children can stay in your house and spend time with your kids until they get home. Ask them if this will work for them.
Prepare healthy meals. Prepare food for your loved one or friend who is trying to fight cancer. You can cook their favorite food or something that is good for them. You can also brew them a good pot of soup then take this over to their place.
Take them to treatments. Going to treatments alone can be scary. Offer to accompany your loved one or friend to the hospital for check-ups or chemotherapy, if needed. Know scheduled visits to the hospital and ensure that someone is going to be with the patient when he or she makes the trip.
Be mindful of their need for privacy. Ask for the best time to visit or make a call. Remember that your friend or loved who is afflicted with cancer may want some time alone. Be sensitive to their need for privacy or for a much-needed rest.
Be compassionate. Facing cancer is never easy. It involves a lot of emotional and psychological upheaval not to mention the physical discomforts the patient may feel. You have to be more understanding of what your loved one or friend may be feeling. No matter how bad things may get, make the patient feel that you are giving your unconditional support.
Take care of yourself. Supporting someone with cancer is not easy. You have to manage your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. It is only when you take care of yourself that you can offer the best care and support to someone who is suffering.
To say that a cancer diagnosis is depressing may be an understatement. Cancer not only hits the patient hard. It also affects the people around the person suffering from it. Dealing with depression is a challenge in itself. There are times when it seems to require considerable will and effort. The energy you need to muster takes a nosedive along with your mood. These, among many other reasons, are why coping with depression is not a walk in the park. Here are some self help ideas you can work with to avoid sinking deeper into depressive depths.
Create a more cheerful environment
Gloom and doom are common with depression. Gloomy weather can affect moods. While it is futile to control the weather, you have at least a certain amount of influence to your immediate environment. Try not to spend too much time in a dreary place when you are dealing with depression. Open curtains and windows to make the most of daylight. Choose light curtains or drapes, preferably in colors that would lighten up a room. Make sure that light fixtures are sufficiently bright and cheery.
Tune out negativity from the news
Try to minimize the time you spend watching the news unless it is absolutely necessary for you to do so. If you really must, make sure to soak in some good news to balance the bad. The constant streaming of negative thoughts in your mind can add to pervading worries or fears that are fueling your depression.
Take a walk
Take some time away from whatever you are doing and go for a walk. You need not have to go somewhere in particular. Sometimes just stepping out of the door to walk across the lawn or the street can be relaxing. Taking a walk is an excellent mood-booster for several reasons. You can use the time for a brief getaway from a stressful situation. It is also a perfect time to get some fresh air to help clear your mind. The exercise you get from it can also be very uplifting.
Pay attention to your diet
Eating healthy is good for your overall wellbeing. Try to resist your cravings for sweet and sugary foods when you are feeling down. Your comfort foods my provide bursts of energy, but the effects will be short term. Once the levels of blood glucose take a dip, you will go back to feeling more tired than ever. Substitute caffeine and alcoholic beverages with water or green tea. Tea has soothing properties that more than make up for its caffeine content.
Unload negative emotions
Depression is not something you can ignore hoping that it would eventually go away. You need to take an active part in depression treatment regardless of how mild the symptoms may be. Finding an outlet for unexpressed and intense worries can help you release the pent-up feelings. Keep a journal as a means to unload some of the negativity you may feel. Alternatively, you can also explore other medium like drawing or painting. Anything that would open bottled-up emotions can be good.