When you’re helping your loved one battle cancer, finding ways to combat stress has to be the priority…
Update: When cancer explodes into your family, the stress is unbelievable. Finding a way to keep fighting when you’re exhausted is one of the hardest parts. You can do this, no matter how crazy things get…
Take Back Your Life From Cancer is a journal created to help you find hope, perspective and the motivation you’ll need to stay strong so you keep fighting for the long haul…
When my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer a year and a half ago, that diagnosis came with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Everything changed in an instant, for both of us.
Since that day, cancer has pretty much consumed our lives and become the center of everything.
The stress that you deal with when you’re helping your loved one battle cancer is CRAZY INTENSE.
It’s like you’re flying through an emotional roller coaster that never stops. And the stress…. can push you right over the edge.
Suddenly you start having trouble sleeping, you’re anxious and worried about everything and when you toss in a little depression about the future, well things can get a little overwhelming.
Figuring out ways to combat stress has to be a priority…
These are the most effective ways to combat stress while I am helping my dad battle cancer…
Hard labor is one of the best ways to combat stress.
My husband and I recently spent a weekend ripping out all of the ceilings in the 2nd story of our house. We pulled down tons (and I mean TONS) of plaster and lathe and replaced it with new updated ceilings.
And my husband and I did all of the work ourselves.
And by the end of the ceilings, we were both totally exhausted. But there is nothing in the world like the feeling of taking on a huge project like that and ROCKING it.
And the additional benefits of this stress reliever…
We increased the value of our home, worked together as a team to keep our marriage strong and we had absolutely no trouble sleeping the entire weekend.
When you’re super stressed and totally overwhelmed ripping something apart helps tremendously.
It just makes you feel better!
So, find an area in your house that needs some work and get started…
Throwing things out:
Getting rid of things, you no longer need is a huge stress reliever! We are surrounded by piles of stuff that make us feel cluttered and add to our already overwhelming lives.
Loading all of that stuff into the car and getting it out of your house feels freaking amazing!
I find myself hauling out bags and bags of stuff to the Salvation Army or selling unused items on Letgo. Things that we haven’t used or needed in forever.
It helps you feel a little more in control when life is feeling out of control.
Need a place to start… I’ve found the most success with clothing.
Go through every piece of clothing you own and get rid of anything that is…
- Stained/damaged/worn out
- Doesn’t fit
- Doesn’t look and feel AMAZING on you.
Then do the same with your husband’s clothes and your kid’s clothes…
Once you’re done with the clothing. Why stop there?
Start in one room and work your way through. It took me a week to get through one room because I am seriously lacking in time, but once I got done with that room, you would not believe the difference!
And this system will
- Dump the stuff you’re no longer using or needing.
- Dust and vacuum a very long winter away.
- Organize and identify a place for every item you’re keeping.
- Remind you to scrub the surfaces and the floors.
Blast some of your favorite music, burn some energy and unload your stress all at the same time. This is one of my favorite ways to combat stress.
It’s great for your body and makes you feel better and more in control of everything that’s happening. You can develop some really good solutions to all sorts of problems while you’re walking.
Bonus points if you live in an area where you can power walk through a natural and beautiful environment like a park or around a lake. A tranquil and natural environment will increase your relaxation and reduce your stress levels.
Massage is an incredible stress reliever that can help you achieve the highest level of relaxation. It completely releases the tension and stress in your body and allows your mind to reach the maximum level of calming and tranquility.
Massage allows you to clear your mind, relax your breathing, and remove the knots and tension from your body.
There is nothing that can create the feeling of ultimate serenity that massage can.
Spending time with my family and friends: Always makes me feel better and is one of the greatest ways to combat stress. Dinner with my parents, swimming with the kids, or coffee with my best friends just makes everything feel better. We get to catch up, relax a little and enjoy the time we have.
After all, if we have learned anything at all from this journey… take advantage of every opportunity because tomorrow may never come.
Take a day off:
Take a day off so you can do whatever you want for the entire day. A full day to do anything I want feels like Heaven. Sometimes I get my hair and nails done or meet my girlfriends for coffee after a morning at the bookstore, and sometimes, I stay in my pajamas and watch movies on the couch.
The beauty of the day off? You can do whatever makes you happy.
Give it to God:
This is one of the hardest things for me. I mean let’s be honest, giving up control of anything is really difficult.
My mother-in-law said it best… “You can’t give it to God, while you are holding it in a death grip, silently saying to Him… just let me do this, I know how to handle this best”.
Well, that was a little too accurate. ☹
Losing control makes me crazy. And this whole cancer experience makes you feel like your life is spiraling out of control and so naturally you are fighting to get everything under control… It’s like a battle you can’t win.
So here is what we know for sure…
- God won’t give us more than we can handle.
- We may not understand it, but God has a plan for each of us.
- In the end, it makes no difference what we want, think, or feel. What’s supposed to happen is what’s going to happen.
So, when I can truly let go and let the Lord take over, my stress evaporates. And while it’s hard (and I am a work in progress) like anything else, it takes practice (and a boatload of faith and self-control).
So, I just keep practicing and hopefully one day it be second nature.
Write it all out:
This blog has helped me tremendously because it allows me to get everything off my chest.
All of my stress, anxiety, and frustration get poured onto these pages and help me deal with all of this craziness in a healthy and positive way.
Rather than holding it all in and trying to deal with it that way, I am able to write it all out and dump this weight that can sometimes feel like it weighs a million pounds. There is a boatload of stress involved in this journey… fear, anxiety, and stress that can be so intense it seems like you can’t get a handle on it.
You can! I promise. God won’t EVER give you more than you can handle.
Writing everything out… Your fears and your worries, but also your strong moments, the battles you win and the amazing things that are also coming out of this journey (because there are several) are important too!
Cancer is intense. And struggling through this journey feels hopeless and impossible at times. But, there is definitely a theme to managing it a little bit better… dumping the things you don’t need including the stress and anxiety of this whole situation makes you feel better and more in control of everything that is happening around you.
Need more ideas?
What are your favorite ways to combat stress?
P.S. How do you keep fighting when you’re exhausted and devastated? You clear your mind, get some of this stress out of your system and focus on what’s important.
Take Back Your Life From Cancer is a journal created to help you find hope, perspective and the motivation you’ll need to keep fighting in the midst of the storm. And the best part, it’s free.
This post may contain affiliate links. In order for us to maintain this website, some of the links in the above post may be affiliate links. This means that you can purchase the products we recommend at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products or services that we use and love and that we believe will add value to our readers.